Calculations for Printing Framed Images

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Copyright © 2005 Adrienne Cleveland, all rights reserved

Please feel free to save a copy of this web page on your hard disk for your personal use.

If you need your framed and/or matted images to be an exact size, such as 8 x 10 inches, there is math involved. This calculator and the steps below will help you size your unframed image so that it will be the size you want after you frame it.

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  1. First, crop your unframed image to the proportion you want your final, framed/matted, print to be (for example, 10 x 8 inches), at the highest resolution you can get without upsizing*.

    One way to do this is, after selecting the Crop Tool, to input "10 in" width and "8 in" height, leaving the Resolution box empty, and then make your crop.

    Select "File/Save As" from the Photoshop menu to save your cropped image.

    * Note: If you will need to upsize your image (increase its actual number of pixels), that should should be done later, after you've completed your final framing, so the frame will get upsized, too.

  2. Input the size of your cropped image, but in pixels, here:

    Width in pixels:    x   Height in pixels:

  3. Now, temporarily frame and/or mat your image, and see what size your image is afterward. Put the new size (in pixels) here:

    Width in pixels:   x   Height in pixels:

  4. Then click   

  5. Your frame and/or mat added this many pixels:

    Added Width:      Added Height:

    Your image is no longer in the exact ratio you started with, so we need to make some adjustments.

  6. But first, remove the frame and mat by clicking the appropriate "before" History Snapshot (Photoshop only) or selecting "File/Revert" or "Edit/Revert" (depending on your version of Elements) from the menu.

  7. Now, making sure "Constrain Proportions" is checked, resize your image to:

    New Width in pixels:   x   New Height in pixels:
    (if one of these numbers is fractional, work with the other one: PS will calculate the other as an integer)

  8. Now, we need to crop off a small amount so the photo will be in the right proportion after framing. Crop your image to:

    Cropped Width in pixels:   x   Cropped Height in pixels:

    To do this, we can use the same trick we used with the crop tool earlier, but using pixels instead of inches. For example, to get a 2000 x 3000 pixel image, set the crop tool width to "2000 px" and height to "3000 px." Leave the resolution box empty, and make your crop.

  9. Now, frame and/or mat your photo again, being sure to use the same frame and mat actions you used before. When you are done, your image should be the size and ratio you specified in step 2. If you are using a mat or background, and the final result is slightly "off," please read the note about mats and backgrounds below.

  10. If you need to upsize your photo, now is the time to do it.

A Special Note about Mats and Backgrounds

(Applies only to the Photoshop versions of the Shutterfreaks frame and mat actions)

The actions make some mats and backgrounds slightly larger at the bottom than at the top, for aesthetic reasons. The actions create that extra space as a percentage, rather than a fixed number of pixels, so while you can get a very close estimate, getting the EXACT size of 8x10 inches would be difficult.

However, if you really need the size to be exact, all is not lost. You can turn off the extra space function this way: In the action set, scroll down near the bottom, where you will see three actions: Click the checkmarks to the left of each of these three actions to uncheck them. From now on, when you run any of the mat or background actions, the extra space at the bottom will not be added. Your mats and backgrounds will now be symmetrical and predictable.

Copyright © 2005 Adrienne Cleveland, all rights reserved

Feel free to save a copy of this web page on your hard disk for your personal use.