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How To Print Photos on Your Printer

If you want to get quality prints of your photographs, be sure to buy a printer model that is built to do so. Some printer models are built only as photo printers, and some All-in-Ones provide the option to print photos. Either of these printers can do a very nice job of printing photographs from a camera or storage device.

Next you should get a photo editing software program. Photoshop is a very high-end product that you can purchase; it is also possible to get an inexpensive version such as Photoshop Elements. If you don’t want to sink money into Adobe Photoshop, you can try the less user-friendly but free gimp by visiting While many printers come with software, it is advisable to look around for a program that you like, since the free in-the-box software is often frustrating to use, and sometimes can’t accomplish as much as a task-specific program.

Next choose the image or images you want to print and open them with the software you chose. Remember that borders add infinitely to the final look of a printed photo; a wide border can frame a low-quality photo to make it out-class a professional image.

The most important thing to remember when printing a photo is not to try to print a photo at a higher dpi than it can handle. Find the image size, and see what the pixel dimensions are. If you try to make the photo bigger, it will become pixilated and blurred. While you can use a bicubic sharper to correct some of this loss in quality, it is best to make every effort to print a photo at the same or small dimensions than it started out. Also, remember that if you make an image smaller, you can’t make it bigger without losing quality again, so save your original to go back to.

A good rule of thumb for prints is to print a 4X6 at between 240 and 300 dpi. Finally, buy the right paper. For photos, a nice glossy paper is the best choice for color, sharpness, and tonal range. Glossy papers will make a photo look brighter. If you want to achieve a less glaring effect, matte or luster papers are good second choices, and some designers prefer them.

If you are printing many copies, be sure to do a test-print first to make sure everything is as it should be. Remember that your monitor has its own resolution and color layout, so your print will not look like the screen when you see it live.

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About William Elward

Founder of Castle Ink, William Elward has 20 years experience in the printer industry. He's been featured on CNN Money, Yahoo, PC World, Computer World, and other top publications and frequently blogs about printers and ink cartridges. He's an expert at diagnosing printer issues and has published guides to fixing common printer issues across the internet. A graduate of Bryant University and Columbia's Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program, he's held various leadership positions at The College Board, Bankrate, Zocdoc, and Everyday Health. Follow him on Twitter at William Elward's Twitter Profile