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Have you ever had the need for a thumbnail print out of a group of photos but didn’t know how to create it? If you use Photoshop and have Bridge, the seldom used Output feature is the answer. Mimicking contact sheets from the days of darkroom work, there are many similarities. The huge advantage is there’s so much more you can do to the look of the “contact sheet” you create in Bridge. Let’s get started. 


1) Open a folder of pics in Bridge and go to the OUTPUT option at the top right part of the workspace:


Photoshop Output Feature


2) Go to the EDIT menu and choose Select All or use Command A on a Mac or Control A on a PC:


Photoshop Output Feature Tips


3) At the top right portion of the Output work space, choose PDF. In that you’re going to make changes below this section, the template option will change to Custom:


Photoshop Output Features


4) In the DOCUMENT section, set your parameters. If you’re used to using 8.5x11 paper, set it up the way I have inside the red boxes. If you want the document password protected, set it up in this section. If you want a custom color background for the images, click on the color swatch next to the word BACKGROUND and choose a color:


Photoshop Output Feature How To


5) In the LAYOUT section, I most often choose 5 rows and 5 columns to give me 25 images on a page. I find the size of the thumbnail on an 8.5x11 piece of paper to be very usable. I also enable the USE AUTO SPACING option:


How to use the Photoshop Output Feature


6) In the OVERLAYS section, I enable File Name and Extension so those two pieces of information are printed out under each photo. If you create a multi page pdf and want the pages numbered, enable it in this section:


Photoshop Output How To


7) I usually leave the HEADER and FOOTER sections blank. If for some reason you need to place a title, contact information, website address, etc. on the pdf, this would be the place to do so. 


Photoshop Output Tutorial


8) If you want to add a copyright watermark to each image, do so in the WATERMARK section. I find a font size 12 works well for a layout of 5 rows and five columns on an 8.5x11 piece of paper. Have a look at my setting enclosed in the red boxes:


Photoshop Output Tips


9) At the bottom right, click SAVE and the pdf will be generated. If you need to make changes to any section, after doing so, go back to the top OUTPUT section and click on Refresh Preview. The regenerated version will appear inside the workspace where the smaller versions of the photos were and you’ll see the OUTPUT PREVIEW tab appear:


Photoshop Output How To Tutorial


To learn more about this topic, join me on one of my Nature Photo Tours. Visit russburdenphotography.com and click on the NATURE TOURS button for more information. Also, email me to be placed on my Tip of the Week list and to receive announcements about upcoming tours specials. Contact me at rburden@ecentral.com. Pick up a copy of my book, Amphoto’s Complete Book of Photography, from Amazon. 

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