12 June 2011

Photoshop Elements Custom Photo Size Tutorial

Okay so, every time I print custom sized photos I am always asked, “how did you get that size printed”… well it’s hard to explain to someone right then and there. So, I thought I would give everyone a quick tutorial on how I do it.


Currently I am using Photoshop Elements {PSE} 6.0 as my photo editing software. There are newer versions of PSE out there, but I am totally in tune with this particular program & it does everything I currently need it to do.

Okay let’s start this tutorial!

Here’s what my window looks like as soon as I open my program:

1st of PSE tutorial

First thing I’m going to do is choose my photograph that I want to edit and print at a custom size… I’m going to use this photo of my husband chowing down on his VERY FIRST po-boy in NOLA:


Before I edit any photos I make sure to save a new COPY of the photo, so that I don’t lose my original photo!! This is VERY IMPORTANT!

Now it’s time to edit it. I get all of my FREE PSE Actions from Pioneer Woman*, I use both Set 1 & 2 often, the actions are beautiful and they print so amazingly.

*{You can go to her website to download the actions and for the link to the tutorial on how to install them on your computer!}

First I’m going to show you my Palette Bin, this is where you keep track of all the editing you do to your photos.


*click on the photo to see it larger

I love for my photos to have a slightly vintage feel, especially the photos form our trip to NOLA. So the 2 actions I chose to use were:

1. Dim the Lights @ 45% opacity

2. Seventies @ 62% opacity

Here’s what the Layers Palette looks like when you have actions on you photo:


*notice how I change the opacity for Dim the Lights to 45%

The order you do your actions in will change the way your photo looks as well. I preferred having Dim the Lights before my Seventies action.

{also if you don’t like the way an action makes your photo look you do not have to completely scrap your project, just drag the action into the trash bin just over the layers in the Layers Palette}

In order to crop the photo properly you must merge all the layers together. To do this all you have to do is Right-Click on any of the layers and a little menu pops up, choose Merge all visible layers and ta-da you have 1 layer again with all of your edits on it!

Next we are going to use the crop tool in order to crop our photo from the original our of camera size to the custom size we want to print!

Here’s a looksy at the tool bar on my left:


I’m going to be using the Crop Tool in order to crop my photo to a custom size.


This is what the top Tool Bar looks like when you have the Crop Tool open.

As you can tell from the photo, I have my Aspect Ration set to custom and I put in the values I want to for the Width & Height of my photo. In this example I am cropping my photo to 3X4, this size photo will fit great on a 4X6 canvas which we will get to later!

The important thing here is that your Resolution is set to 300 Pixels/Inch! This is a great printing resolution.

Okay, so once you have decided on your size, you just need to draw a box on your photo.


In this photo you can see that I have a Marquee Box inside of my photo. This is showing me where my photo will be cropped. You can drag the corners and move it around from the center to get it positioned just right. After you are happy with where your photo will crop, click the green check mark.

Now in order to print this custom print at a local lab or an online photo printer you need to put your custom sized photo on a standard sized canvas. Standard sizes being, 4X6, 5X7, 8X10, etc.

My photo will fit on a 4X6 canvas, so that is what size I’m going to work with.

First you need to create a new canvas, by clicking File, New, Blank File. A window will pop up that looks like this:


Choose the size of your canvas by typing in the Width & Height, and make sure that the Resolution is again at 300 P/I.

Once it opens double click on your photo in the project bin just below where you work. Then drag your photo to the new canvas within the Project Bin and it will copy it right into the center.


This what mine looks like. Now all you have to do is save it. I usually save inside a separate Photo Folder that I call Prints. This keeps all the custom sized photos in one place and I know right where to look when I’m ready to send them to my local lab.


Make sure when you save that your File Type is a Jpeg and not a PSD, local labs cannot print PSD files.

That’s pretty much it. This works so good for square photos as well, here’s an example of my finished print file of some square photos:


Here my photos are 1.5X1.5, perfect for a mini book page with lots of photos!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If there is anything that you would like for me to show you, leave me a comment!