Here are answers to some common questions about printing in Windows Photo Viewer.
Windows Photo Viewer offers a list of templates that correspond to the most common print sizes, including 4 x 6, 8 x 10, and wallet-sized photos.
However, most digital pictures don't fit perfectly in a standard-sized print, so you might end up with blank space around the edges. To avoid this, you should crop your photo to a standard size and then print the cropped version with Windows Photo Viewer. Most image-editing programs—including Windows Paint—have the ability to crop. (For more information, see Crop a picture using Paint.)
To save ink, Windows prints only what you tell it to print. So if you try to print a single 4 x 6-inch picture on a page with room for three pictures, you'll see your photo surrounded by a lot of white space.
Yes. To print several smaller pictures on one page, right-click the pictures you want, and then click Print. You'll see a preview of your picture in the Print Pictures dialog box. Depending on the number of pictures you're printing, you might use more than one sheet of paper. (For more information, see Print a picture.)
Digital pictures often don't match standard print sizes. If you select the Fit picture to frame check box, Windows will enlarge the image enough to make sure it fits the proportions you specified.
The only drawback to using this option is that part of the picture will extend beyond the frame and won't be printed. You can always use an image-editing program such as Paint to crop the photo yourself. (For more information, see Crop a picture using Paint.)
By default, only the combinations of paper size, paper type, and print quality that give you the best results are displayed in the Print Pictures dialog box.
You can turn off this safeguard to see all the options and combinations, even if they might not print well. To do this, click Options on the lower-right corner of the Print Pictures dialog box, and then clear the Only show options that are compatible with my printer check box.
A contact sheet is a page containing smaller versions of your pictures that you can print as a visual reference. To learn about contact sheets and how they're useful, see View and print picture thumbnails.
The type of paper that you use to print your pictures could be the single most important factor in determining print quality. You might use plain paper or inkjet paper for routine printing, but to make a high-quality print suitable for framing, you should use a premium glossy or matte photo paper. For best results, be sure to match the paper type option with what you have in the printer.
Here are answers to some common questions about printing pictures.
If the original picture appears to be sharp but your print is blurry, then it's likely that you're making the print too large. In general, full-page 8-by-10-inch or 8.5-by-11-inch prints need at least a three-megapixel camera. Using a smaller picture file will limit the print quality. Also, if you crop your picture before printing, it might not print as well at larger sizes.
It's also possible that the original picture was blurry or grainy. There are a number of possible causes:
Photographing a moving subject can cause a blurry picture.
Shooting with a slow shutter speed can cause a blurry picture unless you steady the camera, such as with a tripod or by leaning against a doorway.
Shooting a picture in low light without a flash or with the camera's ISO control set high can cause a lack of definition and a lot of noise, or graininess, to appear in the picture.
The type of paper that you use to print your pictures is the single most important factor in determining print quality. You might use plain paper or inkjet paper for routine printing, but to make a high-quality print (such as for mounting in a frame), you should use a premium glossy paper that is recommended for use with your printer. Usually, this kind of paper is glossy on one side and looks like traditional photo print paper. For best results, be sure to set the paper type when printing to match the kind of paper you have in the printer.
Premium glossy and matte paper types often have a preferred printing side. Usually, the shiniest side is intended for printing, but be sure to read the directions that came with the paper to see how to load it into your printer.
When you print pictures from the Pictures folder or Photo Gallery, you can choose from a list of templates that correspond to the most common print sizes. Since most digital pictures don't fit perfectly in a standard frame, though, you might end up with blank space in the frame. To avoid this, you can crop your picture to an exact print size in the Fix pane of Photo Gallery, and then print the cropped version of the picture. For more information, see Crop a picture.
Digital pictures often do not match standard print proportions. Usually, your printer makes up for this by printing the picture at full size and leaving gaps where it is too narrow or too short to fill the frame. If you select the Fit picture to frame check box, Windows will enlarge the print enough to make sure it prints at exactly the proportions you specified, though a small amount of the picture will extend outside the frame and will not be printed.
Windows only prints the requested number of copies so you do not waste ink. For example, if you try to print one 4-by-6-inch picture on a page that has three 4-by-6-inch frames, only one print is made and the rest of the page will be blank.
By default, only the combinations of paper size, paper type, and print quality that will give you the best results are displayed in the Print Pictures dialog box. For example, if you were to choose the glossy paper option but then you printed on envelope paper, you would not get good results. As a result, this combination might not be available.
If you turn off this safeguard, you will always be shown all the options and combinations, even if they might not print well. To see all your options, follow these steps: On the toolbar in the Pictures folder, click Print. In the Print Pictures dialog box, click Options, and then clear the Only show options that are compatible with my printer check box.