Here's a quick, easy, and free way to save your photo contact sheets
as files. This method will save your contact sheets as PDF files,
which you can store on your hard disk for later viewing and printing.
PDF files are read by the Adobe Acrobat reader, which is freely
[ http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html ]
Acrobat is standard across many platforms, so the files you'll create
can be read by just about anyone.
First you have to download a freeware utility to create the PDF files.
We're going to use pdf995, which I found to do the job quickly and
without complaints. It's free, although the program will pop up a web
page asking you to pay $9.99 if you use the program on a regular
basis. The authors do not require that you pay, but it is a nice
thing to do if you use the software regularly. This utility is fully
XP compatible, and will install itself as a printer on your system.
Head over to:
[ http://www.pdf995.com/download.html ]
Download the latest version of pdf995, which currently is 4.76.
There's a beta version as well, but the 4.76 version on the site will
do the job.
After downloading the file, run the installation program. It
automatically installs as a printer to your system, and will present
itself as an option when you go to print from any Windows application.
Before we print our first contact sheet, I'd like for you to configure
a few options. Go to your windows XP control panel, select printers
and faxes, and then right click your PDF995 printer icon. Go to
properties. Click on the 'general' tab. Then click printing
First thing we'll do is set the driver to always 'print' in color. To
do that, simply click the paper/quality tab and click on 'color'
instead of grayscale. Click apply.
Next we'll set the driver to 'print' in high resolution. Click the
'advanced' button, which is just above the 'apply' button you just
clicked. Change the resolution to '1200' from 600. Under quality,
select normal. Then click 'ok.' This will give you the sharpest
print quality when you do decide to print the files you're creating.
Now you're ready to make your contact sheet files!! Create the
contact sheet as you normally would. When you're at the printer
selection part of the wizard, simply select 'pdf995' from the drop
down menu instead of your current printer. The driver will then pop
up a window asking you to save the file. Once you specify a location
and name for the PDF file, you're done! You can then access these PDF
files at any time by using the Adobe acrobat reader.
I tried this method before writing this answer, and I'm happy to say
it works (and looks) great! You'll also be able to print PDF files
from any application on your PC.
Before I go, here are the search terms I used:
1. I went over to download.com, and typed in 'make pdf.'
2. After the search results presented themselves, I filtered the list
for free licenses, and clicked update.
3. I found the PDF995 utility on the list, downloaded it, and