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How to Create an A3 / A4 Size Print

This is a brief Illustrated text which explains how to work your way through this and create your print/prints. We have chosen A3 and A4 because these are the club standard aperture sizes we hold and most printers have good process for these standard sizes. However, if you want to make your own special sized aperture mounts, then this can be done by creating relevant sized templates such as “Letterbox”.

Firstly, though it’s best to create a plain template in your editing software. So if it’s an A3 print you want, create an A3 Template.


1) Select “File” >> ”New”>> “Blank file”

A3 A4 Print - 1

2) In the dialog box “Document Type” select “International Paper”

A3 A4 Print - 2

3) In the “Size” dialog box select “A3” (or A4 if desired) and press “OK”

A3 A4 Print - 3

4) The “Pixels/inch” box will default to 300 but if you have a smaller sensor camera you can now change this to 240. (See para 8)

A3 A4 Print - 4

5) Now orientate the template to the desired Portrait or Landscape format by rotating the canvas.

6) Open the required Print image and select “Ctrl A” to for select “All” >> Select “Ctrl C” to copy it.

7) Now switch to your A3/A4 Template and press “Ctrl V” for “Paste”

8) If it looks like this then there aren’t enough pixels to properly print at A3 and it may be an image you previously prepared for a Digital (DPI) Competition.

A3 A4 Print - 5

Important Note – Some simple Maths for you !

For a good quality print you need to have at least 240 pixels per inch. So with an A3 Print being 16.5 inches wide, you need 16.5 X 240 = 3960 pixels wide - NOT 1600 pixels in the example above !

9) If your camera has a large sensor (say 40mp) and a very large file it may look like this with the bounding box hanging over the edges of the A3 template. Now you should be able to grab the corners of the box with your mouse to make it fit.

A3 A4 Print - 6

10) However you may be faced with this scenario with one edge hanging over the side of the template – the reason being that the Aspect Ratio of the camera’s default digital file 1.5 to 1 does NOT quite match the aspect ratio of the International A3 template 1.4 to 1. (Blame Oscar Barnack or the International Standards Authority !!)

A3 A4 Print - 7

..... Option 1- as above ..the first option would be grab the edge shown with a mouse, click and move that side in to meet the edge of the hidden template beneath. This will distort the image slightly but if it looks fine you don’t have to be precious about it. Don’t forget the lens has already distorted reality somewhat – especially if it was a wide angle!

..... Option 2 – As below, using the mouse, click on a corner and manipulate the image and overlap the template slightly to suit the picture composition to taste.

A3 A4 Print - 8

10 ) Then when you are happy “Flatten” the image – which chops off any overhanging excess - and it’s created as an A3 or A4 file – whichever you selected as the original template size.

A3 A4 Print - 9

11) I would normally then save the image with a new name along with the original file name such as D75_8114b Astoria Bridge A3

That way I can always search for the original file that I used to create the A3 print.

Your Print should now be ready to be sent for Printing with the appropriate paper type.

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