Photo printing tip:

Here is the situation… My father was asked to take some pictures for a club he attends every week. He generally prints them out when ever someone asks for a copy. He also prints out a series of thumbnail pictures on a single page. I gather this is called a contact sheet. This time around the Windows program he used decided not to recognise the network printer. This was very odd because all the other programs on his machine saw it. In fact the program he was using also knew it was there but it refused to print to it. After a few days if frustration he asked me to see what I could do about printing a contact sheet for him.

Normally I would have used iPhoto on the Mac to do this. I think I did this once before. Unfortunately I had used the upgrade DVD to go from 10.4 to 10.6. The upgrade DVD didn’t have the iLife package on it and I am paranoid about using Apples online store. Particularly since I am not going to go around giving out credit card numbers to anybody. Although iLife is apparently free (and discontinued with 10.7 or 10.8) the only way to get it was to install from the old 10.4 DVDs and risk wiping out 10.6. In other words I was out of luck (for the moment).

I decided to see what I could find for Linux. The problem with Linux is almost all the programs are free and it is easy to install half a dozen of them without thinking. This time I was lucky and found one on the third try. The program is called Geeqie. I haven’t used all the features, only the print function. To print a contact sheet go through the following steps…

  1. Locate the files to print (it’s better to have them in the same directory).
  2. Select all the pictures to print.
  3. Click on File and select Print.
  4. Click on the box next to Proof Sheet.

From there the program will print multiple thumbnail pictures per page. There are more options in the print menu and they look like it might be worth exploring.

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About the Author


Mike Pfaiffer was President of A.P.P.L.E. and also the president of Digital Civilization magazine, a monthly UNIX magaine. Mike wrote a number of articles for A.P.P.L.E. and sadly passed away 19 July 2013 at age 54.