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How to Print Borderless Photos with iPhoto

We use iPhoto for our digital photos. (Who doesn't?) For this tutorial, we wanted to perform two iPhoto tasks: print 8.5x11 photos, and crop a portrait photo from a landscape original. We used iPhoto '06 on Mac OS 10.4, with a Hewlett-Packard 7960 Photosmart printer. Differences in printers and in the iPhoto and OS versions should not make for too dissimilar of a process, provided the OS is in the 10.4 range.

Printing Borderless 8.5 x 11 Photos

Hewlett-Packard had us delta-test their 7960 Photosmart printer with our iBook running OS X. We have updated these instructions specifically for 8.5 x 11 photos, since that is not a standard setting in iPhoto. Naturally, you can replace 8.5 x 11 in our instructions to print any other photo size you wish, although for common sizes like 4x6, you will likely find the photo size from an iPhoto menu.

To print a borderless 8.5 x 11 photo from iPhoto:

  1. Start iPhoto.

  2. Select the photo that you wish to print. The photo appears. You must crop it to 8.5 x 11 before you print it, or it will not print borderless.

    • From the Constrain pop-up menu, select Custom.

    • In the two Custom Constrain text boxes, enter 8.5 in the first and 11 in the second (landscape), or 11 in the first and 8.5 in the second (portrait).

    • Press the Crop button.
  3. From the File menu, select Print. The Print pop-up dialog box appears.

    • In the Printer pop-up menu, verify that your printer model is selected.

    • In the Presets pop-up menu, select your preference (mine is Photo on Photo Paper - Fine, for my glossy photo paper).

    • In the Paper pop-up menu, select Borderless photo 8.5 x 11. Look under US Letter or Letter Banner if it does not show up initially.

    • In the Style pop-up menu, verify that Full Page is selected.

    • Verify that the Margins slider is set all the way to the left (zero margins).

    • Click Print to send the print job to the printer.
  4. After printing, you might wish go to the Photo menu and select Revert to Original (unless you plan to print only 8.5 x 11 prints of that photo from now on).

Note: If you have an older version of Mac OS X or iPhoto, instead of the Paper pop-up menu under File: Print, you may need to do the following before you go to File: Print.

  1. From the File menu, select Page Setup. The Page Setup dialog box appears.

  2. Set Format for: to your printer model.

  3. Set Paper Size to Borderless photo 8.5 x 11.

  4. Leave the scale at the default of 100%.

  5. Click OK.

Printing Borderless Portrait from Landscape in iPhoto: 11 x 8.5

In this example, we print an 11 x 8.5 borderless area from a landscape photo.

  1. Start iPhoto.

  2. Select the landscape photo that you wish to print. The photo appears.

  3. From the Constrain pop-up menu, select the landscape version of what you want in portrait, such as 11x8.5 from Custom.

  4. From the Constrain pop-up menu, select Constrain as Portrait.

  5. Press the Crop button.

  6. Again, from the Constrain pop-up menu, select the landscape version of the cropping you want (such as 11 x 8.5).

  7. Press the Crop button.

  8. Print the photo, setting the Print Pop-up dialog box as in the above borderless printing instructions.

Note: We have to crop twice in the above instructions, or we will get a thin white border on the left and right sides of the photo printout.

A Reader-Submitted Tip

Darrell Walker, who works on Mac print drivers, has pointed out that in iPhoto 06, you do not need to crop the picture first.

In the Print pop-up menu from iPhoto 06, follow the directions as in the tutorial, but also click the Zoom and Crop checkbox.

That's it! Your photo will print borderless!

If you are trying to print a borderless portrait from a landscape photo, you still need to crop the photo first, but you can use Zoom and Crop when printing to
avoid the second crop.

If you have an older version of iPhoto, you still need to crop the photo first.

Thanks to Darrell Walker for pointing out that borderless printing is even easier for iPhoto 06!

Meet Your Macinstructor

By day, Dave Strom is a technical writer who makes short goofy videos and likes his Macintosh, coffee houses, comic books and cartoons (just the good ones!), Keith Knight's "The K Chronicles," Pho, boogie boarding in San Diego, and living in the San Francisco bay area. By night, Dave uses his mutated super-sarcasm powers (gained from a radioactive iced mocha) to save the world from a continuous invasion of mind-controlling alien spider-slugs on a weekly basis. He never misses Macworld Expo or the San Diego Comic Con.


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