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Export or Print To file

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Apr 14, 2019
Lightroom Version
Lr Classic 11.4.1
Operating System
  1. macOS 10.15 Catalina
Have searched and but couldn't find it, so I thought I'd ask.
If I'm about to produce a file to take to a printer to get some prints made, should I be

a) Using the Export function under the file menu to create a full size TIFF or
b) Using the Print to file option under the Print tab?

I never print my own work and I quite like the white border that "Print to file" gives me (but won't use it if the image is not as good).

I'm printing at about 10x12ins.

Thanks in advance
May 9, 2015
Palo Alto, CA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Depends on your print lab. If the lab accepts TIFF's then exporting a TIFF that would be best. If they take JPG's then unless you need a feature found in the Print module that is not found in the Export dialog, then export a JPG for them. However, if you need something in the print module, like a colored border or somesuch, then print to JPG in the print module.

Some users when creating files via export will size the output file to the exact number of pixels the print lab has available on thier printer so that the lab does not do any scaling. In my experience, this was useful a number of years ago when the SW at the labs was sketchy but these days, if you're using a decent lab, the scaling done by the lab is just as good as is done in LrC. Just make sure you give them enough pixels for whatever paper size you choose. I have found that half the prinatable number of pixels is usually Fine. So, for example, if your image is 4,000 x 5,000 pixels, and the printer at the lab prints at 300 dpi then you should be able to get a good print up tpo about 26" x 33"
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