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Printing quality JPG thumbnails Exported from LR Classic and imported into a Microsoft Word Document

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larry8533

New Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
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6
Lightroom Version Number
12.3
Operating System
  1. macOS 13 Ventura
I need to print thumbnails of photographs at the highest possible quality.

I want to prepare a printed handout promoting a photo collection. We are working on a Microsoft Word document that contains thumbnails of the photos, and printed descriptions.

The previews placed in Microsoft Word are not printing at the highest quality.



The thumbnails are currently being exported from the latest version of Lightroom Mac on Mac Ventura iMac. The thumbnails have been reduced by the Lightroom Export.

JPG, 144 dpi, largest edge 108 PPI, sharpened for matte paper
 

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  • Export Settings for Thumbnails.jpg
    Export Settings for Thumbnails.jpg
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You asked the same question in the Adobe community forums, so I will just repeat what I said there. You clearly confuse pixels and pixels per inch. The screenshot shows that you export images that are only 108 pixels wide. If you print those at 144 pixels/inch, then you’ll get images that are 108/144 = 0.75 inch wide. That is super small, but you do not say how many images per page you intend to have, so maybe that is what you want after all.
 
Add to Johan's post, the common "benchmark" for printing is 300ppi. You can god down to about 200ppi and sometimes get away with it, but 144ppi is not going to get you a good image. If you want to print thumbnails that are 3/4" wide, then you should have at least 225 pixels on that axis (300ppi x 3/4" = 225 pixels).

--Ken
 
I don't believe that RESOLUTION does anything in the export unless you have selected a physical export dimension like inches or centimeters. If you export with a pixel dimension, that's what you get. It's a pet peeve of mine that Adobe does not grey out RESOLUTION when it's not used.

For example, I did a couple of tests. Using your export specs, the size of the exported file did not change if I selected 144 or 320 PPI. You would expect a file change if there was more information. When I changed the export to 2 inches long dimensions then my export (as viewed from the exported file) was 131x108 pixels @ 144 PPI and 291x210 @ 320 PPI. The file sizes were 45KB and 89KB respectfully.

I would also suggest you investigate preserving your embedded image quality. Here's an example of Word settings to consider https://www.thewindowsclub.com/loss-of-image-quality-after-you-save-in-word-excel-or-powerpoint.

Also, make sure you are selecting the highest printer quality settings when printing. In other words, it could be the quality of the printer you are using.
 
For example, I did a couple of tests. Using your export specs, the size of the exported file did not change if I selected 144 or 320 PPI. You would expect a file change if there was more information.
Not necessarily. That depends on what you define as size. If you define the size in pixels, then resolution does nothing. It will be just a number in the metadata. If you define the size in inches or centimeters however, then the chosen resolution determines how large the exported image (in pixels) will be. In Lightroom (cloud) Adobe has found a way to make this easier, but in practice it only raises questions: if you have chosen the size in pixels, then resolution is not shown as an option.
 
If you define the size in pixels, then resolution does nothing.

When pixel dimensions are specified in Export's Image Sizing, changing Resolution does have an effect on the exported file. The metadata fields EXIF: and Photoshop: XResolution and YResolution contain the specified value. When an image is inserted into a document in Word and other desktop publishing programs, those programs set the initial size of the image within the document using the XResolution/YResolution fields to calculate the printed dimensions.
 
When pixel dimensions are specified in Export's Image Sizing, changing Resolution does have an effect on the exported file. The metadata fields EXIF: and Photoshop: XResolution and YResolution contain the specified value. When an image is inserted into a document in Word and other desktop publishing programs, those programs set the initial size of the image within the document using the XResolution/YResolution fields to calculate the printed dimensions.
That's why I added "It will be just a number in the metadata", which you conveniently did not include in your quote. What other apps do with those metadata is another story, not a Lightroom story.
 
That's why I added "It will be just a number in the metadata", which you conveniently did not include in your quote. What other apps do with those metadata is another story, not a Lightroom story.
I called out the issue because users are typically given the over-simplified advice that the resolution provided in Export doesn't matter. To some users, it does matter what they specify in Lightroom's Export.
 
When an image is inserted into a document in Word and other desktop publishing programs, those programs set the initial size of the image within the document using the XResolution/YResolution fields to calculate the printed dimensions.
John, that is useful information but I would suggest specific to the application the image is being embedded to. I don't have Word, but in the article I provided a link to above, it had this screen shot of controlling image quality. Not sure if High Fidelity means it uses all the image metadata.

Fix-Compression-Issue-Office-Document.jpg
 
The previews placed in Microsoft Word are not printing at the highest quality.
With all the discussions, how do you know/measure that they are not printing in the highest quality? I don't know you but would like to how to detect this?
 
but I would suggest specific to the application the image is being embedded to.
I completely agree, it is specific to the user's workflow. Most people use other apps with the output from LR, so in general our advice to them should always be cognizant of that.
 
Most people use other apps with the output from LR...
Which apps would you suggest? I normally export as full sized jpegs to a temp file then drag and drop into Word.
 
I normally export as full sized jpegs to a temp file then drag and drop into Word
@BobT I think I posted a link above to some considerations for setting quality of images.

While I don't use Word (I use LibreOffice), I generally figure out what the size of the image is I need to import then use that as a Export specifications in LrC. My goal is not to have my Write (same as Word) document any larger than it needs to be. Regardless of the 'size' you set the image to in Word, it will store the entire file. One exception to this is if you crop it in Word and tell Word to eliminate the cropped part.
 
I have used Mail Merge style features in Word, InDesign and Photoshop. My preferred method is Mail Merge using Affinity Publisher, which is the most user friendly, but not perfect. There is a Reporter Module in MatLab which I have also used, has ultimately the most feature rich, But is not intuitive to learn how to use. Typically, I wish to place the image centred on a page, with Titles, Captions, Dates, Location, Copyright info professionally placed on the page, relative to the position of the image.

My most frustrating tool to use is Microsoft Mail Merge (merging text and images into a template), which sometimes just stops working for no obvious reason.

Manually placing images into a Word document is way too labour intensive for me.
 
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