Sizing Layouts


Supplies: Seaform journaling card by Becky Higgins, DJB Mrs. Webster font by Darcy Baldwin

When we create a scrapbook page, many of us eventually create three separate electronic files for the same page:

  1. Working Copy: Layered file containing the scrapbook layout
  2. Print-Ready Copy: Full-size high-resolution flattened layout for printing
  3. Web-Size Copy: 600×600 pixel, 72 dpi resolution flattened layout for use in galleries or emailing

Here is a screenshot of page that I created and saved as a layered TIFF file:


Supplies: Shaped Up Vol. 5 Banners by Amy Martin, Easy Peasy by Pink Reptile Designs, font is DJB Mrs. Webster by Darcy Baldwin

The layered file as the following image size settings:


The 300 pixels/inch resolution is important – that is the value needed for high-quality printing.

Let’s work with this layout and create the print-ready and web-sized copies that I’ll need:

The Print-Ready Copy

Many scrapbookers scrap and print their pages in the 12×12 inch format because that is the size that for which most papers, elements and templates are optimized. However, some people find that 12×12 is quite large when printed. To solve this problem, many digital scrapbookers take pages created in 12×12 and print them in 8×8 size. It’s a more manageable size, and fits on a standard bookcase. Some printers, like Persnickety Prints, are able to take a 12×12 image and print in 8×8. For some other printers, you’ll have to resize the image.

Going back to the scrapbook page above, I save a print-ready copy by:

  • Retaining the same image size and resolution as on my layered TIFF file.
  • Flattening the image.
  • Apply a sharpening action. (Ever since reading Wendy’s article on sharpening for printing, I include this as a step.)
  • Saving as a JPG at maximum quality.

Saving for Web

To save for the web, take either the layered file or the flattened JPG and change the image settings to:


I apply a web-sharpen action and then use the Save For Web feature in Photoshop. Because most galleries require images that are under 150 k in size, I optimize the image for that size and save as a JPG.


Now my saved-for-web version is ready for the gallery. You can see it here in a gallery at 600×600 size.

Using Resize Actions

If you’re using Photoshop, you can record your own actions for commonly performed tasks like resizing a layout for printing and for web posting. If you don’t have a full version of Photoshop, there are commercially available actions that you can purchase to automate these tasks for you. (For example, WendyZine has this resize/sharpen action for saving to the web.)

To Keep or Not to Keep?

A common question asked among digital scrapbookers is “Do you keep your layered files after your page is done?” There is no right or wrong answer. Here are various strategies:

  • Keep both the layered file (e.g. TIFF, PSD) and the flattened 12×12 layout. Who this works for: Risk averse scrapbookers with lots of memory space available.
  • Keep just the flattened 12×12 layout. Who this works for: Scrapbookers who are confident that they won’t want to tweak a layout later or need to correct a spelling mistake and scrapbookers who need to conserve memory space.
  • Hang onto both files, but delete the layered file once the page is printed. Who this works for: Scrapbookers who are want to be able to fix a mistake right up to the print order, but who won’t reprint later if they find an error in the printed page. Works for people who eventually want to free up space on their computers.