One of the most powerful features in Simple Booth apps is the ability to get photos on your phone almost immediately after taking them, but at many events guests still love to be able to take a print home. In this article, we'll share some tips with you on how to get your print formatting just right.

Basic Tips

Settings for your layout, margins, and crop, as well as the iPad orientation will all affect how the images are printed from Simple Booth apps.  

Paper Size

Paper size settings can be customized at the top of the Print panel. We recommend using 4x6” or 5x7” paper.

The first step to a great looking print is to consider how the layout you choose together with any added graphic elements will match up with the size of your printer paper. It is possible to more closely match them by changing between portrait or landscape orientation, or enabling a square crop. Adding a logo to the layout can help fill in remaining space.

If there is room on the paper, Simple Booth will also automatically duplicate the photo strip layouts on your prints to get side-by-side strips

At this point, you should have a layout that is close to the print size, but may still have some extra margins. There are two ways to make your layout match up more closely with your paper size: print padding or by using Force Fit. 

Print Padding

According to the AirPrint specifications, the photo we send to the printer from our app will be centered on the paper. Still, each printer, print driver, or even other software you’re using to connect the printer will handle the placement of the print slightly differently, which can result in mismatched margins. 

The padding settings in the print panel allow you to make small adjustments to your margins to make up for this. Adding positive numbers to any side will increase the white space or margins, and adding negative numbers to any side will decrease the white space or margins. Read more about how to use the padding feature here.

Printing perfection with Force Fit

We wanted to find a better way to get prints to match your paper size, so our team invented Force Fit - a simple and mighty tool to get great digital layouts and fit your prints perfectly, too.  

Force Fit crops each picture in the layout and alters the dimensions so that the photos fill the space with even margins on all sides. Simple Booth automatically detects faces in the photos and uses their positions to try to keep everyone in the frame! Force Fit will work best when your layout is already close in size to the paper size you have selected. The less cropping that is necessary, the better - but we will always make it fit!

We recommend using the test print button (or launching to take some test shots) and making any necessary adjustments to your settings before you get to the event.

Adding Graphics to your Prints

If you are using a logo in your design panel, the logo will always show up on your prints. If you are using a background or overlay in your design panel, that might translate well to the print out or you may want or need to design a new print-specific graphic. 

Force Fit automatically disables digital backgrounds and overlays added to the design panel to prevent distortion. This is because those graphics have to be designed to fit the dimensions of your digital layout or GIF, and those dimensions change when Force Fit is applied. 

This means you will typically need to design print-specific graphics if you plan to use Force Fit with an overlay or background. We suggest following these steps to ensure your prints, overlays, and backgrounds look great. 

If you don’t plan to use Force Fit, you may or may not need to design a print graphic. If you are able to adjust the padding and paper size so that your digital background or overlay will print full bleed, you are all set! 

If you can’t get the graphics to look right with the padding alone, you will want to use Force Fit. Follow the instructions below to design a print-specific graphic that fits just right

  1. Set the paper size you plan to use in the print panel. It may be helpful to use a ruler to measure the paper you are using, since not all paper will be exactly 4x6” or 5x7”. Any variances discovered early can make the next steps easier.
  2. Enable Force Fit in your print panel and the layout's photos will be readjusted to fit the paper size. 
  3. Take a test print to ensure the layout is formatted properly for your printer’s paper. Your goal is to line up the red border that appears on the print preview and print out itself with the edges of the paper you are using, which will take some trial and error.If the border doesn’t match up perfectly (i.e., you can see blank space outside of the red border, or can’t see the red line on each side), you may need to add some padding to get things just right. 
  4. Once the print is properly formatted and you can see the entire red border, you are ready to start designing the print graphics. Press the “save template” button at the bottom of the print panel. 
  5. Email, AirDrop, or use a cloud service (like Dropbox or Google Drive) to share the saved template to a computer so you can open it in your graphics editing program. 
  6. Starting with the same graphics and elements from your digital overlay and/or background, adjust for print differences (i.e, the padding adjustments you made, or for side-by-side photo strips). Be careful to design within the red borders that appear on the layout. Any graphic elements that appear outside of the red border will be cut off from your prints. 
  7. Save the newly designed graphic and upload it to the print panel for your preset (be sure to remove the template you uploaded before saving). 
  8. Take some test prints to ensure that the print graphics turn out as expected. 

The red borders will only ever appear on the test prints that you can send from the print settings panel. Once you launch the booth, these red lines will disappear. 

Happy printing! 

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