How to Print Digital Photos

If you have a photo printer (see PCWorld's recommendations), you have three good options for turning your digital photos into beautiful printed pictures. The first two ways involve using the Windows Vista and Windows 7 picture import wizard--a powerful yet straightforward tool for transferring images from camera to computer. The picture import wizard works seamlessly with most cameras and lets you organize and print your favorite shots easily. The third way relies on a technology called PictBridge to print directly from your camera, bypassing your PC altogether.

Print Photos From Your Windows PC

1. To transfer images from your camera to your computer, power down your camera, connect it to your PC via a USB cable, and turn on your camera. If you are working with a Windows Vista or Windows 7 PC, turning on the connected camera should engage the AutoPlay wizard.

2. To start copying your images to your computer, select Import Pictures and Videos.

3. If the AutoPlay window does not appear at the end of step 1, open the Windows Live Photo Gallery, click Import, and select your camera from the list of devices shown.

4. Windows will now scan your camera for photos and videos that it can transfer to your PC. When it completes the scan, Windows will open a summary window listing the image and video files it found on your computer.

5. If you want to organize a large number of photos into groups and folders, leave the default Review, Organize and Group Items to Import option selected. If prefer to do this later, select Import All New Items Now and add tags that will help you find these photos. You can specify a destination folder by clicking More Options at the bottom of the summary window.

6. Click Next, and the Windows Live Photo Gallery will open and display the images you have just transferred to your computer. To select the photos you want to print, hold down the Ctrl key and click the images. Then press Ctrl - P to bring up your printing options.

7. The Print menu contains options for printer, paper size, number of copies, and print layout. If you want to adjust any of these settings, click Options... in the bottom right corner; otherwise, click Print to start printing your images.

Option: If you don't want to use the Windows Live Photo Gallery to import and print your pictures, look for bundled software on the disc that came with your camera, or try a premium all-in-one editor and organizer such as Adobe Photoshop Elements.

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