How to format a photo for A3 or A4 page printing

Printing photos by yourself saves a lot of money. You can usually print a huge number of photos on a single A3 page. By today’s costs, printing on an A3 size paper costs around Rs 20 here in Trivandrum. And since you can usually arrange 8×9 sets of a 3.1cm x 4.1cm sized Passport size photo, that translates to about Rs 20 for 72 photos, or Rs 0.27 per photo. Usually if you print at a normal studio, they charge around Rs 100 for 8 photos, give or take ten rupees.

So, let’s get started.


CorelDraw X6 (any version should do)



For Passport size photos:

First, you need to crop your photo so that the ratio of width by height is 31 x 41. ACDSee is the easiest for this purpose. Save the image.

Open CorelDraw.

Select a paper size of A3.

Drag the saved image into CorelDraw.

Change the image size to 31mm by 41mm. You should click the Lock button before doing this.

Show the Transformations toolbar: Alt+F7

Click on the image.

Calculate the Horizontal Offset as: Width of one photo + 5mm (36mm), and choose 8 as the number of coloumns.

Apply the transformation.

You should now get a row of multiple images. Delete extra images that cross the page border. Or add more numbers if they dont fill the page.

Select all the images with Ctrl + A.

Calculate the Vertical offset as the negative value of: Height of one photo + 5mm (46mm), and choose 9 as the number of rows.

Apply the transformation.

You should now get a grid of many images.

Export for Office:

File>Export for Office>

  • Export to: MS Office
  • Graphic should be best suited for: Compatibility
  • Optimized for: Commercial printing

Click Ok and Select a name for the .png file.

For Stamp size printing:

Image size: 2cm by 2.5cm, ie 20mm x 25mm

Transformation offset:

Horizontal: 25mm

Vertical: -30mm

To Export as PDF:

File>Publish to PDF

PDF Preset: Prepress


To preserve DPI, before dragging an image to CorelDraw, first open it in Corel Photopaint, save as .cpt file, and drag this file to CorelDraw.

You are reading this post on Joel G Mathew’s tech blog. Joel's personal blog is the Eyrie, hosted here.