When I bought my printer a couple of years ago, I was so excited to see the word “borderless” in some of the drop-down menus. However, when it came time to print my projects and photos, I noticed that either the edges were cut off, or there was a margin around the edge of my paper and my project was shrunk down.
The first time this became an issue for me was when I was printing the pages for a mint tin album. I had everything lined up perfectly on my 8.5 x 11 inch (letter sized) Photoshop canvas. I was excited because I fit everything onto one page, which meant that I would only have to use up one sheet of my precious photo paper. (I’m cheap, by the way.)
So, I printed on that precious photo paper, choosing every borderless option I could find on my printer’s drop down menus, and it STILL shrunk down the pages. That doesn’t quite work when your pages are sized perfectly to fit inside a little tin. I was frustrated, to say the least. That’s when I headed out to our wonderful digital scrapbooking online community to see if anyone had any suggestions for me.
One smart cookie suggested that I use an overlay and drag it to fit perfectly on an 8.5 x 11 inch Photoshop canvas, then play with the settings on my printer while printing my test runs on cheap printer paper. This would save on ink, and allow me to see if my printer was truly printing edge to edge. Great idea!
Another genius suggested that I could shrink down the Scaled Print Size to 98% or 97% until I figured out what setting I needed to make my page truly borderless without having my images run off the edge. Awesome suggestion!
I played around a bit, and eventually found a “formula” that works for me. Maybe it will work for you, too!
First of all, you need to make sure your printer actually DOES borderless printing. If it is an older printer, or a cheap printer or a copy machine, it might not even have the option. Check your manual to find out.
Let me tell you about my printer. It is an HP Photosmart C6180 All-In-One, and prints on standard sized (8.5 x 11 inch) paper, plus there is a special paper tray just for 4×6 photo paper. People always ask me about my printer because I am able to get really good prints from it! And, the ink is pretty cheap, too. There are 6 different ink cartridges: one black and 5 different colors. I can buy them at local discount stores (Rite-Aid, Walmart, Target) for $9.99 each for color and $19.99 for the larger black one. However, I usually buy my ink in value packs directly from the HP website. I get all 6 cartridges and 200 sheets of 4×6 photo paper for $35, and free next day shipping. I typically buy 2 packs a year (and you need to see my gallery to understand why!!). I’m not sure if they make my printer anymore (I doubt it), but I know that HP does make great printers that are similar, and probably cheaper, too!
As you can see, the circles at the top are almost touching the sides, and the box on the bottom is tucked all the way to the edges. I wouldn’t want to just stick with my regular printer settings for this project because then the edges might be cut off. So, let me show you what I do.
First, I go to File > Page Setup and make sure “Borderless 8.5×11” is chosen for my paper type.
Next, I go to File > Print, and my Photoshop printing screen pops up. I use PSE 6.0, but your screen should have the same features even if it looks a little different. (Click on the image to enlarge.)
Notice my settings. My print side is “Actual Size (8.5×11)”, and I have NOT checked “crop to fit” or “scale to fit”. I don’t like to see the bounding box, so that is unchecked as well. I don’t have to change anything on this page when I print, because if my Page Setup is correct, then the settings should be correct. If you need to play with your Page Setup settings, you can do that from this screen by clicking the button at the bottom.
This is where the magic happens. First, click on the “copies and pages” drop down menu, and choose “Borderless Printing”
That will bring up this page.
Make sure “Print Borderless” is checked and then slide the slider all the way to “Less”. I’m pretty sure this is what makes my projects truly borderless!
I do realize that not everyone has the same type of printer or software, but hopefully this little tutorial gave you some ideas on how to achieve a borderless page from your own printer. Just play with the settings and print on inexpensive copy paper until you get it right! Happy printing!