Creating a Contact Sheet in Lightroom

by | Royal Photographic Society, Tutorials

Creating a Hanging Plan / Contact Sheet

The 2 most common ways of creating a contact sheet / hanging plan are using Lightroom or using Photoshop. To save confusion between the 2 methods I have done a separate blog post for each.Creating a hanging plan in Photoshop AND Creating a Contact Sheet in Lightroom.

Create a contact sheet in Lightroom

(For the purpose of this post I have used 10 images as per the Licentiate requirements for the RPS)

All your images should be named as numbers in the order in which they are to hang. For simplicity I stick to 1 – 10. Alternatively you could choose row number followed by image number i.e. 1-2, 1-3 etc for those on row 1 and 2-1, 2-2 etc for row 1 images but that could lead to confusion.

Put all the images you want on the contact sheet in to one folder on your computer.

Open Lightroom and go to the folder that contains your images, then slect the Print module to create the contact sheet.

On the left hand side click on Page Setup, set the printer setup to landscape orientation as this automatically resets the page layout in LR to landscape.


Now move over to the  right hand panel to make your adjustments.

In the Layout Style section select Single Image / Contact Sheet. Then, select all the photos with Edit > Select All. Alternatively, you can choose All Filmstrip Photos in the Use option beneath the preview area.

At least one image should now be visible on the contact sheet.

In the Image Settings section, deselect Rotate to Fit, this ensure landscape images remain in landscape and portrait images remain as portraits.

Add a stroke border, this is personal preference but does give the contact sheet a finished look.

Adjust the Rows and Columns sliders in the Page Grid so more than one photo is printed on each page. 2 rows of 5 images is perfect for a hanging plan with 10 images. I also like to add a little Cell Spacing too so the images are not on top of each other. There’s no right or wrong settings here. Dial in what feels good to you, just be wary of making your thumbnails too small.


Moving down to Guides and Show guides, again this is all down to personal but for a hanging plan I tend to switch the Guide lines off.

Next, move down to the Page section of the right hand pane. I add the Filename to the contact sheet by ticking Photo Info.


Print Job gives you the option to print your contact sheet immediately OR save it to the HDD to print at a later date.


Selecting Printer will bring up the printer details.



Selecting JPG File will allow you to make changes to the file properties you want to save the image. Click Print to File and the Save As properties dialogue box opens allowing you to chose where you save the image.


HINT: Save A Print Template

Once you have the settings you’re happy with it’s a good idea to save your layout as a print template. In the left pane, click the plus icon next to Template Browser, give the template a name and hit save. The next time you need a contact sheet with the exact same layout, you’ll have it to hand 🙂


In the next post I shall give a little insight in what happens at an RPS advisory day.

** Disclaimer Notice: Please note that the views and observations in this series of posts are purely my own and are not in any way, shape, or form sanctioned by the Royal Photographic Society, The Societies or any of the other photographic organisations or associations. So please check the criteria of your chosen organisation before submitting for your qualification – Good Luck.


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