How to Print a Picture for a Locket

By Alan Sembera

When you print a picture for a locket, you want your loved one to look her best. But if you shrink your image file using normal methods, you may end up with a fuzzy or grainy picture that looks nothing like the original. The key to a printing a high-quality locket picture is to reduce the print size without altering the original file. You can accomplish this using almost any image editing application: You can even use Paint or Microsoft Word. For the best results, start with an original photo that hasn't been reduced in size.

Windows Paint

Step 1

Open the original image file in the Paint application that comes with Windows. Using Paint to print a locket-sized picture requires a little extra work because you have to manually calculate the scaling percentage.

Step 2

Click the "File" menu and select "Properties." Change the units on the File Properties dialog box to inches, so that Paint displays the physical dimensions instead of the pixel size. Make a note of the image's width and height, and then close the dialog box.

Step 3

Calculate the percentage needed to reduce the image to a size that fits in the locket. To find the correct percentage, divide the locket size by the original image size. For example, if you want to print an image that is one inch wide, and the original image is six inches wide, divide one by six for a result of 0.17, or 17 percent. If you're feeling lucky (or you really don't like math), just take a guess at the correct percentage and proceed by trial and error.

Step 4

Click the "File" menu again and hover your mouse over the "Print" option. Select "Page Setup" to open the Page Setup dialog box. From here, enter the percentage in the "Adjust To" field and click "OK." You can now print the scaled down version of the photo without losing quality.

Microsoft Word

Step 1

Open a blank Word document, but don't insert the image just yet. You must first change the program settings to prevent Word from automatically compressing the image, which usually results in a loss of quality.

Step 2

Change the settings by clicking the "File" menu and selecting "Options." Select the "Advanced" tab, and then scroll down to the Image Size and Quality section. Check the box next to "Do Not Compress Images in File," and then click "OK." This change applies only to the current document; if you create a new document for printing a locket picture, you will need to change this setting again.

Step 3

Insert the original image file into the blank document. To insert an image, select the "Insert" tab, select the "Pictures" command from the ribbon, and then select the image filename.

Step 4

Right-click the image on the page and select "Size and Position." Word opens the Layout dialog box, which shows you the current size of the image in inches. Select the "Size" tab and then change the "Height" or "Width" settings to a size that will fit in the locket. Click "OK." You can now print the smaller image without any loss in quality.

Other Image Editing Applications

Step 1

Open the original image file in an image editing application such as GIMP, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel PaintShop Pro.

Step 2

Access the image re-sizing controls for your application. In GIMP, select "Print Size" from the Image menu. In Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or PaintShop Pro, select "Image Size" from the Image menu. The resulting dialog box shows you the current dimensions and resolution of the image.

Step 3

Change the units of measurement to inches if necessary. When making the changes in the next step, it is important that you are working in inches (or centimeters) instead of pixels; otherwise, you will lose resolution and may end up with a fuzzy picture.

Step 4

Change the Width or Height settings to the size that fits your locket and then, if you are using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you must also uncheck the box next to "Resample Image" to prevent the application from reducing the resolution of the new image. Apply the change. You can now print the locket-sized image without a loss in quality.

Tips & Warnings

  • For best results, use photo paper designed for printing digital photos. The paper can be a little expensive, so consider printing on regular paper at first until you get the photo re-sized correctly. Also, photos printed with a laser printer are less susceptible to fading and water damage than those printed with an inkjet printer.
  • Information in this articles applies to Word 2010 and 2013; Photoshop CS4, CS5 and CS6; Photoshop Elements 9, 10, 11 and 12; and PaintShop Pro X6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.