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How to Make a Contact Sheet

by TurboCollage Team

A contact sheet made from pictures of a female model

A contact sheet made from pictures of a model.

Contact Sheets, sometimes known as proof sheets, contact prints, and index sheets, put together thumbnails of photos from a photoshoot, a holiday, or an event.

A contact sheet is an essential tool for photographers. It provides a quick overview of the photos and allows them to identify which ones to print or edit. A contact sheet can also be passed to clients to select the best pictures.

How do you make a contact sheet?

In this post, we will show you how to make two types of contact sheets — simple sheets where thumbnails are rectangular and those where thumbnails are in a particular shape.

Before we get started, download and install TurboCollage. It takes less than a minute to download and complete the installation. Download here.

Make a Simple Contact Sheet

Let us look at the steps to design a contact sheet similar to the one shown below.

A contact sheet made from photos of a female model wearing a hat and posing in many ways.

A contact sheet made from photos of a female model wearing a hat and posing in many ways.

Steps to design a contact sheet:

1. Open TurboCollage. Select the Picture Grid pattern and set an output size for your collage. 

Screenshot of TurboCollage highlighting the controls used to select Picture Grid pattern and to set an output size.

Screenshot of TurboCollage highlighting the controls used to select the Picture Grid pattern and to set an output size.

2. Add pictures that you want to appear on your sheet.

Screenshot of TurboCollage highlighting the control used to add pictures to the contact sheet.

Screenshot of TurboCollage highlighting the control used to add pictures to the contact sheet.

3. Set Fit Pictures to Inside. This ensures that the pictures are not cropped. Also, modify the number of rows and columns per the requirement; I have used 3 rows and 6 columns to accommodate the 18 images used in this example.

Screenshot of TurboCollage highlighting the control used modify the number of rows and columns.

Screenshot of TurboCollage highlighting the controls used to modify the number of rows and columns and the control to ensure that pictures don't get cropped in the contact sheet.

4. Set the Background Color to Black. Turn Draw Shadows off. Reduce Border Width to a minimum and modify Spacing as per requirement. These are optional, and you may change these steps as you like.

You can sort the photos by name or modification time using the control at the bottom.

Screenshot of TurboCollage showing control to change background color and to sort photos.

Screenshot of TurboCollage highlighting the control used to change the background colour. Notice the sort pictures control at the bottom.

5. To manually rearrange photos, you can drag a picture to change its position as shown below: 

Animation showing how to drag a picture to change its position.

6. Export the created contact sheet to a JPG image that you can print, email, or share.

Here’s a video that demonstrates the creation of a contact sheet:

Tweet This Contact Sheet Making Method

Make a Contact Sheet with Thumbnails in a given Shape

Contact Sheet

Steps to design a contact sheet with thumbnails in a given shape:

1. Open TurboCollage and set your collage to use the Advanced Pile pattern.

2. Add pictures that you want to appear on your sheet. By default, images are set in a circle shape.

Placeholder Picture

3. Select all your pictures to use a shape using the tool shown in the screenshot below. In this case, we use an octagon shape.

Placeholder Picture

4. Use the “spreadout to regular arrangement” control at the bottom, as shown below.

Placeholder Picture
Tweet This Contact Sheet Making Method

You can learn more about creating collages with shapes here.

Don’t forget to email your comments and suggestions to apps@silkenmermaid.com

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TurboCollage comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.