How to print perfect pictures poster-size

Use free software to improve your favourite snaps

You don’t need an oversize printer to produce large prints of your photos. A number of software programs can split an image into A4 sections that can be printed out and stitched together. Easy Poster Print offers this function for free, while several other packages have free trials.

Of course, printing an image at poster size isn’t as simple as it sounds. Tiny blemishes in your shots will be magnified, as will any problems with exposure, colour balance and so on. Since even DIY poster-printing is relatively expensive, you’ll want to get it looking good first time round.

But don’t just correct the obvious: if you experiment with colour levels, shadows and midtones, you can make an otherwise average photo come to life. Some photos – and their subjects – are crying out for special treatment. Consider applying a filter such as watercolour to make your image look as though it’s been printed on to a canvas.

Many of these tweaks can be conducted using free software, such as Picasa and open-source The Gimp. We’ve used the latter to beautify our snaps before printing them as posters. Follow our advice to make your favourite snaps even better, then print out huge versions for all to admire.

Edit your photos for printing

Step 1. Download and install The Gimp. Once the installation is complete, launch the program and browse to the image you want to edit. Click the File menu in the main window, select Open and choose the file you want from the Explorer window. Press Open.

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Step 2. The first step is to check the image is correctly aligned. If your image opens on its side, click Image, Transform and choose to rotate the image 90 degrees clockwise or anticlockwise. If the image still appears slightly wonky, again click Image, Transform, but this time enter a smaller value to rotate the image.

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Carrie-Ann Skinner

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