3 Steps to a Perfect Print Proportion Zoom Percentage

with 16 Comments


Perfect Print Proportion Zoom Percentage… whew, that is a mouthful! But, it’s not nearly as geeky as it sounds and it can totally change the way you scrap!

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to find the sweet spot for making the size of the page on your screen match the size of the page when printed. This has many benefits, some of which I’ll explain below.

For this tutorial you will need:

  • Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements


Is This You?

You work hard on a super cool scrapbook page. You LOVE it! You upload it to your online gallery. You show it off to your online friends. You take the time to upload it to an online printer and wait excitedly for the day of its return.

It finally comes in the mail… It’s ugly. The shadows are harsh and the staples are the size of Utah!

This is not an unusual occurrence. After all, what you see on your computer screen is often WAY smaller than the final product, and it can cause big problems.

The first time time this happened to me — I set off to make sure it never happened again. This is what I did…


Step One: Open a Document & Turn On the Rulers

NOTE: This tutorial is designed for documents using 300 ppi, which is the standard for any material you intend to print.

  • Open a scrapbook page (File > Open) or any digital document. The dimensions of the project do not matter.
  • In the Menu Bar, choose View > Rulers.

Note: This tutorial is written specifically for documents measured in inches. If you need to adapt to centimeters, the concepts still apply.


Step Two: Adjust the View Percentage To Match the Ruler

You may need help with this step; it can be a bit of a Twister match! It can also be tedious and slightly time consuming, but keep in mind that you only need to follow these instructions once, then you are good to go!

First we’ll get the ruler alignments CLOSE.

  • Get an actual ruler out of your drawer and hold it up to your monitor right below the document’s ruler. (see the screenshot below)
  • Press the Ctrl + or – (Mac: Cmd + or -) until the inch marks on the actual ruler COME CLOSE to aligning with the inch marks on the document’s ruler.

Then, we’ll get ruler alignments nearly PERFECT.

  • Click on the Zoom Percentage at the bottom of the document to highlight it.
  • Press the Up or Down Arrow keys to change the percentage one percent at a time until the inch marks on the actual ruler align with the inch marks on the document’s ruler. You will need to press Enter or Return to see the result of each percentage adjustment.

You will likely not be able to get it EXACT, and that’s okay. Don’t sweat it.


Step Three: Jot It Down

  • When you’ve got the rulers aligned, go ahead and put down your actual ruler. Whew! That was a LONG time to have your arm hangin’ in the air, wasn’t it??
  • Find the prettiest little sticky note you own and jot down the Zoom Percentage that is displayed in the Status Bar.

Use Your Zoom Percentage

  • Open a scrapbook page or other digital document that is 300 ppi.
  • At the bottom of the document, click on the Zoom Percentage and enter YOUR perfect number.

This percentage is good for:

  • Seeing if your journaling is readable. You want your journaling to be small, but not so small that you cannot read it. Remember, you are setting the size of your journaling so you can read it on the printed page, not so you can read from the small image you post in online galleries.
  • Getting the size of elements in proportion with real life. This could include things like staples, paper clips, buttons, tags, sequins, ribbons, bows, flowers, etc.

MY Percentage VS YOUR Percentage

  • 73% is my Perfect Print Proportion Zoom Percentage. There’s a really good chance that it will NOT be yours. Your computer screen will likely be configured differently than mine. It all depends on resolution and/or size.

Disclaimer: The term “Perfect Print Proportion Zoom Percentage” is a TOTALLY made up term.


Thanks to my zoom percentage being set just right, the journaling on my scrapbook page was the perfect size when I printed it out and put it in my scrapbook album.


Page: Play All Day by Jen White
Photos: Jen White
Templates: Scrap It Now Vol.3
Kit: Musings by Etc By Danyale
Fonts: DJB Annalise, Alfa Slab One, Angelique





Author: Jen White | Contact Us
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16 Responses

  1. Chris Anderson
    | Reply

    thank you

  2. Cindy
    | Reply

    Thank you very much for this information, Jen. Mine is 52%. But how can I adjust the zoom percentage if I print my layouts on 8in x 8in?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Great question, Cindy. The zoom percentage will work with any printed document — cards, envelopes, and pages. The dimensions of your document does not matter. What matters is that you are zoomed in and seeing the document as it would look in real life size. Does that help?

      • Cindy
        | Reply

        Yes! I resized my page to 8×8 and made sure that I can read the journalling on 52% zoom percentage before printing. Thanks again for this great tutorial, Jen!

  3. Charlotte
    | Reply

    So useful! Thank you, Jen.

  4. Catherine Lamb
    | Reply

    Mine turned out to be 33.33% which seems wierd, but the rulers matched perfectly. THANKS

  5. Renee
    | Reply

    A GREAT reminder as I am now working on a different screen than when I did this a few years ago. Thanks so much for this Encore tutorial! Keep them coming!!

  6. Joyce K
    | Reply

    Now I will finally know how my page will look when printed! Thanks so much Jen!

  7. Lynn Gerard
    | Reply

    Awesome job Jen!! Thanks for all you do.

  8. Terri Fullerton
    | Reply

    I had forgotten about doing this. Such a great reminder!!

  9. Jenifer
    | Reply

    Such good info!!! Love it! 🙂

  10. Linda Holden
    | Reply

    Jen, Thank you so much. Very helpful.

  11. Vivian
    | Reply

    I cannot thank you enough for this tutorial. Way too often things have looked perfectly fine on my screen but look horrible when actually printed out. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU.

  12. Diana
    | Reply

    What a great tutorial. Thank you so much!

  13. Jessie Trotter
    | Reply

    This is great information. I remember when it first came out. It changed everything for me and things started looking great instead of all out of proportion! Thanks for the reminder. I have a new computer and I may need to do this again.

  14. Bill Burns
    | Reply

    Very useful to know, Jen. Thank you.

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