You’ve got an A4 printer and you want to print a picture so that it completely covers the A4 sheet. It’s a reasonable request, but it can be tricky – or even impossible – to achieve depending on your printer and the software you’re using.
Here, we’ll explain what you need to do to print pictures at just the right size.
Borderless printing limitations
Unless you have a ‘photo’ printer, you might be stuck with small white borders around the edge of the picture even if the print preview in software shows it completely covering the paper.
That’s because a lot of printers simply don’t support ‘borderless printing’. So, you need to check your printer’s manual, or dig around in the Printing Properties settings to see if you can enable fully borderless printing.
Each printer manufacturer tends to design its own print options software, so they’re all different. Hunt around in the various tabs and see if you can find a ‘Borderless’ tickbox, or a print mode. It may even be listed as a paper size in its own right.
To get to the printer properties, use the Start menu search box to find ‘Printers’, or open the Control Panel and go to Hardware and Sound, then find printers.
Right-click on the appropriate printer if there’s more than one in the list, and choose Properties (or Open if you’re using Windows 10). If this brings up a basic-looking Windows dialog with no options, it’s probably because you haven’t installed the printer drivers and Windows is using its own.
In that case, you need to go to the manufacturer’s website and download the correct drivers for your version of Windows.
Also check out our troubleshooting tips for when your printer won't print.
How do I print a picture in Windows?
There are lots of applications which can print pictures, including Word and PowerPoint, Microsoft Paint and Photoshop.
But you can print from Windows Explorer (File Explorer in later versions of Windows).
Simply find the picture you want to print, right-click on it and choose Print. Note that you can select multiple pictures to print at once if you want to print a collage or more than one per sheet of A4.
Now you’ll see the Print Pictures wizard. Here you can choose the printer, paper size and – most importantly, what size you want the picture to appear on the sheet.
By default ‘Full page photo’ is selected, and there’s a tick box at the bottom that automatically crops the photo to fit the paper if its aspect ratio doesn’t match (which it probably won’t).
There’s also an Options… link at the bottom right which lets you access the printer properties to change other settings, such as the paper type (you might be printing a photo on glossy paper, but by default, it will think you’re using plain paper).
When you’re ready, click Print.
If you prefer to use Word, you can insert your picture a couple of ways. Also, in 'Page Setup' you can reduce all the margins to 10mm and ignore offers from Word to resize the margins when you close the window.
One method to insert a picture into Word is to copy your image. Then open the Word document into which you want to paste it and in the Edit menu choose Paste Special.
In later versions of Word with the Ribbon, the Paste tool is the first one in the Home tab. Here, you don’t need to use Paste Special – just click the Paste icon.
If you’re using an older version, in the Paste Special menu choose 'Picture' and OK. The picture will appear. Click on it to highlight then click on 'Format' in the Word toolbar and in the drop-down menu click on 'Picture' or 'Object' (they are alternatives depending on the origin of the image).
In the resulting dialogue box click on the 'Wrapping' tab and set your choice to 'Square'. Select the dimension boxes for 'Top, Bottom, Left, Right' to something suitable, like 0.4cm and click OK.
Use the corner handles on your image to drag it to the size you want by eye, it will retain its proportions, and if you want to add text this will surround the image as you type because of the 'Wrapping' feature.
The other way is to open your Word document and click on Insert on the tool bar (or Ribbon). Choose 'Picture' and then ‘From file’, then navigate to the image.
Again, if you’re using a later version, just go straight to the image you want. Click OK. The image will appear the right size in your document and you can then 'Format' it for Word Wrapping as before and resize it to suit.
Both these methods work well, the copy-andpaste method is more convenient when you are actually working on an image and have it in your image editor there in front of you, and the 'Insert' method is best for ready-to-print photos already saved in a folder.