How to print small photos (say, 4cm x 4cm)

If you have a photo you want to put into a small frame, you may struggle finding a print company that print photos smaller than 15cm x 10cm (6″x4″).

The simple answer is to create add a white border to your jpeg and print that. Then you can just trim the edges off the print. I just tried this and it was harder than I would have liked. If you open your photo in some software and expand the canvas, you’ll find it will start eating lots of memory. On my little laptop it became impossible to use.

Update: Much easier way with new free website:


You can use that site for any size frame like 2″x2″ or whatever. Simple!


If you like pain, here’s the old command-line way:

  1. Install imagemagick. It’s free and very powerful.
  2. Open a command prompt (on windows: Start > Run > “cmd”)
  3. Type the following command (replace the path to convert.exe and input.jpg filename as necessary):

“C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-6.6.0-Q16\convert.exe” input.jpg -border 137.5%x75%  output.jpg

This example only work with square input photos. Here’s a table to help you work out how to print other sizes. If you have a size you want me to add, just drop a comment.

input ratio desired print size border to add print size to order
1:1 4cm x 4cm 137.5%x75% 15cm x 10cm
3:2 6cm x 4cm 75%x75% 15cm x 10cm

20 thoughts on “How to print small photos (say, 4cm x 4cm)”

  1. You idiot. Where’s the web page where I put in “size of photo I want” and “size of print available” and it spits out the command line to copy-and-paste?… with affiliate links to photobox for £££!

  2. Yeah, that would work if I had thousands* of readers…

    I thought I might knock up a site where you just upload your photos, choose your desired print size, then pay me and I’ll get photobox to post you the prints.

    *more than one

  3. Just want to say a big thanks; I knew there’s be a way using convert – but wasn’t thinking straight (tired) and wasn’t sure how. Just got my photos ordered from snapfish and looking forward to their arrival.

    Thanks again!

  4. Hi Andy, thanks for letting me know.

    In my last comment I threatened to knock up a website to solve this problem. That’s what I did! (I wrote

    If you haven’t already, take a look at that site and let me know what you think

  5. Hi

    I’m happy to order through your site but it doesn’t seem to allow me to order more than 1 at a time. Obviously I don’t want to pay the delivery charge 20 odd times?

    Any advice?

    1. Hi Lauren,
      When you’re on the checkout page there should be a button on the left labelled “Upload more” that will allow you to add multiple photos to the same order.

      Please let me know if is not working for you.


      1. Hi ive tried your link i need a photo to be 5cmx5cm it allowes me to do it but wont go in the basket and only gives option to download it as 6×4 ? Any advice please. Thank you

  6. Fair play to you Matt if you’re using Photobox once a customer has made the adjustments to their pics.

    I tried to crop on Photobox myself but can only do it using pixels as the measurement – is is there another way?

    1. Nah, not photobox, OddPrints uses large commercial labs directly in the UK and US.

      That way customers don’t get photobox branding all over their prints!

  7. Odd prints I’d great, exactly what I was looking for. Can’t seem to zoom or crop the pic though which would be a fab feature. Obviously when your printing a small photo it’s nice to zoom in a bit. If there is a way to do it and I’m missing it please let me know 🙂

    1. You can zoom and crop and rotate etc, but only on modern browsers. Should work in latest versions of Chrome, FF, Safari and IE.

  8. Hi, can I use Odd Prints to order prints sized 3×4″ but also cut to size?
    I don’t think I’d do a very good job cutting them myself. I think it is an excellent site I’ve been searching all over the net to find somewhere that prints in this awkward size!

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