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Save Time and Money with Online Print Services

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 7/5/2011

There are lots of advantages to getting professional prints online, including but not limited to getting prints for pennies a piece and ordering the prints directly from the Windows XP or Vista interface.

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    Online Prints

    Advantages Over Doing it at Home

    There are several advantages to getting your prints online, storing digital images online, and getting CDs and DVDs online. First, there’s no need for you to have the hardware. You also don’t have to learn to use Photoshop or another complicated image-editing software. You don’t have to fight with your CD or DVD burner for a good burn or purchase a large backup device for storage and archiving. You also don’t have to go out to deliver or pick up the prints, nor do you have to hope that your prints will be what you expected.

    Beyond the convenience (both monetary and physical), there are other, perhaps more important advantages. Pictures you get from a professional photo-processing outlet come on high quality photo paper, and are generally chemically coated, and they look like the regular 35-mm prints you’re used to. Prints from an inkjet printer aren’t usually as nice as what you’d get from a professional printer. Inkjet prints won’t last nearly as long, and aren’t protected from heat and liquids like professional prints. Chances are you already know you wouldn’t print out your son’s wedding pictures on your own inkjet printer; there are simply better options.

    Also, when you’re ready to order prints, the Web site will tell you if the digital images you are using are of high enough resolution for the print you want. You wouldn’t want to use an 800 X 600 resolution image to create an 8 X 10 glossy photograph. It wouldn’t look good, and it would be grainy. Web sites keep you up to date on any problems you’ll encounter from these types of issues.

    Finally, getting prints from an online retailer generally costs less than printing at home. Printing at home can cost as much as $1.00 a print when you take into consideration the specialty papers you have to purchase and the ink you’ll use. If you go with a high-quality professional paper, you can add a little to that price as well.

    Which Online Store Should You Choose?

    Once you’ve decided to order prints online, you’ll have to select a company. There are so many companies to choose from when ordering digital photos though, it’s often difficult to sort the good, from the bad, from the ugly. I’ll simply suggest here that you select an option offered by XP or Vista. You can be sure you’ll get in with a reputable company. Here are the options in Vista’s Photo Gallery. [Image 1]