Photo printing is not user-friendly and often broken

Registered by Till Kamppeter

Printing office documents, e-mails, and web pages usually just works. You simply click File -> Print, usually do not change any parameters, and your document comes out on A4 or Letter paper. If you open a photo manager or editor application and want to print photos like you get them from the lab (usually one picture filling one page) it gets ugly: In GNOME applications (shotwell, f-spot, GIMP, ...) you have to click File -> Page Setup, choose the printer and then the desired paper size, after that you click File -> Print, choose all other printing-relevant parameters, and then finally click "Print". In KDE programs (digikam) you have to set the four margins manually to zero to print borderless, geeqie does not get the printer parameters from CUPS, ... In addition, the printing functions of photo applications are not well tested. In Maverick, f-spot immediately crashes when sending a print job and GIMP sends blank pages.

Blueprint information

Martin Pitt
Till Kamppeter
Needs approval
Series goal:
Accepted for natty
Milestone target:
Started by
Till Kamppeter
Completed by
Martin Pitt


shotwell doesn't easily allow specifying paper size (in the print dialog the widget is disabled)
general GTK printing architecture problem
you can only select relative size
paper size can be set in "Page Setup"

eog: no separate "Page Setup" menu entry, it's integrated into dialog, and paper size combobox is enabled:

upstream: hasn't been first priority so far, since most people just published it to the web; would like to get input about which features people want

= Open Printing Dialog =
There is funding for it and completion is in June 2011, so it looks like 11.10.

Work Items:
[seb128] check with GNOME guys why paper size widget is disabled by default -; (Not having a "Page Setup" dialog and having Page Size and Orientation settable in the "Print" dialog is at least supported upstream, so we can modify the photo applications): POSTPONED
[tkamppeter] Created a patch to solve the problem in shotwell, see bug #677575: DONE
[tkamppeter] report bug to shotwell upstream, if ^ turns out to be intended (fixed in upstream svn): DONE
[bilalakhtar] SRU the upstream GIMP patch of LP bug #636329 to maverick: DONE
Fix all the linked bugs: TODO


Work Items