Frequently asked questions for personalised
If you have any questions or need any information about the technical
side of having a personalised
eTray design made you should be able to find the answer below.
If your query isn't covered here please contact
us and ask – we are only too pleased to help.
How do I know that my photograph will print well at eTray size?
Generally speaking, as long as the picture looks good at the full
size of your computer screen then it will work as an eTray top.
But it is also true to say that the higher the resolution (the more
Megapixels your camera has), the sharper the result will be. Of
course, for this to be true, it is important that the picture is
sharply focused and not blurred from camera shake – what doesn't’t
look too bad on a small print will be obvious when it is blown up
to the size of a laptop tray.
Don’t let any of this put you off if you have only got a
picture from a phone camera. I have seen some excellent images come
from these, and there is a lot more to a great picture than just
getting the technical quality right. If you are in doubt about a
particular picture, email it to me and I will give you an honest
assessment of how it will print. See the post “Getting the
most from your personalised eTray print” in eTray News for
more advice on choosing and preparing an eTray image.
How will you make the photograph fit the eTray frame?
Digital cameras usually save digital photographs in the standard
4:3 format. This is a very different shape to our eTray sizes. Because
of this we usually have to modify the image in some way to make
it fit. In many ways it’s the same problem that TVs have when
they try to fit an old movie to a wide screen TV.
There are three choices available to us when we adjust an image:
crop it to size, add a border around the image, or (our least favorite
option) stretch it to fit. Sometimes we will use a combination of
all three methods if it seems appropriate.
We prefer to crop the image if possible, but we can usually only
do that if there is room at the top or bottom of the picture to
do it. Sometimes we can fake it, but that depends on what the background
If we have to add a border we will always pick a complementary
colour that exists already in the image.
My advice generally is to leave the problem to us. But if you have
any special preferences, or concerns, please let me know about them.
Which image file formats can you use?
We can open almost all digital image formats, but for photographs
I recommend that you use the JPG format that your camera produces.
It is compact, easy to email, and will provide first class results.
We can also open camera RAW files or Adobe’s DNG format
if your camera is capable of producing these. These provide us with
a little more flexibility when it comes to image processing and
that may mean we can get more detail in the print.
If you prefer to do your own image processing then you may want
to send us a TIFF file. To keep the file size to a minimum with
loosing details I recommend you use LZW compression when saving
the file. Even if you do this the file size may be above our 5MB
limit for email. If it is then see the question below regarding
alternative ways of sending the file.
We can accept vector type graphic output from a drawing program
in Adobe Illustrator CS, Corel Draw (up to X3) or just plain .EPS
format. If your drawing package won’t produce these, then
probably the most effective format for file transfer is PDF.
What physical size and resolution should the image be?
If you are producing your own artwork from a graphics program
then you may have the option of setting the image size and resolution
for printing yourself. The exact measurements for the different
eTray sizes are as follows:
- Standard – 292 mm x 537mm
- HD – 590 mm x 350 mm
If your graphics program will allow you to specify an output resolution
I recommend that you choose at least 200 dpi. We use 300 dpi for
our own graphic output because we have found that this provide the
best results, but there is no practical benefit in going beyond
My image file is larger than 5MB. What are the alternatives to
There are lots of different options for sending larger image files
to us. My first suggestion would be to try a file transfer service
such as YouSendit (https://www.yousendit.com/).
At the time of writing they will allow you to send a file of up
to 100MB completely free of charge. I have used them many times
and found the process to be reliable and secure.
Alternatively, you can copy the file to a USB data key (or a CD)
and put it in the post to me using the address provided on the sales
Where is the confirmation email for my purchase?
A confirmation email is sent to you automatically by Amazon as soon as the eTray purchase has been completed.
Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong, and the email doesn't
arrive. My first suggestion is that you check in your junk mail
folder to see if an overenthusiastic spam filter moved it there
(to avoid this happening in the future, add www.etray.co.uk to your
safe senders list).
If you can't find the email that way, then please get in contact,
confirming your correct email address, and I will send a replacement
to you straight away.
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