Personalised eTray™ Laptop Trays FAQ

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Frequently asked questions for personalised eTrays?

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 is like.

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 that.

My image file is larger than 5MB. What are the alternatives to email?

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 ( 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 confirmation email.

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 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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