How to Make a Digital Photo Collage

by Richard Kalinowski

Digital cameras have followed a steady trend of increased performance and decreased costs, according to a Forbes article by Stephen Manes. This trend has led to a dramatic increase in the number of consumers using digital photography in place of traditional film-based photography. As cameras go digital, so do family photo arrays and creative collages. With growing collections of digitized images, you may be looking to get in on this creative process. Now, even novice computer users can create intriguing photo collages with just a few steps.

Go to and click one of the download links at the bottom of the page to get your free copy of Paint.NET photo editing software.

Right-click on the recently downloaded file. Select "Extract All" and then click on the extracted EXE file to begin installing Paint.NET.

Click through on screen prompts to complete the automatic install process. Restart your computer. It is always a good idea to restart after installing a new program.

Open Paint.NET by double-clicking on the desktop icon once your computer has booted back up.

Hold "Ctrl" and "N" to bring up a new, blank image template. You will be prompted to input values for the template's size; adjust the size to match your collage dimensions.

Minimize Paint.NET and open one of your photographs in Microsoft Paint, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, QuickTime Picture Viewer, or another image viewer program of your choice.

Copy the photograph by selecting it and holding "Ctrl" and "C."

Reopen the Paint.NET window and paste the photograph by pressing "Ctrl" and "V." When the photo is pasted onto the template, you can re-size the image by clicking and dragging the small bubbles at the corners of the image, and you can reposition the image by clicking and holding the mouse on the image itself.

Repeat Steps 6 through 8 until you've pasted all your photographs into Paint.NET, adjusting the size and position of each photograph to fit your collage layout.

Hold down "Ctrl" and "S" to save the completed Paint.NET digital photo collage.

Items you will need

About the Author

Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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