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By: Danette Mckay
Printing digital photos can be done in many ways. One way you could download the digital photos to your computer and choose the ones you like burn on a CD and take them to a photo printing shop. DPOF however makes photo printing more easy.

DPOF is a industry practice that was introduced by a consortium of digital camera and printer manufacturers. DPOF was planned the make photo printing easier and faster.

DPOF abbreviation is for Digital Print Order Format. The plan behind DPOF is to make the process of choosing which photos to print and printing them much easier and faster. If your camera can create DPOF then you can choose the photos you would like to print and the number of copies directly on your camera. This data is also known as the print order and is saved in the cameras digital memory card in special files. At another time you can take the memory card with the photos and the DPOF data to any printing service that supports DPOF and it would automatically print the photos based on the DPOF print order data. Another option is for you could plug the memory card to a photo printer that supports DPOF and print all the photos that you chose with a single push of a button.

DPOF is capable of doing much more than just point which photos to print and in how many copies. You can also specify additional data such as a photo title text, photo orientation, print paper size and more. Other useful information can be added: your contact information address and your camera settings when taking the photo. All that information can make printing easier for example you can drop off a memory card with any printing service and they can know exactly which photos to print, in how many copies on what paper sizes and in what orientation. They also have your contact information where they can reach you when the prints are ready or if there is any problem.

Not all digital cameras support DPOF and the cameras that do support DPOF are different in their level of support. For example the smallest support would be for choosing which photos to print and in how many copies while more elaborate support would be for enabling other data such as title photo title text, paper size, contact information and more.

DPOF was expanded to support more than digital photo printing. Examples of new features enabled by DPOF: you can choose photos to be emailed as file attachment. The usage is very similar to choosing which photos to print but instead of printing the photos when you plug your memory card to your computer special software reads the DPOF data and emails the photos you have selected to the designated email addresses.

DPOF is not a must have feature but a good option if you want to save some time and make photo printing easier. Many digital cameras support DPOF but most users do not known of it and are not using it. Check if your camera supports DPOF and learn how to use it to your benefit.

Danette Mckay is a well known author. Read more here digital photo printing about this and other subject.
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