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Adobe Acrobat: Proofing a Large Doc on a Small-Format Printer

by David R. Mankin

You want a big sign!  Nothing permanent, but you’d like to make a quick, VERY large printout.  Your printer, however, can’t accommodate paper larger than legal size.  Let me show you how to print a “normal-sized” document to larger proportions… using Acrobat!

The print dialog box in Acrobat is one of the most flexible and thorough I’ve ever seen.  If you think about it, it would have to be feature-rich, since professional print shops accept PDF files as press-ready media.  The secret to printing a PDF file to a desired size is in the Page Scaling dropdown.  To print an 8.5 X 11 inch page to poster size, you’ll change the Page Scaling option to Tile all pages.  Next, select a desired Tile Scale percentage.  In my example, I chose 200%.  The print preview on the right shows exactly how the pages will be imposed onto (in this example) 6 letter-sized pages.  I kept the default Overlap of 0.005 inches, but you can dial in whatever you’d like.  All that’s left is to print and assemble your pages like a puzzle – either with tape, glue stick, etc.  That was easy.  You can use the page scaling options to print multiple pages per sheet of paper as well.

Adobe Acrobat: Tiling large docs on a small-format printer

So it seems you can either save the environment by printing a document on fewer sheets, or ruin our planet for future generations by making posters out of letter-sized PDF files.  So much power in your hands from one dialog box!

Who knew?  If that type of print page scaling flexibility came as a surprise, you might want to consider signing up for some training. Learn what PDF technology is all about… and how to use Acrobat 9 to create, edit & enhance your PDF files.  I offer training classes in Adobe Acrobat 9, either in your facility or online.

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2 thoughts on “Adobe Acrobat: Proofing a Large Doc on a Small-Format Printer

  1. Thanks for the great ideas on printing out a pdf file in miniature!. I only wish that it was possible to type into and amend a pdf without having to pay adobe for an upgrade-is that right?


    1. Jane: If you are using the free download of Adobe Reader, you won’t be able to modify a PDF. To make modifications and enhancements to a PDF, you need to purchase Adobe Acrobat Standard, Professional, or Professional Extended.