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PDF Tile Printer

What is this?

Sometimes it's very useful to be able to print oversized PDF files on standard sheets of paper. Many programs support this "tiling" internally, but they don't always have all the options you want/need, or have other drawbacks (for instance, Adobe Acrobat does tile printing very well, but you have to buy an expensive product just to print in tiled mode!)

This conversion facility will take a PDF file of any page size and convert it into a multi-page PDF of your specified print paper size. For example, if you have a PDF of a 40"x25" page (which I do for my instrument panel design), you can tile it into an output PDF where each page is 7.5"x10" (8.5x11, less 0.5" margins on all sides). You can then print out these pages, cut along the crop marks with a straight edge to their final sizes, and tape them together to produce a final poster of any size! This is especially ideal for converting large Inkscape or other drawings into printable form.

For an example, check out the before and after for my Cozy MKIV instrument panel template:

The reason PDF is so important is print size accuracy. If you draw a 20" square in Inkscape, save the file as a PDF, then use this program, your final measurement will still be exactly 20". That's extremely important if you're drawing instrument panels or other artwork that needs to be printed accurately. (I've heard of it being used for sewing patterns, drawings of model aircraft, and standard posters - if you have an innovative use, please use the contact form and let me know!)

Usage Notes

  1. To prevent abuse, there is a size limit of 10MB on the uploaded PDF to tile.
  2. Output pages are produced in your specified page size minus your specified margin on all sides. When you print it, make sure you select the options "Page Scaling: None" and "Auto-Rotate and Center" to obtain accurate prints.
  3. Pages are printed with an overlap, which also defines the placement of the crop/cut marks. I recommend the default of 0.5", which seems to work well for most users. If you cut only two of the four sides of each sheet, the extra overlap can be used as a taping surface to add some strength to the joints.
  4. The converter only supports PDF files up to recent (but not bleeding-edge) versions of Acrobat.

Watermarks?

Files are produced with a commercial library called PDFlib that puts a watermark on the output until it is purchased. I used to ask for donations toward the purchase of this library, and thank you to all who donated! Unfortunately, the donations did not even cover hosting fees, let alone PDFlib's cost ($2200). If you've recently won the lottery, please use the contact form above if you'd be willing to be a sponsor of this service. Otherwise, bear with the watermark - you're already getting more than you paid for!