Saturday, December 17, 2011

Printing PDF Files to Scale

In various discussion boards I have encountered numerous comments regarding inability to print out pdf pattern files to the correct scale.  I think the main reason is that people overlook a sneaky little thing that Acrobat Reader does when you want to print.

First, don’t print the file through your web browser.  Some browser settings can interfere and cause the file to print to the wrong scale.  Always save the file first.  Usually right click and save file or save page as does the trick here.

  • Open the file.  Either click on the Acrobat Reader’s print icon or go to File and Print.
  • A window pops up like shown in Figure 1 below.  
  • In the middle of it is a Page Handling section. 
    • I have pulled down the Page Scaling menu.  Often Reader will default to Shrink to printable area.  Notice the word shrink – that’s what it does.  Always select None, as shown in the Figure.  Now print it out.  Measure it several ways - it should be to scale.

Figure 1: Acrobat Reader's Print window.  Note the page scaling.  Make sure to select none!

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