How to Print Posters on Regular Printers

Hobbyists and students can create large posters on the computer for a project, craft or gift. However, large-format printers are required to print the poster on oversized paper. Consider tiling the poster and printing on your home printer as an alternative to purchasing a large-format printer or sending the document to a printing service. Tiling breaks up the poster into multiple printed pages, without scaling down the image. Many newer color printers have a tiling option built into the printer drivers. The oversized image can also be exported and placed in a spreadsheet program, which prints across multiple pages.

Woman next to a printer
credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

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Direct to Printer

Step

Open the document (poster file) in the application and select the "Print" function (usually under "File" in the top menu bar).

Step

Select your desired printer from the printer list--in the "Printer" section of the Print dialog box.

Step

Click the "Properties" or "Set up" button and click the "Advanced" tab,

Step

Select the desired paper size of the poster from the drop down menu under "Paper size" in the "Paper/Output" section. If the desired paper size is not available, click the option, "Custom Size" and type the dimensions of the paper in the corresponding fields before clicking the "OK" button.

Step

Select "On" under "Tiling" in the "Document Options" section.

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Click the "OK" button to exit the Set up or Properties window.

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Preview the layout of the printout in the thumbnail image in the Print dialog box to confirm the distribution of tiled pages.

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Load the paper in the paper tray and click the "Print" button.

PDF

Step

Print the poster to a PDF file using a virtual PDF printer such as AdobePDF or CutePDF--by selecting the "Print" function, selecting the virtual PDF from the printer list and clicking the "Print" button. Make sure you save your PDF in an easily accessible location on your computer, such as your desktop.

Step

Launch Microsoft Excel and create a new spreadsheet.

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Select "Picture" under "Insert" in the top menu bar and select your PDF created in Step 1.

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Select "Print" under "File" in the top menu bar and select your printer from the printer list in the "Printer" section.

Step

Preview the tiled pages that will be generated,

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Load paper into the printer's paper tray and click the "Print" button.

Assembly

Step

Lay the poster board on a flat surface.

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Organize the tiled pages so that the edges of the printed design or image align. Trim the edges of the overlapping papers, if desired.

Step

Apply glue or tape to the back of the pages and affix the tiled papers to the board to create a large-sized poster.

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