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How To Do Poster Creations In Color with YottaPrint Using Only Copy Services.
If you own YottaPrint you’ve created wall murals probably on 8.5 X 11 inch printer. Or you’re going to. Unless you own or have access to a large format printer or plotter you may have thought you were confined to small page sizes using YottaPrint to create a poster. This article will show you how to use YottaPrint loaded with your personal photos printed on high-quality oversized color paper without owning a large color printer.
This article is the first in a series that demonstrates the entire process of taking a photo from a smartphone and creating a huge wall poster presentation. This first article will show you how to do poster presentations easier and better using YottaPrint. The steps are as follows:
Print individual YottaPrint pages to high resolution PDF files (explained below)
Edit the PDF files in Photoshop or other PDF editing software to combine edge pieces (optional - explained below)
Send the PDF file to online copy or print service (FedEx or online such as this website)
Using a copy service you can print YottaPrint panels using ‘tabloid’ size pages which are 11" X 17" inches, likely quite a bit larger than the maximum capacity of your home printer. Also as I’ll demonstrate the price is very affordable, allowing you to create all the wall murals and posters you want of your own photos at a very low cost.
Obviously ‘tabloid’ size or larger YottaPrint panels will:
make construction faster and easier
improve the visual accuracy of the panel alignment
allow you to make a poster from a picture with fewer seams
be of higher visual quality because the ink and paper copy services offer can be adjusted
allow you to make more posters or even full wall murals without the cost of owning a high-end color printer
1. Printing individual YottaPrint pages to PDF files
If you don’t know this tip yet it can help you in many other areas of computing productivity. Can your computer “print to PDF”? If so you can skim this part as review but if not there is a free option to allow you to select
File > Print
. . . from most programs and have the option to choose PDF instead of an actual printer (see #1 in the graphic below). In latest versions of MS Word, you can also "Save as Adobe PDF" (see #2 below).
What happens when you print to a PDF printer? Choosing a PDF printer causes a dialog box to pop up where you need to do 3 things:
Choose a filename and location for the PDF file.
Choose the quality of the PDF file. To print a poster or wall mural, choose the highest resolution (largest file) setting that is available in the PDF printer dialog box.
Be able to find the PDF file you printed outside of the program that printed it.
Once you have your files created and you've located them on your hard drive, you're ready for the next step.
2. Edit PDF Files To Combine Edge Pieces
How To Make A Poster In Photoshop. If you own and know how to use photo software like Photoshop® that can edit PDF files you can use it to save money. If you don't own Photoshop this step is not necessary -- you'll just have to print out all panels generated in the previous step and the poster may cost a few dollars more. This step is only to save money on the printing.
Many photo posters will carve into panels that can be quite small on the vertical or horizontal edges inside YottaPrint. Printing these edges to PDF files reveals only a small part of the tabloid (or other size) page is used. When this happens load each of these edge PDF panels into your photo software program, cut and paste the pieces of graphic to fill pages and save the filled page with a new name. Most photo software programs allow saving in PDF format including Photoshop. Make sure to still choose the highest quality when saving this compiled page by checking “Options” or “Printer Properties” before saving.
3. Merge PDF Panel Files into One File
This step will depend on the ‘print to PDF’ software you have installed. The full version of Adobe Acrobat - a product that costs $100+ from the manufacturer - allows a broad range of PDF editing tools as you might expect. One of the tools inside Adobe Acrobat allows adding, deleting and repositioning pages into a single file. There are free programs that do the same thing, such as PDF Split and Merge (get your copy here). You can see a list of PDF merging programs and options here or by searching for “merge PDF files free.” Whether using a free program or you have purchased print-to-PDF software, print out your YottaPrint panels to a single file making sure to choose the highest quality print option the software will allow. Important tip: if the software gives you several ‘high quality’ printing options, print the PDF file out to all the options giving each test file a different file name. Save them in the same directory, then go to that directory and note which file is the largest size. That file (and its corresponding printing option) will most likely be the highest quality version. Note that option for the future.
4. Send the PDF File to an Online Copy or Print Service
You can either:
Send the PDF file to an online color copy service that will mail your panels back to you. One good example is here - there are many others. Just search Google (or other search engine) for terms like “tabloid color copies.” You’ll find prices per page dramatically increase, but you can order panels to make your huge wall poster larger than 11 X 17 inches. Google “large format copies” and you’ll find services that print panels in a variety of sizes.
Send the PDF file to a retail copy store. Staples®, Fedex Kinkos®, the UPS Store® and a number of others allow uploading PDF files to be printed, then you pick up the copies in the store.
Store the PDF file on a thumb or other portable USB drive and take it to a retail store for printing.
Once you have the printed copies in 11 X 17 or larger format you're ready to edge and assemble panels.
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