As someone who creates printables for my shop for a living I get quite a few questions regarding printing and resizing printables. Today is the first article in a series where I will be discussing getting the most out of the printables you buy or download for free.
The fantastic thing about printables is that you have the power of making them work better for you. You can resize them, print as many as you need, and in some cases even type in your own text. With printed stationery, this is not possible. You are stuck with the size you bought and if you need more of that item, you need to buy more.
Today’s tutorial is about resizing printables. Sometimes you have downloaded a printable that you would like to print smaller or larger than it actually is. We’ll be taking a look at the print settings window in Adobe Reader on how to achieve that.
P.S. I’m not a great article writer – English isn’t my first language – so please bear with me 😃
What you’ll need to resize printables
- A printable PDF
- A computer
- Adobe Reader
- Some paper
- A printer
How to reduce or increase the size of a printable
There are two ways you can reduce or increase the size of a printable: The one method is choosing the paper size you would like to print on (for example, you want to print an A4 printable on A5 paper, or a 8.5 x 11” printable on 4.25 x 5.5” paper). The other method is reducing or increasing the custom scale percentage.
Let’s look at changing the paper size first. If the paper size you want to print on is available for your type of printer, this is the method you want to use.
I’m going to be using this printable meeting agenda template in A4 size as an example today, but you can use any printable file.
Let’s say we want to print it at half the size (A5 size). Here’s what we need to do:
Printing on a smaller paper size
Step 1: download the printable PDF to your computer’s hard drive.
Step 2: open the PDF in Adobe Reader. If you don’t have Adobe Reader installed on your computer you can download it here for free. Make sure you are using the latest version.
Step 3: load your printer with the exact size you need your printable to be. If you want to print on A5 paper for example, you will need to cut an A4 page in half and load it in the printer. If you want to print on 4 x 6” paper for example, you will need to put that exact paper size in your printer.
Step 4: go to File – Print. The Print window will open. Click on the Page Setup button. If you don’t see that button, click on the Properties button.
Step 5: Under Paper Size choose the paper size you want to print on today. Here I have chosen A5. Click OK.
Step 6: Now we need to tell our printer to fit the artwork to the A5 page (or whatever size you are printing on). To do that, choose “fit”. That’s it! The larger artwork should now print on a smaller (or larger) page and fit on it.
Follow the same steps to increase the size of the printable. Keep in mind that there might be image quality loss if you enlarge the image.
Reducing or increasing custom scale percentage
If the previous method didn’t work for you, there’s another way. With this method the printer will print a smaller (or larger) image on regular sized paper. So there will be white areas on the paper which you will need to cut off.
Step 1: open the PDF in Adobe Reader. If you don’t have Adobe Reader installed on your computer you can download it here for free. Make sure you are using the latest version.
Step 2: load your printer with normal size paper (A4 or US Letter).
Step 3: go to File – Print. The Print window will open. Go to Page Setup. If you don’t see that button click on the Properties button. Under Paper Size choose the paper size you want to print on today. Here I have chosen A4. Click OK.
Step 4: Now we need to tell our printer to print the large artwork smaller. Choose the “custom scale” option and input a smaller percentage than 100%. So, if you want to print the image half the size it is, you need to input 50%.
You will see a preview image on the right. Isn’t that handy? Remember, if the image printed smaller or larger than you wanted, go back and experiment with the custom scale percentage by increasing or decreasing it just a little.
Follow the same steps to increase the size of the printable. For example, if you want to print the image double the size it is now, type in 200% in the custom scale box. Keep in mind that there might be image quality loss if you enlarge the image.
That’s it! Now you know how to resize printables. I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. If there is anything you want me to cover next time, let me know in the comments.
Don’t have time right now? Pin the image below to save it for later.