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Paizo flip map printing


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Anyone ever print out a Paizo pdf flip map at home? I've tried it before & IIRC it just wanted to print off the first page. I tried taking it to Staples (only place in town now to print stuff) & they printed it but it the wrong size (squares weren't 1 inches).


Any help would be appreciated. 

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I've been wanting to try printing maps via a photo printer service, like Walgreens or CVS or Amazon or whoever, but I have t gotten around to actually doing it yet. Thought it might work for tiles; might be more of a hassle with something big as a flip mat. I dunno how they're broken up.

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Hey, a problem I constantly deal with!




So, in a perfect world you'd take it to a print shop and they'd just print it. The page sizes in the PDFs are generally correct! But almost nobody has 24" x 30" paper, and when you have page size mismatches, the default print behavior in most PDF readers is to scale to fit. You can kindly ask your print associate to not do that and print without resizing, and maybe it'll work.


If you're printing at home, you can also try poster mode in Acrobat, which I hear works pretty well nowadays. It's not super configurable, so it's not an especially popular option among those of us who do this a lot, but for a one-off print it will probably be fine!


Me personally, I tend to extract the image and toss it at spreadsheet software, which gives me more control over how it prints. Set your cells to 1" square, resize the image to match the cell size (compare vs. the row and column labels), and print. Of course, I'm weird--I set my squares to 1.1 inches to give the minis breathing room. 1" square is just an arbitrary number anyway. One complication with this method is that newer (last 5 years or so) versions of Excel have some dark magic going on where, on print, the application dynamically resizes things. As a result, you should probably avoid Excel. I use LibreOffice Calc instead--1" actually means 1" in that application.


Another popular option: you can also use software specifically designed to convert big images into posters. Posterazor is the most widely used. That'll let you print with overlap and gives you a ton of control over how you're splitting things up. 


Any of the "you print yourself" methods also lend themselves well to printing to PDF. If you print to PDF instead of paper, you can take the resulting PDF to that print shop that wouldn't print your map the right size, and then have them print the "posterized" version. They don't usually screw up sizing on 8.5x11 or A4 or whatever paper size is the local standard.




If you've got a single big sheet, you'll want to roll it up and tube it for storage, of course. Honestly, most of these don't last very long, but they're nice in a pinch.


If you have smaller individual sheets, what a lot of us map-printers do is laminate the individual pages. That way you can put any sort of marker on the map and just wipe it off when you're done.


My specific insanity: I trim the whitespace off, laminate the individual pages, trim the excess laminate, and then use packing tape and rudimentary origami skills to make durable foldable maps out of my laminated pages. That way, I'm not at risk of losing an individual page, I don't have to spend much time setting up a map, and I can reuse 'em almost as many times as I want.


Other things


Bigger page sizes save you time if you're trimming and taping.


Some folks go and buy plotters for this, which I always thought was a bit nuts.


If you want to extract the image but aren't sure how, the easiest thing to do is that you can send the PDF through one of the nigh-infinite number of PDF image extractors on the web. There are a few other ways to do it--right click save image doesn't typically work well, but sometimes it does. If you know how to open up a PDF file, you can copy the raw image in a PDF editor, although that's something I won't get into here. A final option: you can also open the PDF in GIMP or Photoshop and save the result as an image.

Edited by terminalmancer
Forgot to include the Excel warning
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