We get it. You took advantage of the Black Friday and Boxing Day sales, and now you have hundreds of pages of new PDF patterns sitting on your laptop. And now you’re facing the daunting task of trimming and taping those hundreds of pages together before getting a usable pattern. Like the rest of us, you’d really rather be sewing, wouldn’t you?
We see this question come up in the CSC Facebook all the time: Is there an easy way to print out PDF pattern files so that you don’t have to spend hours trimming and taping when you’d rather be sewing? Luckily, most indie pattern companies now include a “large format” option as part of their PDF download packages. The large format option allows you to print your pattern via an engineering plotter, so that you can print the entire pattern out on just a few large sheets of paper.
Using the popular US-based printing website pdfplotting.com as an example, this tutorial will walk you through how to submit your large format PDF pattern files to have them printed out for you. The process will likely vary slightly for other printing vendors, but hopefully, this tutorial will help you figure out what sort of information you’ll need to have if submitting files to another vendor.
You will need to perform the following tasks to print your patterns:
- Identify the file dimension(s) for your PDF pattern.
- Package your similar-sized PDF files into a ZIP file.
- Upload your pattern ZIP file(s).
- Submit your order.
Identify the file dimension(s) for your PDF pattern
Before you can submit your large-format PDF patterns for printing, you will need to determine the printed width and height of those files. Many large-format PDF files will be labeled as “A0” format, but some are just labeled as “copyshop format”. You’ll need to get the actual file dimensions before submitting them for printing.
To get the file dimensions of your large format PDFs:
- Open the file in a PDF viewer. For this tutorial, we’ll use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- From the File menu, go to Properties:
A File Properties window opens.
- On the File Properties window, locate the Page Size and Number of Pages fields. Record these numbers for each PDF pattern that you plan to submit for printing.
Package your similar-sized PDF files into a ZIP file
Figure out what file size dimensions work for the site where you’ll be ordering your printouts from. For PDF Plotting in this example, they have an order page that includes all of the possible page dimensions that they can use for printouts:
For each of your patterns that are the same page size, group them together and compress them into a ZIP file. Make note of how many printed pages are in each ZIP file.
Upload your pattern ZIP file(s)
Upload your pattern ZIP files in the appropriate place on the order page. To upload your pattern files:
- On the order page, find the page size that corresponds to the pages in your ZIP file.
- From the drop-down list, select the number of pages in the file:
- Selecting a page count enables a Browse… button. Click the Browse… button and navigate to the appropriate ZIP file.
Once selected, the file name will display next to the Browse… button.
- Repeat Steps 1-3 for each ZIP file that you are submitting.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click Add to Cart to upload your ZIP files and add the items to your online cart.
- Review your cart to make sure that the totals are correct. Note that for PDF Plotting, your order must total at least $7.49 (USD) before you’ll be able to check out.
Submit your order
When you are ready to check out, scroll down and click the Proceed to Checkout button. Enter your personal information as directed, and submit your order.
That’s it! Your patterns will arrive shipped to your address in a cardboard mailing tube in a few days.
Note that the CSC has no affiliation with PDF Plotting–just good customer experience. For other vendors who can print large format PDF files, see the following post on the Cashmerette blog: https://blog.cashmerette.com/2017/06/how-to-print-pdf-copyshop-files-cheaply.html