Let's say I have a document which is 30 inches by 30 inches. My printer is 11x17. I need to print tiles.

Let's also say that the printer is attached to a computer which doesn't have InDesign, but does have Acrobat, so I need to export my fie to a PDF in order to print to the printer.

How do I get a PDF which is made of tiles?

I can use the Print function to print tiles, manually or automatically. I can Export to PDF. But I can't figure out how to Print to PDF or save my print job as a PDF and have it come up as tiles. (I tried using the Save As PDF option and the PDF which was generated couldn't be opened; my Mac kept spitting back an error.)

Is there a way to do this from InDesign, or do I have to create a PDF with four identical pages and create tiles manually by cropping in Acrobat?

3 Answers 3


You can tile directly from Acrobat in the print dialog. They call it "Poster," but what it does is automatically create tiles based on the chosen page size. The screen grab shows what happens with a PDF of a billboard, 77 inches wide in the file, 48 feet wide "in the air."

enter image description here

  • where is this dialog box? Is this a function of the Canon you're using, or the version of Acrobat? Mine doesn't look like this at all. Apr 11, 2012 at 12:03
  • It's the standard dialog in Acrobat X. The Acro 9 and earlier dialog looks different, but the functionality has been there for a long time. Apr 13, 2012 at 2:50
  • This reply answer the question. You can create and immediately print tiles from Illustrator or Acrobat, but how do you save tiles to pdf? If I go through the print menu to create the tiles and attempt to save a pdf from there, rather than printing, I get a message that this action is not allowed.
    – user10534
    Mar 8, 2013 at 22:51
  • @WhoKnowsJO: The issue for me was apparently the version of Acrobat I was using. What version do you have? Mar 9, 2013 at 0:39
  • Just to note, this works on the free version of Acrobat Reader (my version is 10.1.7) on the Mac. So I solved the same problem by exporting the pdf from InDesign on one machine, and printing it via acrobat on the other machine.
    – Nathan S.
    Jul 3, 2013 at 21:59

If you have acrobat pro (aka Distiller) installed, you can choose the acrobat printer driver. Then you can use indesign's tile function. Set the paper size to 11x17 and tile appropriately.

Note that Alan's answer is particularly useful when you do not have access to the indesign document (only the full-size output).

enter image description here


Manual Tile is the only way I found to do it, but that's only for printing out on my inkjet, not as a final file for the printer. See this answer: https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/139/855887

  • Hi Andrea, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your answer. Could you please explain a bit more what we'll find behind the link you provide and why it answers the question? That way, your answer is still of value in case the link breaks at a later time. Link rot is the main reason we really dislike link-only answers here. Thanks for your effort and keep contributing!
    – Vincent
    Sep 26, 2014 at 10:27

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