I have a large figure (the original file can be found here or also here in pdf format):

Illustrator Screenshot

This figures size is approx. 255cm x 160 cm. This is quite large. I want to print this figure (in original scaling, so not smaller). However of course I cannot print that large file. I can only print usual A4 papers.

I now want to split the figures into smaller A4 pieces and print each of them and later put them together. So here is an illustration (I just entered a few A4s and the size is also just guessed): Example1 It could be also like this: Example2 How can I do this?

(would be great also to have it with a numbering, so that it is easier to put them togehter afterwards)

Thanks for any help!

  • 1
    Have you tried using Adobe Reader to print the page as tiled A4 pages? Instructions here: helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/…
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 17:18
  • 1
    1) Is your printer an ordinary A4 office printer - one, which leaves a couple of millimeters wide blank margins because the uncertainty of the paper positioning needs it? 2) have you tested that otherwise your printer is up to the task;for example printed a maximally big rectangle and found that the side and diagonals have right lengths? 3) are you aware that you need a full range coordinate system to place the A4 papers. That system defines your accuracy, A4s bring in only local details. Chaining papers cant retain the accuracy altough the result can visually look out fully acceptable
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 17:55
  • 1
    Continued: I have watched your adventures in other Stack Overflow sites. Obviously you can easily find the distribution for the dimension errors if you pile A4s. Calculate it first. The result can still be acceptable with acceptable risk when compared to the wanted accuracy (hopefully known).
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 18:08
  • 1
    Your A4 pages and the printing on them are NOT exactly right. Let's assume the full page printing is 1 mm too low. This means nothing for reading the printed documents, but 10 of the papers chained mean 1 cm too small size. This is plenty of room for water to creep in if you for example build a ship. And the purchased big parts? How do they fit? If you use ordinary coarse hand tools, you must be quite skilled to make sub-millimeter exact forms. Your printed probably has such skill in A4 size, but that's only local in 10 x A4 size.
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 10:52
  • 1
    I hadn't better answer because @Rafael 's help coordinate system for the actual tiling is the best possible. I'll check yor new problem and write if I know something useful.
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


I will steal @Billy Kear comment. You can use Adobe reader to print a mosaic. https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/print-posters-banners-acrobat-reader.html

But you will waste a lot of paper because empty sheets will also be printed with the instructions.

First, print the mosaic to a virtual PDF printer (Like PDF creator for windows), this will generate a booklet of individual pages and you can select the pages that actually have lines.

But additionally your final image can potentially not match the real size, so you probably need to have an additional skeleton to re assemble the figure with exact proportions.

I drew a quick skeleton that you can construct using a nylon thread and some tack.

The main skeleton is the red triangle, additional info are the orange lines.

enter image description here

  • +1, the needed full range coordinate system to ensure the right placements of the papers seemingly can be also made easily. Extremely nice minimum hardware solution!
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 23:00
  • The red triangle could be used to construct the whole pattern without printing anything. Only have more orange lines and their distances from a corner. Need only accurate distance and rectangle determinations.
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 23:20
  • @Rafael Thanks for your answer. However I do not completely understand it. I thought using adobe reader and printing it with thie tile page option does solve it? Why can it potentially not match the real size? I think I will go for the simple adobe reader option and print the pages. And if the pages which are printed are in wrong proportions, then you triangle does not really help me. Drawing it manually without printing anything is a complete different thing and this is not a solution for me. So I do just want to print it and have it in my desired size and scaling? Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 9:15
  • If you have one error of one mm per page for example, this error is going to translate across the cutting and pasting. Printers does not always print an exact proportion, (probably yours does print exact size). The red triangle is not as a substitute, it is to complement the assambly of it.
    – Rafael
    Commented Aug 6, 2017 at 11:21
  • @Rafael Thanks for your answer. I accept it. However I now decided to let a copyshop print it in A0. I tile it to get it into A0. I send it to a virtual pdf creator. However now my problem is that there are no margins. I opened a new thread here: graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/97319/… Could you also help me with this? Commented Aug 26, 2017 at 10:57

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