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How to Print a Large Photo on Many A4 Pages to Make a Poster

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Tiled Printing

It is quite often that we need to make large prints, bigger than the "standard" size for most printers which is the A4 paper. For example, some high-resolution photos taken from digital cameras of high quality would be lacking potential if printed on tiny photo paper or even A4 paper. Great digital photos can make spectacular wall posters, especially with the picture quality recent digital cameras and professional lenses can capture. Such wall posters can impress any visitor—no wonder most camera studios and print centers include some of them as part of the decoration.

However, poster printing is not the only reason we would require paper larger than A4. It makes perfect sense that architectural designs need larger printers, and that's why such plans usually are printed at specialized print studios, but other kinds of designing work, such as photoshop images, would also require large paper.

Hobbyists who deal with woodworking for example tend to transfer patterns from their computer to the wood so they can later carve or engrave it. Such transfers also need large paper or at least many A4 pages.

An impressive  photo is hung in a subway, excellent example of effective and successful tiled printing

An impressive photo is hung in a subway, excellent example of effective and successful tiled printing

Methods of Converting a Photo for Tiled Printing

There are quite a few ways to convert a large photo in such a way that it will be printed on many A4 pages, which you can later stick together or overlap so the entire photo is shown. The thing is not all of them are a convenient choice.

Using a specialized image editing software such as Photoshop, one can create such conversion in around 5 minutes, if he is at least a bit knowledgeable of how it works. But Photoshop is a paid software and seems like overkill if the only thing you want to do is this kind of conversion.

Irfanview is another image manipulation software that is however supplied for free for home use. It can also make the conversion, but why download and install a program if what you want to do can be done through tools you already have installed on your PC?

Not many people know that Paint can be of use in some basic image manipulation techniques.

Not many people know that Paint can be of use in some basic image manipulation techniques.

Use Microsoft Paint

The simplest way to perform such conversion through a program is by using the pre-installed in Windows Microsoft Paint. Yes, this program (which, let's be honest, most of us considered outdated and virtually useless) seems to have its uses after all. So let's see how you can convert a large image in such a way that it will be printed on many A4 pages:

  1. Make sure you have a printer installed in your system because otherwise, you will not be able to load Page Setup.
  2. Open the image you wish to edit in Paint. To do so, you can either right-click the file and choose Edit from the menu, or inside Paint choose File > Open.
  3. Choose Print > Page Setup (if you are using Windows XP it will be File> Page Setup though).
  4. In the scaling options, select tit to form the drop-down menu and change the setting. Here, it all depends on the size of your photo. Make some calculations based on the size of an A4 page, and you will know what value you should enter in order to have enough space for your photo. if you aren't sure, just choose "2 by 2 pages".
  5. Check Print Preview. You need to check all pages and see if your photo is contained in the pages or a part is missing; if so, choose more pages in Page Setup.
  6. Adjust the paper margins based on your tastes. This will affect the way you assemble the final photo from the A4 pages afterwards.
  7. Print the image from inside Paint. Make sure you have selected to print all pages and of course mind the other print settings too, such as color and quality of the print. It would be a waste if you made a mistake at this point.
An image that has been converted to be printed on many A4 pages.

An image that has been converted to be printed on many A4 pages.

Take Advantage of

The second method I will show is actually even easier than the first, for the simple reason that you do almost nothing. A website will deal with the conversion based on your choices and then it will offer you a PDF file with the edited photo. This website is BlockPosters, and though there are others that offer similar services, I found this one to be easier and with better results as far as image quality is concerned.

  1. Visit the website and click on step 1 to upload your photo. Keep in mind that by doing so, the file is uploaded and thus saved in their server, If your photo is private or you would not like others to see it (though at their server chances that your image is seen by human eyes are slim anyway) better opt for the first method.
  2. Find your file on your hard drive, select it and click on Continue. The picture will be shown on the screen.
  3. Adjust the "slices" and number of pages. The website will indicate what the approximate end size will be based on the choices you made.
  4. Click continue. You will now have the PDF file which contains the image available for download.

Are There More Ways to Print a Poster at Home?

If you aren't satisfied with the results you got from the above methods, you can follow this very detailed guide which showcases an additional way to use rasterbation for tiled printing.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Chloe on July 09, 2018:

Thanks for this! It really helped a lot because I was very stuck on how to print my instagram cutout download!

Le'vita on February 15, 2018:

thanks m80, gr8 tutorial~

ornit on December 23, 2017:

Thanks so much, best tip for busy parents

It sure helped my daughter in her assignment

Sarah on February 14, 2017:

Excellent tip thank you so much for this

Sedrik on November 14, 2016:

Try to work with RonyaSoft Poster Maker, good software for this aim.

Stephen Eric Biggs on August 23, 2014:

I have been looking for this type of program especially for family tree

Gustave Kilthau from USA on July 11, 2013:

Howdy CyberFreak -

Good one here. Right you are - There are many ways by which to cut the mustard and share the adventures. I should have known about using "Paint" for the making of composites - and I thank you for outlining that for us.

Gus :-)))

Firoz from India on June 15, 2013:

Good job. Voted up.