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Forum topic by dust4tears posted 07-13-2012 06:38 PM 2119 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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397 posts in 2387 days

07-13-2012 06:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: layout planning sign making programs tricks

Yhheellllow folks,

I am trying to find ways to do Layout work from the computer to the wood. I am kind of computer literate, but for the life of me cannot figure out how to do ‘big layouts’.

(To be clear about what I am asking; So, I know I can go to Microsoft Work and type out something in a particular font and then print it out. But, I can only print as big at the paper 8.5×11. What I am asking is HOW CAN I print something that is ‘bigger than’ that said 8×11 via multiple sheets.)

So, lets say I want to lay out “HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS” and add ‘clip art’ on either side (hearts, trees, birds…whatever)

and I want it to be INSTEAD OF that 8.5×11~ish lets say I want it

<————————————————————————————————————————-> 4’ (l) x 13” (h)

Does ANYONE know of a way to print out that layout type style?

I have MICROSOFT WORD, APPLE PAGES, PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS and I downloaded a thing called ‘Poster Razor’. The Poster Razor IS CLOSE to what I am talking about, but there are TONS of bugs using it making it very hard to use.

I am familiar with Pages and Word. I am COMPLETELY lost using Elements.

Does that make sense? I am open to program ideas I can buy, download, apps, WHATEVER that can get me to be able to print out large layouts.

If I can clarify what I am asking in any way to help understand what I am asking…..please let me know!


Grand Junction, CO USA

-- Ride hard or go home~

15 replies so far

View BobLang's profile


160 posts in 3639 days

#1 posted 07-13-2012 06:47 PM

I’m not sure if you’re trying to print signs with lettering, or drawings of woodworking projects. SketchUp is a free download, and will automatically tile to multiple sheets when you print at full scale. There is a 3D text function that will let you print letters as big as you want.

-- Bob Lang,

View dust4tears's profile


397 posts in 2387 days

#2 posted 07-13-2012 06:54 PM

I am specifically looking for routing signs and lettering. I downloaded Sketchup a while back but didnt know about the lettering. (and be able to do different fonts)

I will take another stab at SU and see if it will do what I am looking for.

-- Ride hard or go home~

View Doss's profile


779 posts in 2503 days

#3 posted 07-13-2012 06:58 PM

It really depends on the software you are using as to whether you can print something that large or not. Then, if the software allows it, it depends on the printer driver and settings as to whether you can print it out or not.

Make sure you aren’t allowing the printer to scale the print down to fit on the page. If you’re printing onto 8.5×11, you’ll want to make sure it is printing onto multiple pages (tiles) to do this.

-- "Well, at least we can still use it as firewood... maybe." - Doss

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2930 days

#4 posted 07-13-2012 07:09 PM

When I have something that is oversize, I export it to a PDF format (get a PDF creater/printer for your OS), Then I take it to Fedex Kinko’s on a thumb drive or I use their web site to place the order online if I know exactly how big the end product is going to be.

Costs are minimal, last time I used them was to print out a full size template for an Adirondack chair on ANSI E (34 × 44) size paper. It was under $20.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3800 days

#5 posted 07-13-2012 07:17 PM

Repographic (sp) businesses can also print large dwgs as that is what they do.

-- Joe

View VinnieP's profile


140 posts in 3560 days

#6 posted 07-13-2012 07:55 PM

Somebody a while back on here posted a link to a web page that you could send your file to and it would scale it to be multiple pages. So, once you pieced the print out together the collective 8.5×11s would make up your entire drawing. I wish I could find it because I have been wanting to use it myself.

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3887 days

#7 posted 07-13-2012 09:35 PM

While this can be done with Pages and Works, this type of work is more suitable to be done in a design app like Illustrator, although photoshop can do it as well…

there is a photoshop equivalent that is free and is called GIMP, you can download and install it. what you can then do is create a new file, specify the size of the image you want it to be (in your case 4’ x 13”) and then using the text tool create your write up which you can then scale to fit the size you want.

then – print

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DS's profile


3045 posts in 2659 days

#8 posted 07-13-2012 09:42 PM

I print to a wide format plotter everyday. I could print it up to 42” wide and 150’ long if I needed to. (I never do)

If I were in your shoes, I’d seriously consider the Kinkos idea, or ask around in my area and make friends with someone with a large format plotter.

If you can export your artwork in a dxf file, you can import that into AutoCAD, or another CAD or graphics program that will allow you to break up each section and print each section on smaller sheets.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Woodmaster1's profile


1089 posts in 2826 days

#9 posted 07-13-2012 09:47 PM

I am lucky and get to use the plotter in my classroom. If you know the drafting teacher he may print it for you. look on Craigslist or ebay and buy a plotter cheap.

View dust4tears's profile


397 posts in 2387 days

#10 posted 07-13-2012 10:46 PM

Thanks for the ideas. I didnt know the ‘formal’ name of a plotter. A quick search shows they can cost up to $8400.00 Gooooood grief!!!!!!!

@Purplev, thanks, I am downloading it now and will play with it and see if I can figure out how to use it.

I will also look into the Kinkos type options.
@ Doss, I will take a look at my printer settings. I always seem to mess something up when I ‘tinker’ with my damn printer…..but, I will make sure I have the right drivers installed. All of my computer stuff is newer…so, if there are ‘newer’ add ons, I am assuming they are all up to date. But, it is surely worth my time to look into it.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions~ It is really appreciated~


-- Ride hard or go home~

View adaughhetee's profile


104 posts in 2922 days

#11 posted 07-14-2012 03:38 AM

Heres one idea. It will blow it up and even has an ink saver mode. There is a free evaluation copy to play with and seems to be very user freindly. His entire site is worth a good look if you’ve never seen it. Link for program-

View dust4tears's profile


397 posts in 2387 days

#12 posted 07-14-2012 04:06 PM

I have seen his webpage before.
I run off of a Mac, and it states at the bottom…it wouldnt work on Macs.

I am still playing around with the Gimp program. I think it should do what I am looking for. ( I got frustrated last night with it….so I quit playing with it.)

Ill keep y’all posted

-- Ride hard or go home~

View Roswell's profile


77 posts in 2557 days

#13 posted 07-14-2012 04:16 PM

+1 for Sketchup. Easy to use, and you can very quickly tell it to print with a scale of 1:1. It’ll take a while to tape all the sheets together, but it’s darn accurate. When I had several removeable shelves to make for my desk, I printed the design out 1:1 on paper, taped them up, and then cut out a template from it on the carboard from a case of beer. it worked a treat.

One other option I’ve considered but never tried is using a digital projector, and tracing the layout. I’m not sure the lines would be fine enough though. Just my .02.

-- _Never argue with an idiot. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience_

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3105 days

#14 posted 07-14-2012 04:57 PM

Corel Draw is a really good program for laying out graphics with fonts and without fonts. It’s also used with some laser engraving machines and has a lot of great fonts. TurboCad is a really good and inexpensive CAD program.

You can go to any good printer such as Staples and they will print you excellent drawings at least up to 24X36 and they are not really that expensive. You can easily work with either one of the programs above and separate your layout into sections and each one can be printed to what ever size you want and tape each one together if you need a really large layout.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View dust4tears's profile


397 posts in 2387 days

#15 posted 07-15-2012 12:52 AM

Thanks Wreck~ I was suggested a Corel program before, and when I looked for it, it was discontinued and was made into ‘paintshop’. I forget the name of the program I was recommended, but I youtubed it~~~and the discontinued version did EXACTLY what I was looking for…and to be able to do. When I tried ‘youtubing/googling’ the ‘PaintShop’ I couldnt find any tutorials about what I was asking… I was nervous to make that purchase….

I looked briefly at your Turbocad suggestion~~~ I do think that might do the job, but for my purposes, (Literally, I just want the ability to print any font I have and in any size~) would be overkill.

I will keep the TC in mind, if I cannot find an easier solution.

Thanks for the ideas~~~~

P.S.~~~~ Can you give me the ‘background’ on your ‘handle’? ~~I izzzzzz’ curious about wreckin’~

Cheers from Grand Junction, Co

-- Ride hard or go home~

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