Printing Patterns to PDF
PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It is a file format that was created to represent documents independent of specific application software and operating systems such as Windows or Mac. Each PDF file contains all of the information needed to display the document as it looked when it was created by the application. All of the graphics, fonts, font properties, text, and layout are included in the PDF file.
The beauty of the PDF format is that it can be opened on virtually any device including computers running the Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems, iPad or Android tablets, and smart phones. The PDF document retains the exact layout and scale of all of the objects in the document just as they were when originally created. PDF printing allows you to preview the print document before sending it to your printer as well as take the PDF file to another location for printing to a larger device.
The PDF format is perfect for printing sewing patterns to their exact dimensions. It also makes it possible to create sewing patterns and tile them across multiple pages such that they can be pieced together after printing to create the full size sewing pattern. Printing to PDF also allows you to preview your patterns before sending them to your printer.
Many programs such as Illustrator, PhotoShop, Corel Draw, Word, Word Perfect, etc. have the capability to export directly to PDF. For programs such as PatternMaster or Cameo that do not have direct export to PDF, there is a very simple solution for creating PDF files. There are numerous free PDF writers available via the internet that will allow you to print patterns to the PDF format. The one we recommend for Wild Ginger programs is CutePDF available at www.cutepdf.com.
This tutorial will illustrate downloading and installing the a PDF writer and using it to print patterns to PDF from any Wild Ginger Software program. If you already have a PDF writer such as Adobe Acrobat, skip to the next section on Custom Paper Sizes.
You can also download this article in PDF format. Right mouse click on this link Printing Patterns to PDF and choose Save Target As.
Download and Install the PDF Writer
- To download the PDF writer, click here to download CutePDF.
- Click on the Free Download link.
- Save the cutePDF.exe file to your Downloads folder.
- Browse to your Downloads folder in Windows Explorer and double click on the file to run the installation.
- Follow the prompts to complete the installation.
- The CutePDF driver will now appear in your list of Printers and Faxes.
Custom Paper Sizes
If you have a large format printer or plotter or your printer has tractor feed or banner capabilities, you can set custom paper sizes for the PDF writer using the Server Properties for printers and faxes. You can also create custom paper sizes to use when creating PDF files that will be printed in another location such as a Fedex/Kinkos or a plotter connected to a different computer.
NOTE: Maximum paper length possible will vary from driver to driver. Some will print as long as 44” and some will stop at 22”. If you enter a measurement that is too long for your particular printer driver, a message box will appear telling you the length is too long. You may have to experiment with various paper lengths to optimize printing. Printing width will be determined by the printer or plotter that you are using. Widths can range from 8.5” to 74”.
NOTE: Custom paper sizes that you create here can also be used when printing directly to printers and plotters that are connected to your computer. They are not just for printing to PDF.
To set custom paper sizes:
- Choose Printers and Faxes from the Control Panel.
- Click on Print Server Properties.
- You can also access the Print Server Properties dialog box by going to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Print Management -> Printer Servers -> %computer name% -> Forms. Click on More Actions -> Manage Forms.
- Once the Print Server Properties screen appears, check the Create a new form check box.
- Enter a form name for your new paper size.
- Enter the Width and Height for the new paper size.
- Press the Save Form button.
- You can create as many sizes as you want.
- Close the screen when you are finished creating paper sizes.
NOTE: Terminology may vary between Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you do not see the steps above, try searching for Print Server Properties in Windows Search.
Printing Patterns from Wild Ginger Programs
- To print your patterns using the PDF writer, create your patterns as desired.
- Press the Print or Print Patterns button in your PatternMaster or Cameo software to go to the Print screen.
- The Printer Properties screen should appears.
- Select CutePDF from the drop down list of printer names.
- Press the Properties button.
- Press the Advanced button.
- Select the desired paper size from drop down box.
- Press OK.
- Once on the print screen that displays the paper grid with your patterns laid out on it, select and move the patterns around as desired to maximize paper usage.
- Press the Update Preview button, if necessary, to remove any empty columns to the right of the patterns.
- Press the Print button when satisfied with the layout of your patterns.
- Press Yes to start printing.
- The CutePDF Save As screen will appear.
- Enter a name for the PDF file and select the location to save the file and press Save.
- CutePDF will create the PDF file in the location you specified.
- Browse to the location in Windows or File Explorer and double click on the PDF file to open it in Acrobat Reader.
- You can also save the file to an external drive if printing from a different computer.
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