Technical Savvy | Printing ePatterns

The hobby-painting world has gone digital making eBooks and eTutorials commonplace.  While it is nice to hold a print in your hand, the digital format has many advantages as well.  With an electronic painting tutorial you can view images, diagrams and text on the screen allowing you to enlarge to see smaller details and you can print the components on demand.  The advantages of receiving these items electronically include the ability to resize the pattern before printing and the ability to print directly onto vellum or transparencies. Following are tips on achieving optimal results using an electronic tutorial.

  • It prints too light.  This is due to your printer settings.  When I print tutorials I choose the vivid setting in my printer window.  This is the highest print resolution possible for my printer.  Depending on the model your option may be "best" or "photo".  Just choose the highest print quality available.

  • The pattern prints smaller than the original. Again, you printer settings are the culprit here. This time you need check your page scaling. Often this is an option to "shrink to fit". This takes the letter-sized page of the PDF and shrinks it to fit within the margins of your letter-sized paper thus reducing your pattern.

  • I would like to resize the design to fit an alternate surface.  This can be done by adjusting the percentage at which the page is being printed. Change it from 100% to the percentage necessary for creating the desired size.  To determine the percentage use a proportional scaleas described here.  When enlarging a design you may need to change the margins in order to print the desired section of the pattern.  If your printer window does not allow you to print in segments or move the design around in the window to select a segment then you could print (remember to use the best quality) then resize using the copy feature of an all-in-one printer.  Most printers will print an over-sized image in segments but you may have to poke around in advanced settings to find this feature.
Getting to know your printer can enable you to expand your creative horizons.  You will be able to print templates and patterns to fit many uses once you know how to make the most of your printer's capabilities.