Thursday, January 24, 2013

Finally, manual printing scale in Adobe Reader XI!

If you regularly update your software, then chances are you already knew this: ;o)

Most papercraft models you can download online nowadays are either in plain JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG or another regular image file format (which you can open with practically any image viewing software which any computer really will already have);

in PDO file format (which you can open with the free Pepakura Viewer tool; only on Windows computers though, it won't run on Macs);

or in PDF file format, which you can open with a PDF reader.

By default, most PDF readers will open the PDF file directly in your internet browser window when you click a PDF link online, but you can also download/save the file to your computer first so you can open it offline later on.

Probably the most widely used PDF reader is the free Adobe Reader, which comes included with many other software to open their "ReadMe" files for instance (so maybe you already have at least some version of it installed on your computer?)

I usually just print my PDF files "Fit to page" but one of the biggest nuisances of Adobe Reader was that if you wanted to print your papercraft military airplanes and tanks in a specific 1/72 or 1/48 scale for instance, or if you wanted to build a whole papercraft starfleet of Star Trek spaceships in the same scale, you couldn't really manually specify an exact printing scale...! :o(

Many people that really missed this option on Adobe Reader probably switced to another PDF reader, but as you can see, in Adobe Reader XI (11) this feature has finally been implemented! ;o)

It's worth mentioning though, that if you have an older Adobe Reader X (10) for instance), it will not automatically update to update to the new Adobe Reader XI, because they are basically 2 different programs of course!

(whereas Adobe Reader 10.1 and Adobe Reader 10.2 for instance, are simply 2 different versions of the same program, and will automatically be updated to the newest Adobe Reader 10 version if you let it)

So if you don't already have it and want it, you will have to download the free Adobe Reader XI manually:

(NOTE: Adobe Reader doesn't need the Google Chrome browser and Toolbar to work,
so you can uncheck that box if you don't want them!)

(I always uninstall the old version of Adobe Reader first before I install the new version so I never have to worry about problems from having an old version of the same software on my computer, but I don't really know if that's really necessary. ;o)

Of course there are many other (free) PDF readers available as well, with all kinds of features you might like or not like, so it's up to you to choose which one you want to use/keep using of course...! ;o)

(Also, don't forget that your printer software also has separate paper settings, so make sure those are also all correct for printing your PDF file, otherwise it still won't fit on the paper or still won't have the right scale you want...! ;o)

Have fun printing!


  1. I will guess the lack of scaling is a PC problem. On my all of my Mac's the printer dialog box always has the choice of 'fit to page' OR print other size, which will bring up a box to set the percentages to reduce or enlarge the PDF. I simply use my Proportion Wheel to show me what percentage I should enlarge/reduce to match other scales.

    1. That's a nifty feature! ;o) It's crazy that basic document viewing software wouldn't have that option o course, and I guess Adobe finally reaized that too... ;o)


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