So you found a perfect quote to inspire your students and want to display it on your classroom wall? You print it on your color printer, maybe even mount it on colored card stock and laminate it. It looks great from your teacher desk where you sit and admire your handiwork. But there’s a problem. No one in the back of the classroom will even be able to see it, let alone read it. There is a solution, and it’s easier (and cheaper!) than you might think. You can print your own posters with the Poster feature in Adobe Acrobat.
Working with PDF Files
These instructions are for use with Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader is a PDF viewer app which comes installed on most computers. If you don’t have it already, you can download it free from the Adobe site. (Tip: Uncheck the McAfee anti-virus offers first unless you want a bajillion pop-up notices on your PC. 😝)
If you want to enlarge an image that’s not in PDF format, you can probably save it as a PDF with a program already on your computer. First, if it is just an image (JPG or PNG), insert it into a blank document or slide and resize it to fill the page. Then save the document as a PDF. For a Microsoft document in Word or PowerPoint, choose File>Save as Adobe PDF. With a Google document in Google Docs or Google Slides, choose File>Download>PDF Document.
How to Print a Poster-size PDF
First, make sure you have the file saved on your computer and open the file from its folder. Most of the issues I’ve encountered with printing PDF files occurred when someone was trying to print from the Preview tab in a web browser or their Google Drive.
- Open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.
- If the file has multiple pages, scroll to the page you want to make a poster.
- Choose File>Print from the dropdown menu (just as usual, so far).
- In the Print dialog box that opens, under Pages to Print choose Current Page (if there are multiple pages).
- Under Page Sizing and Handling, choose Poster.
- For Tile Scale enter 175% and for Overlap enter 0.5 in.
- Click Print. Your poster will print on four sheets of paper.
How to Assemble it into a Poster
- Lay the pages out on your desk or table (or floor–whatever!) as they would form the complete page. So, top left & right; then bottom left & right. You can notice that there is some overlap between what’s printed on the pages. For example, in the word ANECDOTE the letter T is printed completely on the top left page, but also partly on the top right page.
- Use scissors or a paper slicer to trim the white margin from the bottom edge of both top pages and from the left edge of both right pages.
- Lay the trimmed page over the edge of the untrimmed pages, overlapping so that the printing lines up seamlessly. This one can be tricky where there are lines of text. Just check that both the top and bottom line up.
- Use tape or glue to seal the edges. Voila!
- Laminate the whole poster if desired.
The funny thing is that I’ve known for years this could be done. It seemed intimidating, though. Complicated; more trouble than it’s worth… I don’t know what was wrong with me. Sometimes I think you don’t really “know” something until you’ve actually done it. So the day I sat down at my laptop and actually tried it was a revelation. It’s so easy! After that, I became a poster-making fiend. Inspirational posters, calendars, instructional materials, anchor charts, puzzles, assignment exemplars, rubrics… The list of items worth enlarging into a poster for your classroom is endless.
I’d love to see the posters you enlarge for your own classroom. If this article inspires you to print your own, send me a pic or tag me on Instagram @mixedupfiles.mb.
The poster pictured in the example photos is my SAFE-Q mnemonic for writing. You can read more about it in the post Teach SAFE-Q for Specific Details. And while you’re there, be sure to download your own free copy of the poster! 😘
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