Preparing Files for Printing

Where to Start

There are many graphics and layout programs available.  We strongly recommend creating your file in Microsoft Publisher.

Microsoft Publisher is available to everyone on vDesk (in the Microsoft Office folder) and is great for creating layouts from scratch.  Here, on our website, we have lots of Publisher templates that make it very easy to create brochures, posters, presentations, fliers, calling cards, and more.

You may have Microsoft Word or Pages already on your computer.  These may also be used for simple layouts.  For more advanced layouts, Scribus (similar to Adobe Indesign) is available on vDesk; Gimp (similar to Adobe Photoshop) is also available for image and photo editing.


Size Matters

Always check the size of your PDF before sending! The print size will appear in the lower left corner if you hover your mouse over your document, or you can look under File > Document Properties.

Screenshot of PDF showing enlargement of lower left corner of window.

Incorrectly sized documents won’t always work for your requested print size.  Should your print to be as large as possible to fit the paper or kept at a smaller size to fit a frame?  Would you rather have wide margins on two sides or crop part of the image to make it fit the paper? It is much easier to make your document the right size from the start.


Two ways to resize an image file for printing:(JPEG, GIF, TIF, PNG)

Open a new Word or Publisher file and set your desired page size.  Then insert or paste the image on the page.  Resize the image, either by clicking and dragging or right-click and choose Format Picture > Size.

-or-

Open the image in GIMP or your favorite photo editing software.  To re-size an image in GIMP, go to Image > Print Size.  Choose inches in the drop-down menu on the right and enter your desired size.


Document Sizes

In recent versions of both Publisher and Microsoft Word, Page Size is one of the options under Page Layout. Common sizes like Letter (8.5x11) and Tabloid (11x17) are available on the preset size list, or you can enter a new custom page size.

Don’t see that option on yours?

Other versions of Word have the size option under File > Page Setup > Paper.  Once again, there are preset sizes or you can enter a custom size.


Printing PowerPoint Slides

To print a large presentation-style poster from a PowerPoint slide, first go to Design > Page Setup.  In the pop-up window, choose ‘Custom’ size and enter 48 x 36 inches.

If you need a different size for you project, you may also choose to size your slides as Letter (8.5x11) or other common sizes.

Note that these size changes will alter the appearance of your projector slides!


Three Ways to Turn Your File into a PDF

Option 1: In most programs, just choose Save As a PDF.

For example, if you created your file in a Microsoft Office product such as Publisher or Word:

  1. Go to File > Save As
  2. In the dropdown menu for Save As Type, select PDF.
  3. Make sure the file name and location are correct and click Save.

Option 2: Use Foxit PhantomPDF to create a PDF from your original.

Foxit PhantomPDF is available on vDesk.

  1. Go to File > Create > From File
    (Some versions have a slightly different appearance and say File > Create PDF)
  2. In the new window, browse to the file you want to convert to PDF, and select Open.
    (You may need to change to the selection to All Supported Files in the lower right corner)
  3. Your new PDF will open. 
  4. Look it over and verify that everything is correct and save the file.

Option 3: How to make your file a PDF with Gimp

If you are using Gimp to edit your images, saving a PDF version is a little different.

  1. Go to File > Export
  2. In the new window, click on the plus sign next to Select File Type (By Extension) in the lower left corner.
  3. Scroll down and select Portable Document Format - PDF
  4. Verify the location and file name.
  5. Hit Export.

A few additional tips and tricks for saving your file as PDF.

You may also have a Print to PDF option on your computer. 

Go to File > Print and choose Print to Adobe PDF instead of your usual printer.

Special Tip for Mac Users:

Don’t export  to PDF directly from Previewer.

It will make a very large file.  Use another program to save your image as a PDF.

Don’t forget to check our more detailed walkthroughs for additional help.