When printing piddix digital collage sheets for the first time, the most common issue that pops up is that the sheet may print too large or too small. In almost all cases, this can be fixed with two easy steps:
1. Download your collage sheet first, then print from your computer, rather than printing directly from the web link.
2. When you go to print your sheet out, make sure the "page scaling" setting in the print dialog window is set to "100%" or "none" (NOT "fit to print").
If the above tricks don't help, here's a step-by-step tutorial on the best way to save and print out your piddix collage sheets.
1. Click on the link to your collage sheet.
2. Wait for the image to stop loading. With most internet connections, this should only take a couple of seconds, definitely less than a minute. Do Not left click on the image to make it bigger.
3. Either right-click on the image and then select "save as" or go to the file tab and select "save as."
4. Save your file to your computer. Creating a new folder called "collage sheets" rather than saving the sheet to your desktop is a good way to make sure the file does not get lost.
5. Close the web window that had the collage sheet open.
6. Find the folder where you saved your collage sheet. Double click on it to open.
Go to the file tab and select print. This will pull up your printer dialog screen where all the settings are. Each printer dialog screen is a little different, so look around to find different settings. Some important ones to set include:
1. Borderless printing. (or Border None).
2. Highest quality print. (or Photo fine, or Quality: Maximum dpi, or something similar)
3. No scaling. Or 100% scale. (NOT fit to print).
4. U.S. Letter (8.5x11 inches) [unless you're printing on photo paper which should be 4x6]
5. 300 dots per inch. (NOT 72 dpi)
6. Photo fix: off.
What’s the Best Paper to Use?
The type of paper to use depends on what you plan to do with your collage sheets. If you are printing at home and want to just jump in with a general, all-purpose paper, I'd suggest picking up a ream of any paper labeled "premium" that is 24-30 pounds with a matte finish. Or check out this article I wrote about selecting the right paper that goes into much more detail.
How Do I Stop My Prints from Smearing/Bleeding?
This may or may not be an issue for you when printing. It all depends on what printer, ink, and type of paper you're using. But if you find that colors on your print outs are bleeding (especially the reds), click here to read all about preventing smudges on your collage sheets.
What if I Don’t Have a Home Printer? How Do I Print Somewhere Else?
Especially when you're first starting out, I think the easiest way to print at a print shop (such as Kinkos or Office Depot) is to save your collage sheets to a thumb drive and bring them in personally. I often ask them to print my favorite sheet on a couple of different paper options, such as their standard laser printer paper and a nice white cardstock. Be sure to tell them to print the file at 100% (not shrink to fit). Otherwise, your images will be too small. Once you've figured out how you like your sheets to look and the basic process, then it's even easier to order them the next time: just send the sheets over via email or ftp, ask them to put them on your preferred paper, and then pick them up. Most copy places should make 8.5x11 color copies for 39 to 99 cents, and the laser prints turn out very nice.