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Span one large image across multiple printed pages

I was looking for a way to print a large image across multiple pages, so I could make my own do-it-yourself poster-size printout. By way of background, I wanted to print a huge virtual fire, to cover a piece of insulation we put in front of a drafty fireplace in the winter. (We don't like to burn wood, so the fireplace goes unused, but staring at a piece of shiny foam insulation all winter isn't all that interesting.)

Conceptually, this seemed pretty easy: find a huge image, open it in some app that handles images, and print. What I found is that doesn't work, at least not in the apps I had at hand (Acorn and Preview). After some web searching, I stumbled across an odd but effective solution: use Excel.

Open a new blank Excel workbook, then select Insert > Photo > Picture From File, and select your massive image. Now when you hit Print, you'll see the output spans multiple pages. I used Page Setup to select a borderless US Letter size, and printed out 16 pages of a roaring fire.

After some cut-and-tape operation, the drafty fireplace's insulation became more visually appealing:

Note that this was a "proof of concept" operation, so I printed in draft mode (hence the vertical striping on the printout) and wasn't overly careful about lining up the pages. I had originally planned to print the final version on glossy photo paper, but instead opted to buy a 36x48 poster-size printout from an online vendor. (I haven't yet received the print, but when I do, I'll post about its quality. Until then, though, I don't want to link to the vendor, as I don't yet know what I've bought.)

I knew Excel could do a lot, but I never thought to try it for printing huge images across multiple pages.


    1. Are you kidding? This is a way better! Rasterbator just enlarges images to the max size possible when you add up all of A4 sheets and you can get the exact size you want here.

  1. Simple, neat effective - just what I was searching for - thank you for the tip.

    1. I don't use Windows much, and have never heard of Kingsoft Spreadsheet, so I have no idea.


  2. My image is 2 metres x 3 metres.. Will this be too large to process like this. It says its spread over 150 A4s..

    1. I don't know…in theory, if you have the RAM, it should work just fine.


    1. On a Mac, it's in the Print dialog, under a Paper Size pop-up. If you're using Windows, sorry, I don't have any idea.


  3. How do you know how big it will be or if you are trying to create a certain size in Excel?

    1. I think I used Print Preview which showed how many pages would output.


  4. Just Printed Buddha image in 18 pieces of A4 Sheets ! Looks So Awesome !

  5. Thanks For the Tip Man ! i just Printed a Big Picture For my Daughter. No Words to Explain her happiness.

  6. This is amazing! I've been searching and searching for an app that would do this!

  7. So cool. Thank you for sharing this great tip! Select View > Page Break then it will show all the pages the image spans.

  8. Found this method after PagePlus tells me the picture file is too large. Looks like this solves the problem

  9. New decade, this is still the simplest way to achieve this! Thanks for pointing me in the way of the simple answer - I was tearing my hair out over why the graphics programmes I use won't just print the canvas I've made at the size I've made it.

  10. This is a neat trick but I have been running into a problem. The picture format tab in Excel says my image is 12" x 16". That's the size I need. The print preview spans 6 pages; no problem. But when I print, the final image is only 11.25 x 15. Any ideas?

  11. I just tried again, and it's working for me - though something has changed, as Excel brought in my same fireplace image in a very small form. Once I resized it to large, print preview showed multiple pages, and I printed the first three to be sure it would print that way, and it did.

    Sorry, but I don't know what might be causing what you're seeing—a printer driver, maybe?


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