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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 36×48 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.


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


  1. 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. 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.


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

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

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