The maps are optimized for readability when they are printed on ledger paper (11" x 17"). On these ledger-sized pages the all-important street names print at approximatley 6 point type size. In many towns, particularly those with summer populations and clusters of many cottages sharing feeder streets (often short lanes or ways) to a lake or the seashore, the streets can be close together and the map is dense with names. So it is important to print the maps as large as possible to make them readable. If you have a large-format printer that can print on ledger-sized paper (11" x 17"), simply print the page you want or the whole file, as is.
But many people only have "regular" printers for letter size output, so for full-sized printouts, what can you do? If you shrink or scale a map page to print on standard letter-size paper (8.5" x 11"), the street names become very tiny. In many cases, the very tiny text may be fine for your needs, and you can print the entire map atlas onto letter-sized paper. We suggest keeping a magnifying glass handy for folks without perfect focus.
There are two ways for you to print excellent maps on a letter-sized printer:
Ledger paper is precisely two sheets of letter paper. You can tell your computer software to print two tiles per ledger page using Adobe Acrobat. When the two pages have printed, each being half of the original, you simply join them together at the edges. You will need to cut off the thin strip of white margin on one or both of the printouts for an exact fit. Note that the free Adobe Reader software does not allow tiling, but Adobe Acrobat does. Here's how.
With Adobe Reader you can select an area on a map page (keep your selection smaller than 8.5" x 11"), and print that selected area of the map onto your letter-size paper. Here's how.
You could save the file on a ThumbDrive or memory stick or burn the file onto a CD-ROM or DVD disc and visit a Staples store, where they can print one or more pages for $0.18 (cents) per page in black and white or $1.79 per page in full color (nation-wide pricing in March, 2010). Timestream doesn't recommend black and white printing.
PDF Printing Software
Please let us know about other software applications, especially free or shareware, that will tile a ledger PDF file for printing to letter-sized printers. We will add your input to our Printing Tips section. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.