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Need help printing from Illustrator

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by eck1010, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hi all!

    I am trying to print a 5x7 doc in illustrator straight on 5x7 paper. I have it set to print borderless, which it does, but it keeps chopping off a little bit of the image. I have tried changing every setting I could think of but nothing is working. If I resize the artwork to 4.87x6.78 -ish it prints it fine. I've even tried printing from Acrobat and PS and keep getting the same results. Any ideas??

    If it helps, I am running version 10.5.7 on Leopard and my printer is an Epson 1400

  2. macrumors 68020


    You have to go to page setup > Paper size > Mange custom sizes and set the margins to 0. :)
  3. macrumors newbie

    That's exactly what I first thought and I did that and nothing changed!
  4. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Hi. Try to keep everything related in one thread. It's easier to follow that way.

    Make sure you don't have Scale to Fit checked. Less that 1% would make it more that 1/8 in off. If your paper (I have an Epson 1400) is set to US letter, change it to US Letter Sheet feed (Boarderless) and see what happens. Then make a 5x7 box in another app and print it. I might just be your printer.

  5. macrumors newbie

    Hi Dale,

    I don't have scale to fit checked. I have an Epson 1400 as well and that is what I was printing on. I made the 5x7 box in Illustrator and when I printed it, it was larger than a 5x7. I don't know if the problem is the printer, illustrator, or what. aahhh!!
  6. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Dig This


    I printed a 5x7 .ai file and it was 1/8 inch too big.

    The same file printed from a saved .eps and .pdf ruled out to exactly 5x7.

    The same was true if I printed a PostScript file, converted it in Distiller and ran that out. It's a glitch in the .ai file format.

  7. macrumors newbie

    Thanks again Dale!

    Did print that .pdf file in acrobat or illustrator?
  8. macrumors newbie

    Yup - Illustrator and Photoshop "Inches" Issue

    I've had a similar problem except getting Illustrator and Photoshop to print to scale inches...

    I open a new file, specify 4in x 6in and both programs give me something approx. 80% of what 4x6 should be. Both on screen and in print. I have been holding my 4x6 postcard hard copy up to my screen and then used the 'scale' function to manually get it to size.

    Of course, Photoshope/Illustrator says the image is like 5.5in x 7.3in but it prints to 4x6 (because of my manual correction).

    It's like PS/Ill use a smaller unit for an inch...weird and frustrating...

    Anyone have a solution?
  9. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale


    I tried to quote you, but it got lost in the either.

    My first time around with this, I hit the "Print" command from Acrobat. I have since saved my test rectangle from Illustrator as a PDF, then opened and hit "Print" from Illustrator. The printed file is exactly 4x7. Printing .ai from Illustrator does something odd. Others have had similar size issues with PhotoShop. I will play with that app next.

  10. macrumors 6502a


    I'm not sure what the problem might be with the printouts. If I had to guess I'd say that scaling is probably turned on somewhere.

    The screen scaling occurs because your screen's DPI is different then illustrators default. Illustrator assumes that your screen has a resolution of 72 DPI. Your screen probably has a significantly higher DPI. Finding the correct zoom factor is relatively simple.

    First you need to calculate the DPI of your screen with this equation:

    DPI = SQRT(horizontal_resolution^2+vertical_resultion^2)/screen_diagonal

    My monitor has a horizontal resolution of 2560, a vertical resolution of 1600, and a diagonal that's 29.7" long so my equation is:

    SQRT(2560^2+1600^2)/29.7 = 101.6 DPI

    Once you have that you just have to divide your DPI by illustrators assumed DPI of 72 to get the zoom factor. For my monitor it's:

    101.6 DPI / 72 DPI = 1.41 = 141%

    So, on my monitor, if I set the zoom in illustrator to 141% the screen displays what I'm working on in actual size. The same equations work in photoshop but you have to divide by whatever resolution you set when you created the document instead of 72.

    Hope that helps.
  11. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    PhotoShop Size Issues

    I'm afraid I cant replicate the PhotoShop size errors mentioned in this thread. A 4x6 prints at 4x6 through my Epson 1400 directly from PhotoShop. The screen measure doesn't match, but then I'm looking at 72 dpi and printing to the doc preset for this, which has been 300 dpi.

    I'm running a currently updated CS3.3 on OS 10.5.7. My monitor is a 23 in Samsung P series set at 1920x1080.


    Thanks panoz7. I need to bone back up on my math. I'm pretty sure my laptop has a lower resolution than my Samsung, so changing scaling in the app would knock things off when I went on the road.
  12. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Math Link

    For anyone interested but a little daunted by the math posted in this thread, this is a link for you.


    I love Google...

    Dale, who reads the forum at 96 dpi.
  13. macrumors newbie

    I don't think that is it because...

    Well, the same size/scaling issue on-screen is what prints, so I'm lead to believe it is just one issue.

    I understand that screen-resolution and other factors may cause things to appear differently on-screen, but they should print to the inches I specify...I would think.

    So it shouldn't matter what zoom percentage I'm in or what resolution I have, when I open a new doc and set it to 4in x 6in (or just draw a shape that is 4x6) it should print to 4in x 6in. I wish I could show you what it looks like on my screen...

    Well, I don't know how to do a quick screenshot and post a pic but...

    Maybe this visual example will help:

    |----------| 1inch in real life - when I hold a ruler up to screen and when printed

    |------| 1inch in PS/Ill world - on screen and when printed

    I've been holding (in 100% zoom) an actual 4x6 postcard up to my screen, and scaling the image up. So my 4in x 6in postcard in real-life is something like 5.5in x 8.3in in PS/iLL world.

    I know it sounds ridiculous but I can't figure out the reason why. It's like that in Photoshop and Illustrator (CS3 Web Suite on OSX 10.4.11)
  14. macrumors newbie

    Dale, since we're working with the same printer and the same mac system, would you mind walking me through how you set the print menu? I was on the phone with Adobe for almost 2 hours today and we got to the point where we could print the 5x7 on a sheet of letter paper and it would measure 5x7. Perfect. Then we tried with the 5x7 sheet of paper and we were back to ground zero. That leads me to believe it's a problem with the printer settings. Are you able to print it on a 5x7 sheet and have all of your design showing on the page?

    Thank you again for all of your help. I REALLY appreciate it!
  15. macrumors 6502a


    Like I said, I'm not positive about the printing issues. I am however, 100% sure about the screen half of it. If you tell me what monitor you have I'll do the math for you and give you the zoom. If you hold a ruler up with the right zoom I guarantee it will match.

    The printing issue is most likely something due to something being set wrong in the print dialog box or some issue with your model printer in particular, which at least according to this thread, is fairly common.

    Just to show that it is indeed possible to have both print and screen match real life measurement (click for larger):


    That's an 8.5" x 11" illustrator document with lines spaced 1cm apart. The screen is zoomed to 141% which is actual size for illustrator on my screen. The file was printed directly from illustrator on a cheap samsung laser and printed with scaling off. The ruler obviously is marked at 1cm increments. In the photo the lines appear to be slightly off towards the edge. They aren't in real life, it's just a result of the thickness of the paper and shooting with a wide lens. On a side note the rainbow pattern behind is pretty crazy.

    Since both eck1010 and designerdale are having the same issue with the same printer I'd be willing to bet it's a printer issue and not an illustrator or os x issue exclusively.
  16. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Hi. I have working this on a US letter sheet of paper. Printing true 5x7 on 5x7 may be a challenge if that is what you need to do. I will work on this and get back to you tomorrow. I need to eat...

  17. macrumors newbie

    Well the screen part of it I get.. it's the fact that what I print on screen (at 100% zoom) also prints onto paper. So it doesn't really matter to me what the screen dimensions are, as long as I have predictable, and measurable print dimensions.

    For example, how would you know that your print-out was spaced an accurate 1cm apart if you did not have the ruler taped to your screen?

    Maybe I just don't get what you are trying to explain but if my screen dimensions will help solve the issue... My computer is a PowerBook G4 17inch (2003).

    I don't think my question is unique to my platform only, but I think it definitely is with Photoshop/Illustrator because they obviously know what an inch is, it's just not equal to an inch on a ruler.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    So if you print something out of illustrator the printouts match exactly what's on your screen at 100% if you hold them up to it? That's really strange, but most likely an odd coincidence.

    I knew the lines on the screen were spaced 1cm apart because I set them that way in illustrator using the rulers. I also knew, based on my math, that if I zoomed my screen to 141% whatever was on my screen would be actual size. I rarely work that way though. In fact, I didn't know what the zoom factor was for my screen until I calculated it for this thread. It's usually safe to assume that an inch in illustrator is an inch in real life, although from the sound of it something might be off with your illustrator.

    Anyway, Your 17" powerbook has a resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels so it's DPI is 99.9. That means that if you zoom to 139% in illustrator everything will be actual size.

    In a previous post you said that if something on your screen at 100% looked for inches long it would print as 5.5" long. 4" * 139% equals 5.56" so the math holds up.

    I uploaded the file I used in the picture. You can download it here: accipitergallery.com/lines.ai I saved it as a CS1 file so you ought to be able to open it unless you're using a really old version of illustrator. Open it up, set the zoom to 139% and measure it with a ruler. The increments should be 1cm apart. If they aren't can you take a picture of your screen? I'm really curious what's going on.
  19. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    My Print Settings

    The PDF with this post includes all of the steps I go through to print. I have been able to print full size 5x7s on 5x7 paper. I have printed out of Illustrator using both .ai and .eps files.

    Hops this helps.


    I hit the wrong button. Sorry...
  20. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    My Print Settings

    The PDF with this post includes all of the steps I go through to print. I have been able to print full size 5x7s on 5x7 paper. I have printed out of Illustrator using both .ai and .eps files. I am using an Epson 1400.

    This started out as one annotated PDF but the file Gods kept rejecting it. Watch where I set my paper size. I do everything from the application's print dialogue box. I don't use File/Page setup.

    Sorry if this is a little convoluted...

    Hope this helps.


    Attached Files:

  21. macrumors 6502a


    So for my Unibody Macbook Pro 15.4" it would it be..

    DPI = SQRT(horizontal_resolution^2+vertical_resultion^2)/screen_diagonal

    SQRT(1440^2+900^2)/15.4 = 110.267

    110.267 DPI / 72 DPI = 1.53 = 153%

    Aha, but how do I set the zoom to 153%?
  22. macrumors 6502a


    The zoom is shown in the bottom left corner of the window. Click on it and you can type in a new value.

    Attached Files:

    • zoom.jpg
      File size:
      23 KB
  23. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Hot Sauce

    Let me make sure about your issue before I wrack my brain any more than usual. You make a rectangle of a specified size (click and enter dimensions in Illustrator), give it a stroke or fill and hit Print. What you get is considerably smaller than specified and matches the screen size of the image. Is this correct?

  24. macrumors newbie


    So just to affirm what I believe you understand...

    a) I open a new print doc in Illustrator.

    b) It will prompt me for length and width dimensions...I specify 4inch by 6inch and out pops a rectangle defined my the typical one pixel black box

    c) I "view rulers" and make sure that the rectangle is indeed 4in x 6in

    d) I fill the box with my image (or just a 4x6 filled in rectangle) and print

    e) The image does not print to the 4inx6in dimension but is significantly smaller

    ***Yes, what I see on screen (at 100% zoom) is what prints out.

    Is anything unclear or can I explain better?
  25. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Thanks. I just wanted to assure myself that I was on the right thought string. All that talk about screen resolution formula pulled me off track. You are true WISWIG, and that's not good.

    My design instructor worked for quite a while in PrePress. I asked him about this issue and he said he has seem something similar but not as extreme. Illustrator, being vector, has no "true size". It will scale and keep the same proportion. Illustrator doesn't understand inches, it understands "in proportion to". Something seems to be getting lost in the communication between Illustrator and your printer. Try saving your file as an .eps instead of .ai. and print that. When it is saved as .eps, PostScript will (should) take command of everything and print at the designed size. This is what I found when I printed out .ai, .eps and.pdf files in response to this thread. The .ai did not retain exact size, while the two others did. The only difference is that they are based on PostScript. The big deal about PostScript is that it gives consistent results from various printing devices.

    Hpoe this helps.


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