Check my Printing Logic?

I have a boardgame map in Illustrator that I printed to PDF using Adobe’s print driver. The intent is to print the map on two A1 pages with 5mm bleed and 15mm overlap.

The document exported fine, and when I open up the PDF and look under Document Properties, it says the document is 841x594mm (ie, A1 size) and has two pages. Sounds good.

However, the print service is telling us that the document is 832.5 x 594.1 mm, and they’d like us to re-send with the 841x594 dimensions.

So I’m confused. One reason I like (and pay for) Adobe’s print driver is that it’s supposed to take care of these things for me. I tell it the paper size I want, give it my desired bleeds, tell it to set the scaling to “Tile Full Pages” and then just manually adjust the scaling until the preview fits on the number of pages I want (see below):


So, am I misunderstanding things here? Or perhaps is the printer misunderstanding things here?

FWIW, I can get to their height dimension (832.5mm) by taking my document height, multiplying by the 53% scaling factor you see above, then adding twice the document bleed. But working backwards from that logic means I should be able to get the desired height (841mm) by scaling by 53.544%, and if I do that, Adobe’s print driver wants to expand the document to fit on 2x2 A1 pages instead of the 1x2 that I want.

So. Any clues here?



It sounds like you’re trying to make this harder than it is, IMO.

Create two artboards in Illustrator that are A1 size with a 5mm bleed. Butt them up side by side, then select the second artboard, make sure the reference point is any of the left hand points, and subtract 15mm from the X value in the artboard panel bar at the top so that there is an overlap. Copy and paste your Illustrator art and place on these two artboards to the size you want and you should be good to go.

Wait, why are you adjusting the scaling in the print dialog box? You should be setting this up full scale to start with.
If you are scaling it down to fit, you are resizing it, which is where the printer is getting the smaller dimensions. Maybe. It’s looking like you have a white gap on the right which maybe isn’t supposed to be there? This actually is making my head explode.

Craig’s solution is a good one. Not the one you are looking for, but it works for a simple tile like this one.

Thanks for your replies.

I didn’t start this with two A1-sized artboards because the artwork elements in the libraries that I use have a certain size to them. One has to standardize on SOMETHING, so I made things work with a certain standard, knowing that one of the strengths of using vector artwork is that one can scale the output to whatever print medium one wants. Sometimes I’m gonna print to single A0 sheets, sometimes it’ll be A1 or 8.5x11". I need to be able to scale my artwork accordingly. The fact that Illustrator (or is it just the Adobe PPD? whichever) lets me adjust the scaling so that I can get the effect I want (tiling to full-sized sheets of whatever sheet size I want) makes me think this is not out of the ordinary. The little white gap to the right of the preview is wastage; the original artwork does not fit exactly to two A1 pages. Again, I didn’t think this was out of the ordinary; that’s what cut lines are for, right?

The odd thing to me is that the resulting PDF is reported to be the correct A1 size, but the print service tells us it’s slightly different. I pay for the Adobe PPD to take care of these things for me, no?

Just compelled to chime in here and comment on that because I think it’s an odd notion. No piece of software “takes care of things for you;” it’s a tool you must apply and utilize correctly to achieve a result you desire…and dictate. Your thinking is a bit like expecting a hammer to always drive nails straight, just because you paid for it. No, you must still develop and apply the requisite skill and calculated method in order to drive the nail properly.

As @PrintDriver said, you don’t make the size adjustments in the print dialogue box.

If you resize and print at different sizes, then you could still create your artwork in Illustrator at whatever size I suppose and place it back into the example I showed above. Just check the “show import options” checkbox and select “crop to art”.

Understood. It does smell like one of those “I pushed the button but it doesn’t seem to work like I thought it would” moments. So I’m trying to find out more - why does Acrobat tell me the document is the size I thought it would be, but the print service tell me otherwise?

Trying to learn what’s going on under the hood here. Completely agree with your perspective.

There should be no discrepancy in the physical dimensions of the PDF. The quickest way to check the dimensions oof a PDF is open it in Acrobat, and mouse over the bottom left side of the screen a box will appear telling you the dimensions, in my screen shot example below you can see it shows it as being US letter sized.

Screen Shot 2021-01-07 at 2.24.06 PM

or click on File > Properties

All you do is set your Artboard to the exact size you want.
Set the bleed settings to 3mm or 5mm or whatever the printer requires.
Set your picture on the page right to the artboard edge.
Extend it out to the bleed area.

File>Export>PDF and choose PDF X4a.

Include Trim Marks and Include bleed.

It works correctly - you’re just using it incorrectly.

Your media size is 841 in height.

Your overlap is 15.88
That’s 7.94mm on each side

841.022-7.94 = 833.082

Why the vendor says 832.5 - probably a rounding situation of the figures in software.

*edit - actually you have a white space on the right hand size - so they are probably removing that and getting 832.5mm

Plus look at under the image.

It’s 1564.07 x 2140.22 mm - that’s not the size you want - you need to setup at the exact size you want it.
So your document size is massive.

You’re scaling the image by 53* to the 594.08 x 841.02

Then you’re introducing an overlap and placement shifts.

It’s a bit of a disaster the way you have set it up.

This whole thread is a disaster. Without seeing exactly what the printer is seeing, I’m not going to hazard a guess at what has creatively gone wrong here. (No I don’t want the file.)

Well. Thanks for your time.

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