Printing Patterns

Whenever possible, we have provided the free patterns on this site full-size. Therefore, they need to be printed properly to be able to use them. It’s important that you know and understand your printer’s settings, so that you can fully enjoy the patterns the way they were intended.

Printing patterns full-size is actually easy. Feel free to print these instructions and keep them handy. Click here to download a Pattern Printing Test in PDF format.

Each printer is different and settings vary widely across different brands. If you have problems with the printer scaling patterns after reading this material, please refer to your owners’ manual, as we do not offer tech support. A quick web search for your printer model will also yield information on your equipment.

Most printers default to scaling in order to print what it deems to be “too large” for an area. This feature must be disabled by unclicking or deselecting the feature. Please note that while these instructions work for most printers, there is a possibility that your printer may vary.

  • Do not use any form of Page Scaling – this option should be set to “NONE”
  • If your printer has an Advanced Features this setting should be set to “Print Actual Size”
  • Do NOT use the “Choose Paper Source by PDF Page Size” Box.
  •  The Auto Rotate to Center should NOT be checked. Uncheck this box if it has been selected by default.
  • Do NOT use the “Fit to Printable Area” option, as this option usually decreases the pattern size.
  • Do NOT use the “Shrink to Printable Area” option for the same reason.

Also note that sometimes the scaling happens within the software, rather than at the printer. For example, when using the Windows Photo Viewer and you select an image to print, it defaults to “Print Picture to Frame” – this option must be manually unchecked to print properly. When printing a PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader, the default under Size Options is set to  “Fit” – this option once again must be manually unchecked.

If you are using other types of software to print, check the settings carefully before printing. You can use the PDF Test Page to double-check before printing any patterns.

For best results when printing the patterns on this site, Print Quality should be set to “Normal”. The ink-saving features may result in a pattern that is difficult to see, especially on embroidery patterns or cross stitch and needlepoint charts.

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