macOS: How to Print a Picture on Multiple Pages

Have you ever wanted to print a poster-sized image on paper but only have a standard size printer? It is possible to print a large image on multiple pieces of paper which can then be attached to create a large printout of that image.

I’m Eric, a software engineer and technology enthusiast. I have been working with computers for almost 40 years and I have had to adapt systems and software to accomplish many unusual things. I still enjoy figuring out processes and I am happy to share them with you when I can.

You have probably seen others use a standard size printer to print out each part of a larger image and then attach them to make one large poster. This was more common years ago and was something easy to do on old Macintosh systems.

Although it may not be quite as easy on today’s systems it is still possible and if you would like to see how just follow me through the rest of this article.

The Easiest and Cheapest Method

There are many apps that can help you do this but most of them cost money and/or can be complicated to use. I have found that the simplest way to do this is using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Not only is it easy to use but it is free.

If you don’t already have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your machine, just visit this link to download and install it. Installation is quite easy, just follow the directions. 

Once you have it installed, you can start it up and it will ask you if you want to make Adobe Acrobat Reader the default application for opening pdf files. I recommend answering yes because it makes it very easy to open pdfs by simply double-clicking on them. 

Here are the things you will need once you are ready to try printing an image on multiple pages.

  1. Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your Mac.
  2. The image that you would like to use.
  3. If your image is not large enough to cover multiple pages, you may need to use some image editing software to enlarge it.
  4. A printer that you can connect to and print from your Mac.

Once you have the items listed above, just follow the steps below to print your image on multiple pages.

  1. Use Finder to navigate to your image file. 
  1. Select the file, right-click on it and open it with Preview.
  1. Once it is open in Preview, go to the File menu and select Export as PDF.
  1. In the File save window, change the extension of the file name to .pdf.
  1. In Finder, double click on the new PDF file or right-click on it and Open With Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  1. In Adobe, click on the printer symbol to bring up the printing window.
  1. In the printing window, select the Poster option.
  1. You can adjust the size and number of pieces of paper by changing the percent value. By default, it will be at 100%. The larger you increase it the larger the poster will be and the more pieces of paper it will print on.

You will want to play around with these settings to get the size and number of pieces that work best for you. You can also change the paper orientation to Landscape if needed.

  1. Once you have the size that you desire in the preview window, click on the print button to begin printing.
  1. Your printer should produce results similar to that shown below.

Poster Printing Tips

As you can see from the above steps, printing your image out on multiple pages to make a poster is quite simple and almost anyone can do it. With that said, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind when creating your giant wall hanging.

1. Image Quality Vs. Poster Size

When you go to print your image you will need to take into account the quality of the image. The higher the resolution, the better quality printout you will get, and the larger you will be able to print it.

Create your image or take your photos with the highest resolution possible. This will allow you to print it in larger sizes without it looking grainy or blotchy.

2. Paper

You will want to make sure that you have plenty of paper on hand. There’s a chance that your first couple of printouts may not come out as good as you expect and you may end up needing to edit and/or resize and print again. 

If you are unsure of how the quality will look, try printing just a couple of the pages to see what a couple of parts of the image look like. You can select which pages to print in the printing window and this will give you a good idea of what the final product will look like.

You may want to print your poster out on some quality thicker paper. Since this paper will be more expensive, I would suggest trying it first on your cheap paper to see how it goes. Once you have everything looking how you want, then print on the more expensive quality paper.

3. Ink

Make sure you have plenty of ink or toner available when you start. Unfortunately, this process is going to use quite a bit of it and you don’t want to have to stop partway through and run to the store to get more. Have some backup cartridges on hand in case you run out.

4. Other Supplies

Once you have your image printed out, there are some other supplies you may need to put your poster together. You may need scissors to trim the edges of some of the pieces of the images. You will also need some tape or glue to put the images together into one piece.

Taping them together can be quite simple but may not look as good or hold up over time. Another method is to get a cardboard or foam poster board to use as a backing. Then use glue to attach the pieces to the poster board. 

Just be careful to not use too much glue or your paper may wrinkle and bubble. 

Final Words

There are apps that you can purchase that will help you print images on multiple pages but they can be complicated to use and you may not want to spend money on them. Adobe Acrobat Reader provides a free easy way to do this.

We hope these tips will help you to print out your poster size image. As usual please let us know if you have any questions or comments.

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  • Juan

    This option no longer works on Sonoma: the Poster option is greyed ut. Apple forums say it’s Adobe’s fault, Adobe isn’t doing anything about it.

    • Eric

      Hi Juan,
      I took a look at this today and I see what you mean. I see that the poster option is greyed out. This is disappointing that this feature has been disabled. If I get a chance I will try to see if there is any way to get this working but at this point, it may be necessary to use another application to do this. Thank you for pointing this out, I appreciate the feedback.

      • stevenski

        this article should be taken down since you are now aware that the advice you are giving in fact does not work anymore.

  • Sam Rosenthal

    Can anything be done about the borders?

    • Jerry Romero

      Hi Sam,
      This is a great question. The free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader does not provide any way to adjust or get rid of the margins when printing. Adobe does have an add-on tool called Print Production which is said to give you the ability to adjust margins when you print. I have never used it but I assume that it would help with the problem. It does have a 7-day trial but after that, you will pay a monthly fee for it. In my opinion, the best solution is to just get a pair of scissors and trim the edges.