Printing a 2-Minute Map
This guide will teach you how to print out a 2-Minute Map on four inter-joining sheets of paper using a common household A4 / US Letter printer.
Ensure that you are using a compatible PDF viewer
Selecting alternate grid and map styles requires a PDF viewer that supports layers. These are our most up-to-date recommendations:
Select the PDF that is right for you
When you download a map pack, you will find one or more PDFs. If your map pack contains only one PDF, simply continue to the next step.
If you find two, they will be labelled -A2.pdf and -Letter.pdf. Depending on where you live, your standard printer paper will either be A4 or US Letter, and the PDF names correspond to these sizes. For the best fit, select -A2.pdf for A4 sheets, or -Letter.pdf for US Letter sheets.
Customize your map with color and grid options
Open up the PDF and find the Layers pane on the left side of the window (alternatively, under View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Layers). Toggle the visibility of the layers in this pane to manipulate the printout. Many maps come with specialized black & white versions and several grid options!
Using PDF XChange Editor?
XChange (and some other PDF viewers) may print with all layers enabled by default, resulting in overlapping square and hexagonal grids. I recommend Adobe Reader (the program used for the entirety of this guide) but the following solution exists for XChange:
Click “View,” and on the right side of the toolbar there will be a “Panes” drop-down menu, where you can select “Layers.” Clicking on a layer will open up another pane with that layer’s properties. Under “Initial State” is a Print option, and you need to set the layers you don’t want to “Never” on that.
Thank you to “CalicoJack” for providing this solution.
The print dialog
Open the print dialog with Ctrl+P (alternatively, under File > Print). Most of the defaults will be okay here, but you may wish to adjust your specific printer’s settings. Besides that, follow these steps:
- Select Poster under Page Size & Handling
- Select Landscape under Orientation
- Confirm that the Print Preview image displays the intended number of pages
- Print, and enjoy!
* In some cases, depending on your printer, the print preview may demand six pages. In this case, please read the guide in the troubleshooting section below for a simple fix.
Printing only part of a map
In some cases you maybe wish to only print part of a map, either because you don’t need every token in a token pack, or your printer demands a smaller print area. Fortunately, doing so is rather simple:
Follow the guide above to select your PDF and customize your map. Before you open the print dialogue, perform these steps:
- Select Edit > Take a Snapshot
- Click and drag over the map to select the area you wish to print
- Open the Print Dialog with Ctrl+P or under File > Print
- Under Pages to Print > More Options, select Selected Graphic
The area you selected should now be displayed in the print preview, and you may follow the rest of the print dialog steps in the guide above.
Printing in Poster mode demands six sheets of paper?
Depending on your printer, you may need to make further adjustments. I recommend trying these steps one by one until one works for you:
- Make sure you are using the right PDF. Refer to Selecting the right PDF for you.
- Under Page Size & Handling > Poster, set Overlap to 0 (zero) inches
- Instruct your printer to print without borders (not all printers have this option)
- Click Properties > Paper/Quality > Advanced
- Set Borderless Printing to Print Borderless
- Choose a smaller area of the map to print by following Printing only part of a map
- As a last resort, under Page Size & Handling > Poster, adjust the Tile Scale downwards until the map fits. This will also have the effect of reducing the scale of your grid.
The map only prints on one page at a 0.5″ grid scale?
Some of my first maps were made at half the resolution of my current standard, and will default to their 0.5″ scale when you try and print them. I am in the process of re-scanning and re-uploading them at the new scale, but the steps below act as a work around for now:
- Enable one of the square grids (to make the next step easier)
- Follow the Printing only part of a map guide and crop out the white border
- For A2 printouts, select a 23×16″ area (everything besides the white border)
- For US Letter printouts, select a 22×16″ area (crop out the white border and one vertical column)
- In the print dialog, under Page Size & Handling > Poster > Tile Scale, enter 200%
The area you selected should now be displayed in the print preview, on the correct number of sheets, and you may follow the rest of the print dialog steps in the guide above. If it still demands too many sheets, repeat step 2 and select a slightly smaller area.
Though this method prints at a fraction of the new maps’ resolution, they are still clear and perfectly readable. That said, please run a test print to see if the quality is to your liking before paying for an expensive print!