How to Print Tabloid Pages on a Letter-Size Printer

By Elizabeth Mott

Creating business documents sometimes involves more information than will fit on a letter-sized sheet. When you change page sizes at printing time, application software behaves in one of two basic ways. Some programs, such as Microsoft Word, reformat page content to the target sheet size. Others, including graphics applications, simply pass the information on regardless of whether it fits on the paper you use. Printing tabloid-sized pages on a device that tops out at letter size poses a challenge you can overcome with the help of a free piece of software.

Open your tabloid-sized document in its originating application. Create a PDF version of the file. For example, in Microsoft Word, click on the "File" menu, choose "Export" and select the "Create PDF/XPS" option. In Microsoft Excel, click the "File" menu, select "Save As" and set the file type to PDF.

Launch Adobe Reader and open the PDF file you just created. Click Reader's "File" menu and choose "Print." Click on the "Poster" button in the Page Sizing & Handling section of the Print dialog box to print your tabloid-sized pages in sections on letter-sized paper.

Set the tile scaling factor to 100 percent unless you want to print your tabloid-sized file larger or smaller than its actual dimensions. Leave the overlap value at its default or increase it to enlarge the amount of page content each tile shares with the next. Larger overlaps make it easier to assemble your over-sized page but require more tiles to do so.

Select the check box for Reader's cut marks option to add line segments that help you position the tiles so they overlap properly. To label your tiles by number so you can tell which sheet contains which tile, activate the "Labels" check box.

Click the "Print" button to create your tiled output. Reassemble the tiles, trim away the overlap and fasten the resulting pieces of paper together with tape or glue.


Tape your tiles onto a window so you can see positioning marks through several sheets of paper.

Regardless of the overlap value you choose, tiling a 17-inch width onto 8.5-inch-wide sheets requires more than two sheets. Strike a balance between ease of assembly and amount of assembly work.

If you print a document you received from someone else, ask if it uses security features. To print a protected PDF, you must first enter a password.

If you don't care about the size of the text or images on the document, you can scale the document to fit the letter-sized paper when you print the document.


Information in this article applies to Adobe Reader X 10.1.2 or later. It may differ slightly or significantly with other versions or products.