Purchase and Download your PDF files.
If your purchase contains a ZIP (compressed) file – Unzip the file.
Open the file(s) in Acrobat Reader.
I have tried different PDF software and had bad luck with some resizing the artwork with no settings to do otherwise, so I suggest using the free Adobe Reader software to view and print these. Most people already have Reader loaded in their computers but… If you do not have Adobe Reader, you can download it free from Adobe – here. (Be sure to unclick the special offers before downloading).
Tips and Tricks:
To zoom in or out on the page, use these Page Zoom shortcuts:
To zoom out – press Ctrl- (Command- on a Mac) Repeat until the size is correct for the view you want.
To zoom in – press Ctrl+ (Command+ on a Mac)
What paper to use:
- For links to my favorite paper – scroll down
- Use a high quality, heavy weight paper made for photo or graphics printing.
- Most desktop printers will require that you load your paper in the printer’s rear tray. This uses the straightest paper path that is a requirement for heavy weight paper. You may have to print these one page at a time but that is common for heavy and specialty paper.
- Be sure to print on the correct side of your paper (test first if you can’t tell which is the coated/print side).
To determine how to load your paper for printing on the correct side, scribble a mark on a plain piece of paper (not your more expensive, high quality paper) then load the paper into your rear tray. Print a test with a few words of text (so you don’t waste ink) to see if the printing is on the side with your mark. If your mark is on the BACK of the printed sheet, you’ll know to flip your paper around.
Click File, Print
First print screen settings:
- Page Sizing & Handling: Actual Size
(On the 2-up file some of the cut marks lie really close to the edge and the PDF software will try to shrink it if you don’t click Actual Size). Also, it may warn you that something lies outside of the printer’s margins. On my printer (a Canon Pixma) I do see this occasionally and it may cut off part of a crop (cut) mark on the 2-up version but still prints fine.
- Orientation: Auto portrait/landscape
(Both files are formatted to print in portrait orientation. The images are turned to best fit the paper size and include cut and fold marks.) So you will be printing in portrait even for the cards that are horizontal (landscape) orientation. The artwork is just turned on the page. Cutting and folding is the same for both orientations.
Now Click the Properties tab:
- Choose the rear tray for heavy weight paper
- Media type: Other – High Resolution Papers
- Print Quality: High
- Paper Source: Rear Tray for heavy paper
- You will probably need to reselect the default values next time you print a regular (non high quality) PDF
- You will probably be able to save your printer setting but I can’t advise on that since it’s different for every printer.
Allow time for your print to fully dry before folding or cutting.
These are very saturated prints and may tend to curl the paper when wet. On the Red River paper I suggest, the print will bow a bit while wet but flattens as it dries.
Score/Cut/Fold the card
- Score the card before you cut it since cutting will remove the fold lines.
Use a bone folder or a hard edge (but not sharp) tool and a metal ruler to score the paper.
Place your ruler on the score (fold) dotted lines and hold firmly while you pull your tool along the line. Use your whole arm to pull the tool to get the cleanest line.
- Now use the crop marks to cut the card with your paper cutter or Xacto knife and a metal straight edge. If you are cutting with a knife, pull with your whole arm and firm pressure on the ruler to get a smooth cut. Be sure your blade is fresh and sharp. A dull blade will tear the paper rather than cut it.
- Fold the card and check to see if a slight edge of the back is showing on the bottom. Sometimes the weight of the card stock or width of your folding score can create a slight difference in the depth of the front and back folded card. If you see some white from the back of the card, just carefully recut the bottom (or side on a vertical card) of the folded card to make it perfect.