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Please read this "How To" for a quick tutorial on printing PDF drawings to scale.
Please note that using Adobe® Reader® online limits your printing options. You must
download the file to use the guidelines in the tutorial. Feel free to either just open the page
for viewing or to download it so you can fully utilize your scaling options as described below.
Sample Page
Have fun, but please remember that this is copyrighted material and is for your personal use only.

How to Print PDF Drawings to Scale

Since all of the drawings done for the Trackside on the Pennsylvania books had to fit on the horizontally formatted printed page (8.375"H x 10.875"W), most of the drawings in both Volumes 1 and 2 were done in HO scale (1:87). Drawings for structures that were too big to fit on a page in HO were generally done in N scale (1:160), while smaller structures were usually done in O scale (1:48) and sometimes S scale (1:64).

Until the release of the Trackside on the Pennsylvania CDs, the only choice a modeler had if he wanted to print the drawings in another scale was to use a copier to enlarge or reduce the drawing. This often resulted in fuzzy or faint lines in the re-scaled drawings. Therein lies the beauty of being able to work directly with the PDF renderings of the original CAD drawings. No matter how big (or small) you resize an image, the line art will remain sharp and well defined.

But there are some tricks you need to master if you want to print these drawings to scale. Printing scale drawings on a Mac is pretty easy, but it is a much more difficult, trial-and-error process on a PC...even when both systems are using Adobe® Reader®. If you don't have access to a Mac at home, work or at a friend's, I recommend you take your CD to a Kinko's® or similar outlet where you can use one of their Macs.

On a Mac w/Adobe® Reader® 8

To print a page at original size just use the Print command with Page Scaling set to "None." (default setting).

For scales other than original size you will need to change the Scale setting that is found on the Page Setup dropdown menu under File. Just enter the Scale setting value from the conversion table below. (Note: If you change the Scale setting, it changes the default setting to that scale, so change it back to 100% when you've finished printing.) When enlarging the scale, you will need to select the portion of the page you want to print by enlarging the image on your screen until the area you want to print is displayed. Note that the screen image size percentage has nothing to do with the scale of the printed image. Only the Scale setting for the Page Setup controls the scale of the printed page.

When you're ready to print, select Print, check Current View and make sure that Page Scaling: is set to "None." If the view you selected won't fit on a page, just reduce the image size on the screen.


From N Scale Original

Scale Desired

Set Scale setting to:

F Scale (1:20.3) (Bachmann)

788%

G Scale (1:22.5) (LGB)

711%

G Standard Gauge (1:29) (Aristocraft)

552%

O Scale (1:48)

333%

S Scale (1:64)

250%

HO Scale (1:87)

184%

From HO Scale Original

Scale Desired

Set Scale setting to:

F Scale (1:20.3) (Bachmann)

429%

G Scale (1:22.5) (LGB)

387%

G Standard Gauge (1:29) (Aristocraft)

300%

O Scale (1:48)

181%

S Scale (1:64)

136%

N Scale (1:160)

54%

From S Scale Original

Scale Desired

Set Scale setting to:

F Scale (1:20.3) (Bachmann)

315%

G Scale (1:22.5) (LGB)

284%

G Standard Gauge (1:29) (Aristocraft)

221%

O Scale (1:48)

133%

HO Scale (1:87)

74%

N Scale (1:160)

40%

From O Scale Original

Scale Desired

Set Scale setting to:

F Scale (1:20.3) (Bachmann)

236%

G Scale (1:22.5) (LGB)

213%

G Standard Gauge (1:29) (Aristocraft)

166%

S Scale (1:64)

75%

HO Scale (1:87)

55%

N Scale (1:160)

30%

 

On a PC w/Adobe® Reader® 8

To print a page at original size just use the Print command with Page Scaling set to "None." For other scales you'll have to experiment because Reader® has a Print Setup dropdown menu under File rather than Page Setup, and it doesn't have a scaling option. As a result, how a document prints also depends on your monitor. For example, to print an HO scale drawing in O scale on my PC I had to set the image size on my monitor at 149%, then select Print and set Page Scaling to "Fit to Printable Area." This resulted in a Zoom of the necessary 181%. It took several back and forth attempts to discover that the image size of 149% was what I needed. Depending on the size of your monitor, your required image size will probably be different so you'll just have to experiment. — Randy Lee, Editor/Publisher


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