Poster printing without an A0 printer

GRC poster "Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function & Disease"

I failed to prepare my poster for the GRC conference on Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function & Disease in time. The A0 printer from UNIGRAFIA is not available on weekends. Hence the best I could do is to print it out on A3 and stitch it together. A definite advantage is that I do not have to run around with these ridiculously large poster tubes, that identify you as a Science nerd from half a mile distance.

Unfortunately, the only application that can decently split a DIN A0 PDF into separate pages on the fly while printing is the full version of Acrobat. I tried out other options: pdfposter did a fairly good job, but it did not manage with the background: pdfposter -mA3 -pA0 input.pdf output.pdf Pdfposter also doesn't create overlaps. A solution, that always should work is to convert the PDF into an image (convert -density 150 input.pdf output.png) and then use PosteRazor to create individual PDF files from that image. However, conversion of a A0 pdf into a high res image can last hours. Use a .png file! PosteRazor refused to work on a 60 MB TIF file. The background gradient conversion results in visible colour steps. In order to avoid that, you would have to define the background gradient as an image rather than a vector element. Otherwise PosteRazor worked well; unlike in pdfposter you can define overlaps for the assembly.

I have been using Inkscape to prepare my poster and usually I export it from there as a PDF file. This did not work this time because the program consistently crashed during the export. Hence I tried to save it as an encapsulated postscript file and to distil it into a PDF. When exporting from Inkscape (actually it is "Save as"), I selected the following options:

Postscript level 3
Rasterize filter effects: yes
Resolution for rasterisation: something between 150 to 300
Export area is page: yes

After distilling it, I printed it from Acrobat Pro with the following options:
Page setup: DIN A3, portrait orientation
Page scaling: Tile large pages

At a tile scale of 95% and an overlap of 10mm I got 9 pages (3x3), which is still OK for assembly.