Several weeks back I inquired about the process of printing a map using my
file of about 500 Colonial South Carolina plats, and you gave me some advice
on the subject and asked for a report back. Here 'tis.
I checked with Kinkos, and found they used an HP DesignJet5000PS printer for
their large format printing. I downloaded the driver for this printer and
installed it on my computer, then printed my file using it. I obviously did
something wrong, because Kinkos was unable to successfully open the .prn
However, they suggested that I download the free "Kinkos file prep tool"
software available at their website (www.kinkos.com
). This is software
allows the creation of what is apparently a type of pdf file. Once
installed, the software simply appears as a printer on the computer when you
print from the file menu. The printer setup needs to be set to the paper
size you desire (in my case, I set it to A0, which is about 33" by 44"). The
paper size needs to be big enough that the entire area to be printed fits.
Use print preview to check and zoom in/zoom out to size. However, it is
apparently better to use a slightly bigger paper size than you actually
want, and let Kinkos reduce to your size, than to rely totally on the zoom
in/zoom out in Deedmapper. Thus I used the .72 mi/in scale, and reduced
slightly (about 1 mi/in), rather than go to the 1.4 mi/in scale. You do not
print to file--rather you just print to this software, which opens and
allows you to see the graphic file (much like Acrobat, I assume). You then
save the file prep tool file to a floppy disk, and deliver to Kinkos.
Now the difficulty--the cost, which was an astronomical $12.95 per square
foot for color if printed to paper and about $7.95 if printed to vinyl! I
opted for a smaller sized 24" by 36" color version (still very expensive),
and only black and white (which were only $6.00 each) for the 33" by 44"
version. The output on the color version was great--the owner names,
although small, are readable, and the full area was printed, although at a
slightly reduced scale. The black and white version was not as crisp, but
reasonable from a price standpoint.