How to Print Printables: Step by Step

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How to access PDF files to print.

To access and print your printable files use the free Adobe Reader©.

MAC computer users: If the default PDF reader program that came with your computer called “Preview” doesn’t work properly with printable files, use Adobe Reader, too.

Should I print my printables at home or at a professional printers?

If you get professional quality printing on your own printer, you may want to print at home. Many prefer to save ink and produce a better looking product by taking the PDF to a professional printer. Due to ink costs and perhaps even wasted cardstock or sticker pages in errors, it can be cheaper to use a printing company. Check prices online.

How to Print Printables at Home

Open your PDF file in Adobe Reader© and print as shown below, depending on the type of party printable.


If there are areas that can be personalized, they will appear highlighted. Click and type in the text as you want it to read.

Save changes. (If you have difficulty saving, you may need to update your Adobe Reader version.)

Printer set up for printing printables.

Ensure that your color ink cartridges are at least 50% full so there will be uniform printing color for the whole project.

Right click on the page or click on the File button at the top of the page and select “Print”. A popup will appear with several choices.

Select the printer that you will be using and number of pages you wish to print. (It’s always a good idea to print one page as a test first.)

Select the page number of the PDF that you wish to print – you will see the example in the image box. (Don’t select “all” if you don’t want to include the information pages.)

Page sizing is usually 8.5 x 11, unless you’re printing a planner or journal. Check the instructions that came with you printables. Make sure it is the correct size, and make it borderless. Depending on your printer you would choose “actual size”, “full bleed” “borderless” or set page scaling at “none”. MAC users with “Preview” use US Letter Borderless setting.

Print settings should be 100%, best color quality or best photo quality, again depending on the selections on your particular printer.

Insert the paper, and click “Print”.

Printing stickers

Printing stickers requires special sticker paper. You need to know if you are using an ink jet or laser printer to get the correct sheets. (Amazon* has sticker paper that works for both if you’re not sure.)

You can also print on waterproof sticker paper*, or transparent sticker sheets*, depending on your project.

If you are printing stickers at home, this requires knowing which side of the page prints. You may want to do a test first to know how inserting the paper relates to the side printed. To test, make a new document in Microsoft Word, type TEST on it and then print it on a piece of paper.

Why is the color of my printable different than the color on my monitor?

Have you noticed that the TV sets in the store all look different? How they look depends on their brightness and color saturation settings. The same is true when there is a difference between the settings of your monitor and your printer.

Computer screens and monitors are back-lit for brightness which also changes the appearance of color. They are also capable of showing more color tones than your printer can print.

The variations in color between on-screen product images and actual printed pages are due to the difference between your monitor and your printer’s color saturation. This is true no matter where you purchase you printable files. Color will always appear more vivid on a screen.

What kind of paper should I use for printables?

Most party printables or covers for ebooks, journals or planners require A4 cardstock for stiffness. Use white matte sheets.

We recommend heavy 28-32 lb. paper when projects only require paper (understanding paper weight). Baby shower games, etc., can be regular weight because they are going to be disposed of quickly.

How to Print Printables at a Professional Printer

Getting prints online.

For convenience, you can go online, upload your PDF files and have everything printed. They even deliver right to your door if you can wait a few days.

Using a USB flash drive to print at a professional printer.

Insert a USB flash drive into your computer. (A blank one is best since you’ll be giving it to the printing company to find the pages you need printed.)

Select “File” on toolbar at top left corner.

Highlight “Save As”.

Click on “PDF”.

Under “computer” select the Device with Removable Storage of your USB stick. Click “save”.

Our Tip: Don’t just save the whole document. This will include instructions which you can read on your computer if necessary, and may not include pages you require if you need multiples.

Plan out & save the specific pages you want printed.

It’s easier to save as many copies of each page as you need for the project on the USB stick. For instance, a “happy birthday” banner would require 2 A’s, 2 H’s, 2 P’s, etc., so you would download 2 A banners, 2 H banners and so on. This way you can ask them to print one copy of each page on the USB stick. It is much less complicated than telling them, “2 copies of page 4, and 3 copies of page 6, etc.” – and there’s less room for error that way.

Take USB stick to your choice of printers, such as Staples, Office Max, Kinkos. Make sure they know:

  • you want it printed on A4 cardstock (unless otherwise noted)
  • it is in a PDF format

Opportunity to enlarge images.

Most printable sellers (such as Playtime & Party) create their images at 300 dpi. This gives you the opportunity to enlarge images if you’d like without pixelization. (When enlarging within reason.)

Enlargement is difficult to do at home but so simple when you request at a professional printers. They will tell you if the size you want is feasible.

This way you can create larger images for decorations, games, and photo cakes at your local grocers. (And you can also ask for smaller sizes if you want 5″ x 7″ images for signs on your buffet table or food bar.)

Assembling Printables

Party printables come with instructions for every use, but here’s a general guide:

Social Media Invitations

If you would like to send one of our party invitation printables as an email or on social media, you need to first change the format to a JPEG:

  • zoom in on your PDF until all you see on your screen is the invitation
  • take a screenshot of the invitation as you see it
  • Windows: use the Snipping Tool (best) or Print Screen button to copy to clipboard, or press Control + Print Screen buttons to save to a file (more detailed instructions at How to Geek.)
  • MAC: press Shift + Command + 4
  • paste the JPEG into your email or social media invites so it matches the theme of your party!

Have a question? Ask away!

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woman with printable photo booth props

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