Adobe Illustrator- Templating

I’ve run into a problem in using Adobe Illustrator to print full size (tiled pages) images for a rocker templating project. The archives were great in getting me up to speed in using PhotoShop for scans then “Placing” my image into a 12"x100" image setup for “Tiling” upon printer output. No problems up to this point. Where I’m hitting the wall is when send this image to the printer, of my 9 pages of tiled images, only 4 or 5 print out(they look great!) the remaining 5 pages are blank. I’ve changed file formats before “Placing” into Illustrator, trimmed all of the excess background out, reduced print quality and everything I can think of to reduce file size. Even tried sending a couple of tiles to the printer at a time. I’m guessing that my HP 932C printer just can’t handle printing such a large file, not enough memory to spool such a large file? Anyone have any thoughts on what I’m missing? Still hunting down the missing chapter in Illustrator…

Tom S.

Howzit tomas, could be a lack of ram. I some times have a similar problem and I’ve 512 mgb. I’m getting ready to install another 512 for a 1 gig total. You’ld be surprized how much ram is used when running grapic software. Aloha, Kokua

Although Kokua is right in that it takes alot of ram to push graphic programs, the file you are probably printing is pretty basic in the sense of how “heavy” the file is. (the amount of ram it takes to load a file in memory for the program to “work” on it).

I would say that your problem is not with your computer but your printer, most printers, if not all, have memory inside. What you are running into perhaps is Illustrator sending the file to print at one time, “spooling”, this allows you to keep working on you computer while the printer does it’s thing. And this is causing the low memory message. I believe there is a way to turn “spooling” off. Look in the options for your printer, or maybe in Illustrator to find this.


Thanks for the tips. Am not getting any low memory or spooling error messages as yet. When printing the image all seems to go well excetpt that of the 9 tiles shown on screen, only 5 are printed, the remaining pages are blank. Sounds like I might need to look into turning off the print spool option if possible.

Tom S.

It seems from your explanation that you are printing the Photoshop file. Is it possible to use the “placed” file as a template for you or a knowledgable friend to illustrate your rocker with the Illustrator pen tool? If you do that, and dispose of the placed file before printing, your file size will be very small and will probably print fine.

Try this, those tiles each have a number. If you can only print to page 9 the next time you print a box should pop up and somewhere near the bottom it says print pages _ to _ . Try and put print pages 1-9 then 9-18 etc. see if that works.

I agree with pcinsc, you are probably trying to print the bitmap file which at 12"x100" would be huge. “Tracing” it with a drawing tool would give you a vector file that would be tiny by comparison. I use CorelDraw instead of Illustrator but they are essentially the same. If you want to, send me your original scan as an email attachment and I’ll change it to a vector and send it back as an Illustrator file (CorelDraw has an Adobe Illustrator export filter). My email address is in my user profile…


Thanks guys. Printing the tiles individually or in smaller Qty. didn’t work, I tried that. Gene, you and PCINSC got the answer I believe. I’m printing from Illustrator but I’m trying to print with the placed file rather than tracing it. That’s the key, now all I have to do is figure out how to use the pen tool to trace the image I “Placed”. I need to learn how to use it anyway, too may templating applications with Illustrator. Thanks for all of the input and answers!

Tom S.


The bitmap is probably on layer one by default. Open the layer dialog or toolbox (or whatever they call it in Illustrator) and change to layer two. Disable editing across layers. Now use the bezier drawing tool to trace the bitmap. If the curve is gentle (which I assume it is) you only need a few nodes. The fewer the better. Once you have it traced, change back to layer one and delete the bitmap. Set you rulers or the scale to give you the right size and I think you’ll have it…

Hope this helps,


Layers aren’t near as important in Illustrator as they are in Photoshop… I still use them occasionally, but for something this simple you can certainly get away without it.

Use the pen tool, don’t trace with the pen, you put anchor points and manipulate them later… for a shorboard I will put one anchor point on the nose, one at center, maybe one on the hip if it’s pronounced, then one at the tail. If you cant you can continue around the other side to make a whole board, but you don’t have to.

Now select the anchor tool - looks like “^”. Click this on your anchor points and drag away. You’ll see two lines come out of the points, I forget what they’re called but they control how the line bends out of the point. You’ll notice that the lines stay 180 degrees apart, this is good for smooth curves, like on the center. For the nose you’ll want to click on those lines again, with the anchor tool, and move the line… now the lines are independent of each other.

It’ll take some practice, but once you get the hang of it you’ll know exactly where to drop those anchor points and where to stretch your curve. It’s actually an extremely accurate tool once you figure it out. Good luck

Definitely create an outline of the bitmap in illustrator(vector based image) as opposed to printing the bitmap. Make sure the image is within the artboard and the artboard is big enough to cover the template (change this in document setup). It doesn’t sound like it if you only have 9 pages. Can you post a screen grab of what you have in illustrator.

Attached (I think) is an exercise with vectors. Not perfect but fun anyway

Let ditch effort = use kinkos web site service by emailing the file the closest kinkos and have them print it on their 36 inch black and white plotter. Send half board template and you can get 2-3 full length templates for about $12-15. You save a bit of time and hassle and you do not have to worry about any wobble effect when you put all those pieces of paper together.


To all who replied- many thanks for the tips. I got it! I finally figured out the pen tool and how to control the tangent lines to manage the outline. What a tool this is going to be!

Tom S.


A few hints

start with an oval and then stretch this to the length of the template.

From this all you need to do is add a point near the nose, and then a point near the tail. thia will help you maintina a smoother transistion.

Also not sure if you are doing this or not, but once you have you r template all ready to go. Cut it straight donw the middle. ake a new file that is say 12" wide by 110" long. You only half the tamplate anyway, so this might solve your printing issue.

But be careful with the illustator templates, remmeber to allow for strnger width and the fact that once glassed the boar is a bit bigger than the initial aoutline so plan accordingly