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I have a PDF of a PCB I want to etch using toner transfer (photo inkjet paper in a laser printer). The design is fairly small, but I have 8.5x11 paper.

What I'd like to do is print a grid of the design on one sheet. How do I do this?

To make things complicated, the pdf is a secure pdf.

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In Mac OSX you can cut and paste sections from PDFs from the Preview app. I paste them into OmniGraffle and arrange by hand.

Under Linux, you could try converting the PDF to postscript (pdf2ps) then manipulating it with Inkscape. Or, you may be able to do it from a script using poster.

Alternatively, you could just save the image as a bitmap at the resolution you need, then edit the bitmap.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Some of the converter tools done like to deal with secure pdfs. Along the lines of your suggestion, Gimp works well. \$\endgroup\$ – mmccoo Mar 23 '10 at 22:24
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Do you really need an entire grid? If you can live with etching one at a time, I would print the design on a regular piece of paper and then cut out the toner transfer (inkjet) paper just slightly larger than the design and tape it over the printed area on the plain paper. Feed it back through the printer, and viola! as they say.

You could possibly get around the security by printing to (yet another) PDF and then manipulating that with Gimp, Preview, or some other image editing program. Just seems like you could run the risk of getting the scaling and resolution out of whack…

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It turns out that gimp read my secured PDF directly. I was surprised, but it worked. As for taping a small piece on a regular sheet of paper, that's a good idea. Will have to try that. \$\endgroup\$ – mmccoo Mar 25 '10 at 5:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I use Pulsar's toner-transfer paper with the cut-and-tape method. It works pretty well. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – blalor Mar 25 '10 at 11:59

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