How to save a wordle in high resolution on a PC

October 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm 28 comments

Over on the Wordle Yahoo Group folks are always asking how they can save a wordle to print at a large size so I wanted to make a short video to show how. The video demonstrates the “print to PDF” technique using a virtual print driver (CutePDF Writer in this case). Printing to PDF is handy for lots of things besides saving wordles so don’t be put off by the fact that you will need to install a piece of downloaded software.

You can get CutePDF Writer at http://www.cutepdf.com

If you want to see the CutePDF install process for your operating system, check out these videos (not by me)

For Windows XP

For Vista

For Win 7

Note to Mac users
There’s nothing to install! PDF printing is built in. Just click the PDF button at the bottom of any print dialog window and choose “Save as PDF…”

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28 Comments Add your own

  • 1. judy koch  |  October 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Kay, I feel like I am living in the stone ages………..what do people use wordles for?

    Reply
  • 2. judy koch  |  October 30, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Hi, it’s me again and I have now done some research on what Wordle is. The info I have found says that it is mostly for teachers to use in the classroom. So now I should add that I am basically a card maker. Can you tell me if this is something that is mostly for teachers or could it be a new tool for card making? If so….then I need to get busy and learn about it. Thanks for posting

    Reply
    • 3. Kay  |  October 30, 2011 at 7:47 pm

      Fair question, Judy. I use wordle in cardmaking and vinyl projects. Wordles can also be printed on paper and framed, or printed on canvas, too. You might do a search at etsy to get some ideas. The print to pdf technique is very useful for cardmakers in other ways, too, from saving instructions in a convenient format to creating cut files from templates, etc.

      Reply
  • 4. Judy Koch  |  October 31, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Kay, I just created my very first wordle and am having a problem. I used SCAL to create the wordle, then saved it to pdf, then printed it. The result was disappointing…not clear or crisp. Do you think the problem was with SCAL or did I do something wrong? I am really excited about this new technique that you have shared with me and want to figure out how to make it work. I also went to the wordle site and created one which when trying to print it was way bigger than card size. Can you offer me any advice? Thanks in advance, Judy

    Reply
    • 5. Kay  |  November 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      If you created a word collage with SCAL, you do not need to create a PDF, just size your collage on the SCAL virtual mat and print it. If you get the same disappointing results then you will know the problem is with SCAL.
      If you create a PDF from wordle.com per my tutorial it will be full page size by default. You will either need to scale it down in your print settings when you print it or import it into another program like MSWord, Photoshop Elements, etc. where you can then scale it and position it on the page however you like.

      Reply
  • 6. Sherry Anderson  |  November 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Wonderful tip. Thank you.

    Reply
  • 7. Soraya  |  December 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    you’re a genius! I don’t understand a thing and have to read it again! I learn so much from you.
    Thanks

    Reply
  • 8. diait  |  January 13, 2012 at 6:06 am

    This is awesome! High definition: just what I was looking for. Thank you so much from an Italian Wordle addict.

    Also, I meant to ask you something, and I’m sorry if it’s OT here.
    How do I look for a tool that allows me to produce a video of words being written, in real time. You know like a typewriting effect. I tried to google something like “Writing for video” or “video writing”, but all my seraches failed. Have you got any clue?

    Thanks again for your hard and beautifully useful work.
    Diana

    Reply
    • 9. Kay  |  January 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Diana and thanks for your kind comments. You might try a search for “dynamic text” but one way I can think of to do a video of words being written in real time is by doing a screen capture (using screenr.com or similar tool) of a PowerPoint presentation with animated text. I know PowerPoint has the typewriter effect. If you can input via twitter you might be able to use something like http://visibletweets.com/ I haven’t yet found a web app like visibletweets that lets you input text directly. Good luck with your project!

      Reply
  • 10. diait  |  January 14, 2012 at 4:02 am

    dynamic text, typewriter effect, animated text… there I go…ogle!
    thanks a lot,
    will be following you
    d

    Reply
  • 11. scb  |  February 18, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    thanks to you and srajure for getting me started.

    Reply
  • 12. Missy  |  February 20, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I tried to watch your video on how to make a wordle a pdf and it says Navigation to the webpage was canceled.
    I tried re-entering address but same thing. My security asked my permission to access and I clicked yes so why isn’t it coming up?

    Reply
  • 13. Kay  |  February 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Don’t know, Missy. Probably a temporary issue with your browser. Might try going to youtube and doing a search for “wordle power user” and watching it from there.

    Reply
  • 14. Amanda Payne  |  March 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    okay maybe I’m missing something but I saved as a PDF but I still cannot upload my Wordle to Facebook or in Snapfish so I can print. Any help would be great, thanks :)

    Reply
    • 15. Kay  |  March 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Good question, Amanda. This process allows you to print on your own printer, or to services that accept PDFs, which I take it Snapfish does not. You will need to turn your PDF to JPG with another program such as PSE or Inkscape. (Bullzip is another PDF printer that has since come to my attention and it allows saving to JPG directly).
      As far as Facebook, you don’t need high resolution for that so a screen capture should work fine.

      Reply
  • 16. HorshamGetsFit  |  July 2, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! Great information– much needed and well-explained!

    Reply
  • 17. Pat  |  September 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Kay,

    OK I think I’m almost there. I’m making a banner for my Dad’s 91 BD party. I need to supply printer with PDF at 300 dpi at about 36×24. I’ve made the wordle into PDF using Cute PDF Writer. Cannot figure out how to crop it to scale to size I need. (I tried cropping and bringing into photshop to scale it, but edge became jagged?) Also, when it went into the PDF from Wordle it has the words bleeding out of the bacground and I would prefer the background all around. Any suggestions are welcome. The party is Friday and it’s Wednesday now. Yikes! Thanks if you can assist!

    Pat

    PS you’re videos are terrific!!

    Reply
    • 18. Kay  |  September 26, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Pat, see if the printer can take a vector PDF, which is what are generating with Cute PDF. They should be able to work with that because it is resolution independent. If it is not the right aspect ratio (proportions) 3:2 for a 36 x 24 banner then here’s a video on how to generate one that is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es8EAAl7RW8 Ignore everything on the video except how to force a certain shape.
      Not sure what is going on with the background. I have never seen that happen before. Just make sure that the words don’t butt up to the edge when you generate the wordle and you should be good to go.

      Reply
  • 19. Pat  |  September 27, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Kay thanks for the speedy reply. No luck. I sized the wordle on the screen to what looked liked 3:2 ratio there was plenty of background color and I get the same result when I print to cute PDF. I even changed the papersize in Cute PDF to legal thinking maybe Cute PDF was cropping for paper? The words bleed out of the background. I watched the video about the facebook timeline quite a few times but I am not clear if I should be cropping/cutting after I make the PDF or when it is still a wordle. I didn’t hear anything in the video about “forcing a shape” I’m working on a PC not a mac. I may be able to fix this if I can get it into photoshop and have the file be the vector file with the high resolution then layer on a new background to add more. In addition, for future wordle projects I want to be able to modify to create more in photoshop is there a way to copy and paste this vector file in the higher resolution into a new PSD? Would I then be able to size it in phtoshop without having resolution issues? Running out of time and a good idea isn’t working out to well. Any ideas, suggestions, directions? Maybe I’m missing something. Any way I could show you the PDF? Could just be “operator dificulties”!
    Thanks in advance.

    Pat

    Reply
  • 20. Niki  |  January 29, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Hello! Thx for your tutorials. I have saved my wordle in pdf format but would like to print it large (11X20 or bigger) on photo paper thru walgreens, etc so I converted it to jpg format thru zamzar.com (Inkscape doesn’t convert from pdf to jpg that I can see) and the image looks very jagged in jpeg but very clear in pdf. Any suggestions?? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • 21. Kay  |  January 31, 2013 at 1:29 am

      Inkscape will save as jpg, but I’m not sure if it lets you specify resolution. I would use Inkscape and choose file>export to bitmap with the resolution set to 1200 ppi. That will produce a PNG file with high enough resolution for printing. But then you will need to convert the PNG to JPG. You could do that in PSE, etc.

      Reply
  • 22. Laura Eve  |  April 9, 2013 at 12:03 am

    Wow, thanks for all the help! I’ve used wordle for a long time and have printed to mugs and such but for some reason I’m having trouble, maybe b/c I haven’t done it in a long time.

    I made a wordle and want to put it on a tshirt via cafe press or zazzle. I saved to PDF (on mac, didn’t need Cute PDF) but then to get it to save to jpeg or png I cropped and did a screen shot. I think this caused it to lose good resolution because when I then try to put it on a tshirt, i get a warning that it will be blurry/pixelated.

    Do you know how I can get it from PDF to jpeg or png format *without* having to use a screenshot? Or any other ideas how to get it onto a tshirt while retaining decent quality?

    Reply
    • 23. Kay  |  April 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Laura, on a Mac push the print button, then the PDF button then select “open PDF in preview” then from preview export (or save as) PNG or JPG at 300 ppi.

      Reply
  • 24. KayLyn  |  July 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Just wondering if you can cut the wordle on the Silhouette Cameo from the pdf. I saw that it was one of the options from the pull down print menu. I guess i could try and just see. Have you tried it??

    Reply
    • 25. Kay  |  July 20, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Yes, I have cut many Wordles from the PDF once converted to svg.

      Reply
  • 26. Jennie  |  March 3, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Thank you. This was helpful. When I upload my file to send to Kinko’s there is a lot of white space around the wordle. Is there a way to get rid of it without buying Adobe?

    Reply
    • 27. Kay  |  March 3, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Several possibilities I can think of to try. Enlarge the PDF when printing; Change the shape of the wordle window to more closely match the proportions of your page; Download a free PDF editor; or use Inkscape to enlarge and position the wordle on the page how you want it.

      Reply
  • 28. Kathleen  |  May 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Thank you so much!!!!!! You’re the best!!

    Reply

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