Help for digital design files

Each file package contains:

  • A set of png files, each at print resolution (300dpi)
  • A vector file, in svg format which contains all the same images as the png files

Why are there two different types of files?
Why have you included black and white versions of all the images?
How do I use the png files?
Which software should I use for png files?
How do I print png files onto A4?
How can I print 12 inch borders on an A4 printer?
Why would I want to use the vector files?
Which software should I use for vector files?
How do I print vector files?

Why are there two different types of files?

Providing different files types makes the designs as flexible as possible. Each file type is suited for different purposes. The png files can be used ‘straight out of the box’, and are therefore most suitable for beginners, but it’s not as easy to alter the colour, and enlarging them too much reduces the print quality. The vector files require dedicated software, but are easily editable for colour and size.

Why have you included black and white versions of all the images?

Besides being adaptable to most colour schemes, black and white images are suited to printing on coloured cardstock and paper. As ‘white’ does not print, you are left with an outline that registers well on most colours of cardstock.

How do I use the png files?

Png files are image files with a transparent background, and can be opened in any software that opens photos, as long as the .png type is enabled (it usually is). These files are suitable for printing at the size they were created or smaller, but if you enlarge them too much the print quality will suffer.

Which software should I use for png files?

If you want to use the files in a composition with other image files, as you would for a digital scrapbook page, then you will need imaging software such as Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or the free GIMP. If you want to print individual images onto paper or card to make physical crafting supplies, such as for cards, then you might find it easier just to use a word processing program like Microsoft Word.

How do I print png files onto A4?

The easiest way to print PNG files without a graphics program is to use Microsoft Word. See the links below for instructions, and bear in mind that they cannot be enlarged too much without loss of print quality.

Opening and resizing png files in Word

Rotating and flipping images in Word

How can I print 12 inch borders on an A4 printer?

Some of the files, such as the 12 inch borders, are designed to be the right size for scrapbook pages, and so will not fit completely onto an A4 sheet of paper. It will be almost the right length if you rotate it to fit the height of an A4 page in portrait orientation, although you might need to alter the margin settings to zero so that it prints as close to the edge of the page as possible. Look at your printer settings too to see if there is a ‘borderless printing’ option. I disguise the slightly shorter length by sticking it to my 12 inch page and then trimming the whole page to the length of the border once I’ve finished. Once the page is in a page protector you can’t see the difference, and the slightly reduced width actually helps the pages to lie flat in an album.

Why would I want to use the vector files?

If you print directly from a vector software program it is easy to see where your images are positioned on the page, and you can make them any size you want easily, and any colour you want with a little bit of know-how. If you like you can convert each element to an image file for use in imaging software such as Photoshop, having first made each one exactly the size and colour that you need. Adobe Creative Suite users can make use of vector files in Photoshop as ‘smart objects’ (CS2 and greater) that keep their editable vector qualities.

Which software should I use for vector files?

The free Inkscape is definitely worth a look, but other programs include Xara Photo and Graphic Designer (Win only), Corel Draw (Win only) and Adobe Illustrator.

If you open this vector file in Inkscape, you may need to click ‘ungroup’ (in the Object menu) twice before you can access the individual elements.

How do I print vector files?

It’s as easy as opening the file in the software, making sure that your document is set to the size you are using, eg A4 (some of these are a different size), placing your elements where you want on the page and pressing ‘print’. If you are using Inkscape, you may find it easier to create a new A4 document, and to copy and paste the elements that you want into the new document from the digital design file.

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