Sometimes 8.5 inches across a piece of paper just isn’t enough. There are many times where you might find yourself taping together multiple pieces of paper to create a large document. Spreadsheets are a good example. Instead of taping together sheets or scrolling horizontally and vertically across the file in Excel, you can use a more specialized printer to print the full spreadsheet for easier viewing.
When Bigger is Better
If budget is a serious consideration, think about purchasing a wide format printer. Many printer manufacturers offer these, and the costs range upwards from several hundred dollars. Depending on your needs, a printer that can take A3 (tabloid)-sized paper, which is roughly 11 inches across, may be just the ticket.
A piece of paper 11 by 17 inches can be used to print out a wider spreadsheet (or a spreadsheet printed in a larger, easier-to-read font) than that generated on a standard A4 letter-sized printer. Tabloid printers are also great when you must often create documents in booklet format.
Print the document in portrait mode, fold it in half on the long edge, and you have a booklet that measures 8.5 by 11 inches. If you do this frequently, you may also want to invest in a saddle stapler, which can put staples 8.5 inches in to create a hardy booklet that keeps the inner pages from falling out.
Longer and Wider
Most wide-format office printers are terrific for printing wide spreadsheets and making letter-sized booklets, but are less than ideal when it comes to producing very large documents such as a banner or large flowchart or another complex detailed graphic (for example, an infographic).
That’s where a printer that can print on 13 by 19-inch paper (or larger) might be a good choice. If you’d like, these can produce photographic quality output using eight or more colors of ink.
And, if you need even more size capability, consider a roll printer. As the name implies, these use rolls of paper and can print graphics, banners, spreadsheets, and other documents that are many feet long. While some wide format printers can also handle paper rolls measuring 13 inches up to 19 inches, depending on the model, roll printers start with 24-inch-wide capability and go up from there.
And while 36-inch- and 48-inch-capacity roll printers for printing floor plans, blueprints, and other very large format documents are costlier, they are hard to beat.
If you only occasionally need to print files larger than 8.5 by 11 inches, a roll of adhesive tape may be your best choice. While a document or spreadsheet constructed of multiple printed pages taped together may not always look very attractive, it might not make financial sense to invest in another printer. But if looks and ease of use is important to your business or profession, investing in another printer capable of wide and/or long printed output might make perfect sense. Depending on your specific needs, an A3 or even a B or Super B-capable printer is quite affordable.