RonyaSoft Poster Printer (Home)
RonyaSoftPoster Printer ($20 for home use, $30 for businesses) lets you print images or text the size of large signs or even billboards as large as 32 feet along the largest side, using just a normal inkjet or laser printer and standard-sized sheets of paper.
The program dices your image into 8.5 by 11-inch chunks (with a little overlap, just to make reassembly easier) then coordinates the printing of the final product onto what could be a lot of dead trees: a 32 foot billboard-sized enlargement, for example, requires about 1400 letter-sized sheets, which you then have to glue together by hand. Fortunately, most of us are working with something much smaller.
Assembling the poster isn't as bad as it sounds, since RonyaSoft Poster Printer adds glue- and crop-marks to ease reassembly. Plus you can easily switch between landscape and portrait page orientation to see which will use fewer sheets of paper, a feature that invariably will save you time, money, glue, and potentially friends.
You can open and resize Windows Metafile (WMF) and Enhanced Metafile (EMF) vector graphics, plus any resolution bitmap, GIF, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF raster files. However, not being able to open and resize vector graphics other than WMF and EMF somewhat limits RonyaSoft Poster Printer's usefulness. The option to open PDFs, which is currently not available, would be a great addition to Poster Printer.
Not all images will be of sufficient resolution for the largest magnifications, and RonyaSoft Poster Printer doesn't warn you when you've resized an image of an original resolution too low to avoid pixelation the size of Lego bricks. Unlike free utilities like blockposters.com, which does essentially the same thing but with the intention of making your original image look blocky, Poster Printer offers four different scaling algorithms. You can experiment to find out which works best with your original image, final size, the printer you're using, and exactly how pixelated you want the image to look.
RonyaSoft Poster Printer is an indispensable tool to help you create informal banners and posters for your next surprise party, or oversized display materials for a business meeting. A business user could really get their money's worth by using Poster Printer to format and print inexpensive proofs of signs, displays, and other large items, especially during a brainstorming or review process. That said, the not-insignificant costs of consumables (combined with the need to print dozens-to-hundreds of pages, quickly depleting inkjet or toner cartridges) unavoidably raises the cost per print job.
Weighing the costs of in-house consumables versus Kinkos, RonyaSoft Poster Printer is a viable alternative, and so simple it gets the job done with minimal effort.
Note: The price given here is for a personal license. Business users must purchase a $30 license.