Print a grid at its exact scale so that, for example, each square is exactly 1/4" and not slightly off
Precise grids can be really important for some projects, yet printing graph paper with grids that are precise is challenging for many home and office printers. The process of sending a file to a printer and how it processes it for printing can introduce slight distortions that affect grid accuracy.
IF your printer is not printing precisely accurate grids, correcting the distortion may require a bit of perseverance because printed results vary with combination of the printer and software (printer drivers) being used. While some printers can print to the edge of a page, most do not. Some printer drivers (software) compensate for the un-printable page margins and adjust (scale) what is being printed so that everything fits on the page. Unfortunately, it can take a bit of trial and error to correct the problems introduced by the printers and drivers that use scaling. For many tasks, a slight shrink in what is being printed does not matter. However, if you need precise sizing (for example, to print graph paper), it matters a lot!
There is no single, quick fix — however — the suggestions below should help you find a way to control printer scaling.
PRINT PDF FROM A MAC OR PC COMPUTER
It's not surprising you may have trouble printing at the correct size directly from your phone or tablet. Printing from an iPhone or iPad is often “simplified” so that you don't have all the options and controls available that one has when printing from a Mac or PC computer.
Therefore, the first thing to try is to email (or AirDrop) the PDF to your computer.
PRINT PDF DIRECTLY FROM AN IPHONE OR IPAD
There are three modes for printing accessible from the PDF More menu '•••'. Two under Print and the other under Share.
Print PDF option —
The “Print” option has two modes, General and Photo. Both options, General and Photo, communicate with your printer to try and find the proper size of paper. If you are using a “non-standard” size paper, one of these options may work successfully.
ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO PRINT AT THE EXACT SCALE
If you can't get exact scale printing of a PDF using one of the app options above, there is one more approach to try. Following the iterative steps below will hopefully get you the proper result.
This example, from a iPhone (or iPad), show the steps necessary to correct for print scaling problems. Two approaches are explained in detail. One example uses an AirPrint capable printer and other uses the Brother iPrint&Scan app.
Share brings up two print options:
A CLOSING THOUGHT
Compensating for printer driver scaling takes persistence. Congratulations for sticking with it!
If you find that your best option for controlling printing is to use Custom page size, you may find it helpful to write down the custom page size that works so you don’t have to go through the process of calculating it again for other papers... or create a "master" grid with these settings and duplicate it as the starting point for new papers.
TIP: A long press on a paper on the list page will quickly bring up file options including Duplicate.