Print Whole Layout in 1:1 Scale (Updated)

SCARM does not yet support automatic printing of the layout in real scale, but this article will describe the steps how to do this manually.

Before you begin, you need to check the following:

1. Make sure that you have defined a baseboard for your layout with “Edit” > “Create Baseboard” command. It is needed to visually set the boundaries of the track plan and to help in orientation from where to where to print. See How to create baseboard FAQ topic for more info.

To quickly create rectangular baseboard around existing track plan, hold Shift while selecting Create Baseboard command.

2. Check the position of the layout on the drawing plot. Move it to the beginning of the coordinate system so the upper left corner of the layout to be as close as possible to the coordinates center (0,0). Zoom in for more precise matching.

The rulers and the grid can help you with the orientation.
To show the rulers (if they are turned off), press ‘R’ key.
To toggle the grid between dots, lines and off, press ‘G’ key.
To select all items on the drawing plot, hold Ctrl and press ‘A’ key.
To move the selection, right-click over selected item (i.e. track or figure) and use “Move” command from context menu.

Press “1:1″ button from the toolbar – this will enable Print Preview mode and will adjust zoom factor to 1:1 according to your printer’s default page size (probably Letter or A4). Then press Home key from the keyboard – this will move the view in the default position so (0,0) will be in the upper left corner of the screen. Now you are ready to print the first page.

A new option in the “View” > “Scale” menu is available, starting from SCARM v. 0.9.19. It is called “Lock Zoom” and is intended to preserve the zoom factor (to 1:1 in this case), disabling zooming by mistake with mouse wheel or by the ‘+’ and ‘-’ keys. It is useful “Lock Zoom” option to be checked during full-size printout procedure – a small yellow padlock will be displayed in the right corner of the status bar, showing that zoom is locked.

You need to write a number to the page i.e. “R1/ C1″ for 1st row and 1st column or “A1″ where A, B C,… will stands for rows and 1, 2, 3,… will stands for columns. You can put the number inside SCARM drawing, using text entering feature (“Edit” > “Place Text”) or you can write the number by hand after printing of each page.

Numbering is important – otherwise you will have a printed puzzle to solve.

Select “File” > “Print…” command and Print dialog box will appear. In “Range” field, select “Current page”. Pressing of “OK” button will send current page to the printer. If necessary, adjust printer properties such as color and quality, but do not change page orientation or page size.

If you need to change the page size, do it from the printer driver dialog, which is called by pressing of “Properties” button. When ready, close the printer driver and then press “Cancel” button in Print dialog box. Then start over with pressing of “1:1″ button and Home key. The page orientation is always selected automatically by SCARM.

When the first page is ready (printed), hold Ctrl and press right arrow key from the keyboard – this will move the view exactly one page to the right – this will be the second page. Print it and don’t forget to number it. Do it again and again until you reach the blue line of the baseboard border. Print the last page of the first row and then press Home key – SCARM will return the view to the initial position (the first page in top left corner).

Now hold Ctrl and press down arrow key from the keyboard – this will move the view with one page down to the second row. Print that page (don’t forget the numbering) and then print all other pages in the row, by moving with Ctrl + right arrow key. Do this for each row and pages in it until you print all of the pages in your layout.

Do not turn the mouse wheel and do not move the view (by mouse or by arrow keys). If you accidentally change the zoom or move the drawing plot, press again “1:1″ button and press Home key – this will bring you to the first (top left) page again. See your last printed page number and move to the next page in the printing sequence by holding Ctrl and moving with the arrow keys.

Note that SCARM automatically takes into account the printer margins (the white spaces at page borders where the printer is unable to print). You do not need to cut or overlap the white spaces – just align the page borders side by side and the printout will be exact.

This is the whole procedure. It is not very convenient and can be difficult for large sized track plans or layouts with custom shaped baseboards, but if you always move the view page by page, you will be able to make accurate 1:1 printout of your SCARM plan.

See also
How to create baseboard
How to print designed layout

6 thoughts on “Print Whole Layout in 1:1 Scale (Updated)

  1. When I want to print a scarm layout to a given scale (eg 1:1), I’m using the open source software PosteRazor (

    I simply export my layout to bmp and open this bmp into Posterazor. I can then customize the way I want my layout to be printed.

  2. Hi Fred
    great idea about using poster razor
    what percent do you use to get it 1:1 on the print out

  3. Is there a way to print the grid when the whole layout prints on one sheet? Also if the grid was in 6″ or 1′ increments, that would be helpful in laying out the track – especially when using flex track. Great program!! Thanks! :)

  4. Hello John,

    You need to enable the grid printing in the Print dialog box and to set the printer to print in high resolution and high quality, because grid lines are very thin and may not appear in low resolution / low quality. At the moment there is no way for grid step other than 5″, but I will work on that and new grid step may appear in some of the next versions of SCARM.

  5. Printing can be made more easy by using an Autohotkey script (simulating user input). Here an example printing 9 pages down and 14 pages right
    Loop, 14
    Loop, 9 {
    sleep, 200
    Send, {ENTER}
    sleep 200
    sleep, 200
    Send, {ENTER}
    sleep 3000
    Loop, 9 {
    sleep 1000

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