NewbieDM Tutorial – Printing Battle Maps to a 1″ Scale

Posted on January 13, 2009 by


So you’ve made yourself some kick ass tokens, but now you want to make yourself some kick ass maps to use them with.  Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Taking a map from the Wizard’s gallery, and converting it to a 1″ playable map isn’t very difficult, and it looks better than some Dry-Erase markers a on a grid…  although this may not be the best thing for every encounter… maybe just for the big fight at the end of the night or something…  Take a look…


Nice, right? That’s not going to be the map I’ll use in the examples, but it doesn’t matter. If you want to do it along with the tutorial, the map I’ll be using comes from the Wizards gallery for Dungeon Magazine Issue 160.

Now, like the counters and tokens tutorial, I asume you are working with Photoshop for your resizing. You can use GIMP instead of Photoshop, but I do not know how to use it.

Let’s go then. you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

1. Find, download, and open your map in Photoshop.


2. With the Rectangular Marquee Tool, making sure you make it a fixed aspect ratio, and outline along the lines of one of the squares on the grid. Then go to Window–>Info and make the “info” box appear.


3. You see the W and the H on the lower right of the “info” box? That’s the width and height of that square you selected with the Marquee Tool. It should be a decimal, because if it were a whole number, it would be that in inches. So let’s say it is .431 for width and height. That’s how big that square is. .43 of an inch wide. Almost half an inch. But we want to make that square a full inch.

4. Open your calculator in windows. You are going to divide 1 by the  decimal. So in my case it will be 1 divided by .431

5. The answer is 2.32 so that’s what I’m going to use to resize the map. Go to Image–>Image Size. See the width and height there in pixels? I multiply the width listed there by 2.32, and that’s my new number. 1306. Enter that into the Width box. Make sure you selected the option to maintain proportions, and it’ll enter the height automatically. You could enter either one really,  it doesn’t matter.


6. The map is resized. Go back to the marquee tool and select a square. Look at the info box. The height and the width should be about an inch. Maybe less, like .998 or more, like 1.01. It doesn’t really matter at that point.  Now just save it as a jpg and that’s it!


You can print your scaled map in Microsoft Excel.   Start a new book, and import a picture from file. When you import it, you can print it out, and Excel will automatically tile it accross multiple pages.

You can also download a program called Posterazor and play around with that, it makes posters out of your images.  It’ll print at scale over multiple pages as well.

That’s it, pretty simple really.   Just match up your papers and tape them. Use cardstock for best results, and use it at the table with your tokens or minis.

That’s it! Try it and let me know how it goes!


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Thank You!

Posted in: Advice/Tools, Gaming