I have lots of software code (in tSQL, html, JavaScript, XAML, and C#) that I need to print in a long scroll. The scroll will be no more than 440mm wide and as long as it needs to be (though the roll of paper is 45 m long so I’ll need to make sure it is shorter than that). The resulting code listing is to from part of an exhibit contrasting the ‘sketching’ phase in a multidisciplinary project between design, social science, and software engineering. The exhibit will form part of the Research Through Design conference http://www.praxisandpoetics.org/researchthroughdesign/ next week (!)

At first I thought I’d print straight from the development environment (Visual Studio 2012 and SQL Server Management Studio) but I realise now that is not possible because

1) Both tools assume standard page sizes, and

2) I need to rotate the software code listing 180 degrees so that the end of the listing is at the tail of the paper roll.

For these reasons I’m doing it in Adobe Photoshop (CS5, 64 bit, on Windows 8).

My workflow for this is verging on the ridiculous.

1) If I cut-and-paste the code listings file by file from Visual Studio 2012 and SQL Server Management Studio into Photoshop (or Illustrator) I lose the formatting, for example the coloring of comments differently form variable declarations. (See http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/how_could_i_paste_a_rtf_pdf_word_text_keeping_the_formatting_into_photoshop .) Thus Step 1 is to cut-and-paste each file into a Microsoft Word document.

2) If I cut-and-paste from the Microsoft Word document into Photoshop I still loose the formatting, and Microsoft Word does not seem to be able to cope with the paper roll nor rotating the print. So I save the Microsoft Word document as a PDF and open that into Photoshop.

3) I now have 51 Photoshop files each with one layer containing the text for that ‘page’, though I think it’s an image as it is not editable as text. I then save each of these files.

4) Using Adobe Bridge I open all 51 Photoshop files created in Stage 3 and “Load Files into Photoshop Layers” so that I have a new single Photoshop file with all 51 text image layers in.

5) The layers sit on top of each other. What I need is for them to sit head-to-toe. I don’t know how to do this without spending a million years selecting layers and moving them by hand.

6) If I ever get Stage 5 done I will then group the 51 layers and rotate the result through 180 degrees.

7) I will then resize the result to have a width of 400mm and print the resulting file on our banner printer, having first calculated the resulting paper ‘height’ and turned off the automatic paper cutting.

So my questions are:

1) Is there a better way of doing this?

2) I can see the Photoshop actions that will align layers by their tops, their bottoms, or their centers but how do I automatically align them so that the bottom of layer 1 touches the top of layer 2, the bottom of layer 2 touches the top of layer 3, etc.?


1 Answer 1


In most Programs there is a way to change the paper format as you wish.

For example in Visual Studio: File -> Page Setup

You can change the paper format to endless and vertical format to horizontal. If you can not find the right paper format try to install a new driver for your printer.

  • Fabulous. Can you see any way to rotate it 180 degrees to so that the end of each code listing is towards the tail end of the paper roll?
    – dumbledad
    Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 11:21

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