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View Large PDFs(construction plans) In 1:1 Ratio on Screen

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
March 30, 2010 12:10:17 PM

I am a subcontractor for excavation, demolition, and site work. Most companies don't send physical paper plans anymore because printing them can be expensive. Instead pdfs of the plans are sent via e-mail, cd, or electronic download. I could bid on 10 jobs not win 1 and lose $1,000.00. If I open the pdf on my computer and try and view the entire page it has to shrink down to about 20% of the actual size, which doesn't help me estimate the cost of the project. I attempted to try and view the pdf's through my laptop onto a big screen TV and all it does is display a larger image at the same scale(20%), which doesn't help either. Is there a way I can view these pdfs on a screen that would be the same size of the paper it would be printed (52" monitor) in 1:1 ratio? It would pay itself off in 20 bids for sure, and I would be able to do estimates easier because I could trace lines in photoshop instead of using a ruler and marker. I would be gracious to anyone who could help, thanks in advanced.

**PS- If possible this monitor or TV would be used as the TV as well so if I have to purchase a large format monitor please recommend one that can be used as a modern TV(ps3 capable, hdtv, etc.)** Thanks again.
March 30, 2010 1:47:22 PM

what is the scree resolution of your laptop?

because that will be the resolution it will project on a 19", 26", 52",etc screen.

The only difference would be the screen size, not the size of the image
March 30, 2010 2:04:31 PM

Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
Type: GPU
Bus: PCI
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0863
Revision ID: 0x00b1
ROM Revision: 3427
Color LCD:
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Built-In: Yes
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected
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March 30, 2010 2:21:32 PM

1280 x 800 is not a great resolution

see what your monitor can handle, then get a laptop or PC (with a cheap video card) that can match it
March 30, 2010 4:35:47 PM

The GeForce 9400M is capable of displaying up to 2560 x 1600, at least according to nVidia's specs. If you want to output to a HDTV make sure you set the resolution to 1920 x 1080. You will still only be able to see a portion of the blue print at a time though, but at least the HDTV will have 50% wider resolution 1920 vs. 1280.

As stated, the 9400M seems to have a max output of 2560 x 1600 so another option is to display the blue print on a 30" PC monitor which has 2560 x 1600 resolution which means you can see even more of the blue print at a single time. However, you are limited to a 30" LCD monitor since there is nothing larger with that resolution (at least on a consumer level). I would connect your laptop to a 30" PC monitor and test out the resolution before buying if possible.

You will not able to view your blue print in 1:1 aspect ratio (i.e. "life size") because you will probably need a monitor that can display at least 5,000 pixels across. That means a monitor with a resolution of at least 6400 x 3600 if you are shrinking it down by 20% to fit the entire floorplan on your screen. I'm sure there are commercial monitors with high resolution like that, but you're probably looking at something which costs at least $50k if not extremely more.