Introduction: Book Wall Hangings - Flatlands - Cube

Take one of the many beautiful books available at project Gutenberg and convert it into a wall sized readable book. Makes great gifts for the literary types in your life.
This is the complete text of Flatlands, and how to generate and print it, at 60 x 42 inches. That's huge!
Take a look at the PDF.

Step 1: Select a Book Text You Like.

Choose a public domain book from or some other text source.

for example: Flatlands:, Edwin Abbott, 1838-1926TitleFlatland: a romance of many dimensionsLanguageEnglishDownload the txt file.

Step 2: Clean Up the Text.

Use a text editor to clean up the text. You will want something that has a search and replace function. MS Word works fine. I've also used pages on the mac. Some of the more skeletal editors are even better.

I'm interested in having no line breaks or pagination, just a single, continuous line of the entire text of the book.

Some tips on search and replace:

you want to remove all tabs, and all pagination and break returns. it helps to "show pagination" (word) or "show invisibles" (pages) so you know you've gotten rid of them all. You can now cut and paste those "invisibles" into the search bar. In WORD, a carriage return shows up as p

if you put to spaces in the search bar, and one space in the replace bar, repeated running of that search and replace will leave you with nothing but single spaces between all of your text.

sometimes it is handy to replace with something else first to do a check, something really improbable like ZXY* then you can really quickly see whether its doing the right thing.

I generally do:
paragraphs first.
then tab marks.
then excess spaces. (see above)

Step 3: Bring Text Into Illustrator.

I'm not going to go through the entire process, but a few of the important bits. Generally I just cut and paste into illustrator.

Oh. This is going to seriously tax your machine. Use a fast machine. Illustrator doesn't handle huge gobs of text all that well. I've got a g4 powerbook with 1Gb of RAM and it takes a few minutes for each operation for a big book once you get close to finished.

Step 4: Set Page Size

file : document setup

make it as large as the output device you are using - in my case a 42" HP roll printer.

Step 5: Draw the Shape That You Wish to Fill With the Text.

use any of the polygon or other path drawing tools.

Step 6: Use the Fill Text Command

to enter your block of text in the path you've just created.

Step 7: Choose the Font You Wish to Use.

It is really important to do this NOW. if you try and change fonts later it will ruin your layout as they are all different sizes.

Step 8: Choose Your Paragraph Settings.

also important to choose justified or whatever your paragraph settings are now.

Step 9: Fiddle With Font Size Until Text Block Just Fits Inside Your Shape

now you are done and ready to print. fight with your printer drivers for hours and hours. I used a MAC to a HP designjet 500. worked real purrdy like.

Step 10: Paper Options.

works nicely on paper, but you can also get roll canvas that makes it a real archival work of art. make sure to spray with fixative after you print on canvas.

This image is of a print on medium quality paper. It came out much better than it appears in the photo and is a beautiful addition to my office.