Book Wall Hangings - Flatlands - Cube





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.



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    29 Discussions

    can anyone think of a way to do this, but in multiple colors making complex shapes? like pointillism, but with text. I guess what i mean is, doing the same thing as you did, but the text going straight across regardless of shape just changing in color. I don't think i'm expressing myself very well...

    4 replies

    you will have to paste the text on photoshop...then choose the image..and you will fit the text to image as you like, then you select the text with Ctrl + mouse click over the text layer, then everything will be selected, now you click on the image layer and press Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V...and now you have a text with texture...from the source image...i will try to made a picture...

    OMG...i used printscreen to make the has 468Kb...its an animated GIF...I cant upload....anyway... the final result...Tadã...


    I think I understand you. You want a big block of text, and different colors within the text making the shape? I think it could be done with photoshop. Make a giant text box with one layer, the shape on another, then use the magic wand and fill with color of choice. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I think it can be done.

    I'm new to both Inkscape and Ilustrator, and I can't work out how to actually create a shape that I can add text to, it just seems to add the text in a regular rectangle of it's own. When I try using the area type tool it tells me it is the wrong type of shape. so any help would be greatly appriciated. The end result I'm trying to get is a shape of a raven with 'The Raven' by Edgar Alan Poe written in it. cheers

    I find it ironic how you are turning Flatland into a cube :-P

    There is a program called Rasterbator for making large banners or pictures out of small ones.

    It figures out how to space the file out onto however many pages you want and you print them and cut the border off and paste it all up (or if you can print to the edges... do that.)

    wow this project is awesome. i made a wallbook out of The time Machine. i used the large printer at my dads work. it has to be printed pretty huge at a high resolution to be readable tho

    you can extend the usable time of the free evaluation version of illustrator indefinately with a patch i have. i can email it to you if you are interested. its how i got my copy of illustrator

    Really nice work. I plan to print a tux made of linux 1.0 kernel as soon I get access to a large printer. This is how i got my txt with the source code in linux:
    - Downloaded
    - Extracted it by running "tar -jxvf linux-1.0.tar.bz2"
    - Deleted uneeded file by "rm -f linux-1.0.tar.bz2"
    - running this bash script:
    for i in $( find ./linux ); do
    echo $i: >> out.txt
    cat $i >> out.txt
    - Follow this instructable on out.txt to remove whitespaces

    You could obviously use a more recent kernel release, but it would dramatically increase filesize. I chose 1.0 because that's where it started ;)


    12 years ago

    Use inkscape ( -- works fine for me. Maybe I will post my files here...

    2 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    nd: any tips on doing it with inkscape? I plan on doing a poster with the text of the first Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, all overlayed onto a inkscape-traced copy of the thumb. I'd pick up a copy of illustrator, but I'm rather too broke at the moment.

    I've been trying to figure out how to do this with inkspace myself... instructions for that would be great.

    This is a fantastic idea that I'd like to make as a christmas present. There are only two problems for me: 1- I think my machine is too slow 2- I would likely be using gimp or photoshop, not illustrator any suggestions as to minimum system requirements or how to do this in one of those other programs?

    i'll probably seem like a complete idiot but everytime i go to paste the text into either photoshop or illustrator it only seems to take a certain amount before it all dissapears and is unusable. is there a maximum amount of text i can enter? anyone know what i'm doing wrong?