All right. Here is the big post.
We join this process in progress. You have created a new Draw drawing, using whatever techniques you wanted. Maybe you made it 8x11 for a little poster, or 11 x 17 on Tabloid paper for a bigger poster. At any rate, the design is done, it's whatever size it is, and you're ready to get some postcards out of the design.
Here it is. It's a design for the annual singing barbecue event in your town.
1. First thing. Is this design going to be the right proportions for a postcard? Postcards are 3.5 x 5 inches. You could try to do the math but it's easiest to just do this.
Select the whole drawing. Then right-click somewhere on the drawing and choose Position and Size.
Now in the Position and Size window, look at the size. It's not 5 x 3.5.
You're not going to change the size -- you're just going to see what the proportions are. Be sure that Keep Ratio is marked as shown and then type 5 in the height (or whatever the bigger measurement is of your drawing). See what the width (or the other measurement) is. If it's close to 3.5, then you're good. If it's not close to 3.5 then you should go back and change dimensions in your drawing to make it fit better proportionately into 5 x 3.5.
Click Cancel. This was for information only.
2. Assuming that your design is right proportionately for a postcard, the next step is to export the drawing to a PNG or other graphics format.
Why do you need to do this? You need to do this if you need to resize it at all. I.e. if you did it big first for a poster and now need it in a smaller format for postcards, or if you didn't think about postcards in the first place and now need to resize. Because things can get a little unpredictable if you have a bunch of different objects, including text boxes, and then you try to scale them all down to a smaller size. If you don't need to resize then you can skip this step.
So again, select all the items in your design. You must select all the items in the design or you will get an 8x11 graphic not one the size of the design.
Then choose File > Export.
Now navigate to the directory where you want the graphic and select PNG (or if you really want JPG or another format, select that). Also be sure that Selection is selected as shown. Name the graphic and click Save.
If you are prompted to specify compression, just leave it at 0. If prompted for quality as with JPGs, specify 100%.
3. Step 3, you insert the exported PNG and make it the right size. (If your design is already a perfect 3.5 x 5 and you didn't need to export to PNG for resizing, then you can skip this step as well.)
In a new Draw document, or in a new slide in the old Draw document, choose Insert > Picture > From File. Find the PNG you exported. Click Open.
And here it is.
It's still not the right size. This time, you're going to right-click on the graphic and choose Position and Size, and change the size.
Select the Keep Ratio checkbox and change the longer of the measurements to 5. See how close you are to 3.5 for the other measurement.
Once you see that you're quite close, you can unmark the Keep Ratio checkbox and just set the other measurement to 3.5 If you change the proportions a bit, it's typically not going to be that big a deal.
Now it's the right size, if not the right position.
4. In this step we create a total of four of the designs, positioned correctly.
If your design is already 3.5 x 5, just be sure that everything in the design is GROUPED. Select all the items in the design and right-click on it, and choose Group. Then copy the design to a new slide in that same drawing, or choose File > New > Drawing and paste the design into that new drawing.
Set the margins to 0 so that when you position the items it'll be from the edge of the document, not the edge of the margin. Choose Format > Page, click the Page tab, and apply the settings as shown. Click OK.
Now, let's say that you need to position the upper left corner of that first graphic .5 inch from the top and .5 inch from the left. If you just click on the graphic and drag, you'll see a light line coming out of the graphic going up onto the top ruler (the X axis is a way to think about that) and onto the side ruler (the Y axis). The lines are circled below. Just move the object until it's positioned on the .5 of each ruler.
If you prefer more precision, you can go back to the Position and Size window. Right-click on the object, choose Position and Size.
Now in the X and Y axis fields, type .5 in each. That's where the upper left corner of the "Northwest" postcard should appear. (Adjust this if the paper you're using needs the postcards to be in a different location.) Click OK.
The object is positioned correctly.
Now copy and paste the graphic to get the next one. We'll use the Position and Size window again, so right-click on it and choose Position and Size.
Set the horizontal (X axis) to .5 inch plus the width of the card -- if the card is vertical then it's 3.5, otherwise it's 5.5. The Y axis is still .5 because you still want this item to be .5 inches from the top of the paper.
Now, copy either the PNG or the drawing and paste two more times. It will paste on top of the original so, each time, just drag the pasted one off the top of the original and put it roughly where it's supposed to be.
The bottom left item should be in a half inch from the left (X axis) and in this scenario, should be 5.5 inches down from the top (Y axis). It's .5 plus the length of the card above it.
In the following illustration (click to see the bigger version) you can see that, because it's selected, faint gray lines show on the rulers to indicate where the top and bottom and left and right are.
The following graphic makes it a bit more obvious; I've added red lines and highlighting to show that the light marks are even with the top of the object. Plus you can see, if you look at the bottom highlighting on this graphic, that the position in x and y coordinates for any selected object is shown on the bottom status bar of your Draw window.
This graphic shows the same thing, the lines I've added showing the bottom two.
When you've got four precisely lined up and positioned graphics, you're ready to print!
This might seem like a lot of work. It's much easier once you've done it a couple times. Plus, in the next blog I will outline a way that lets you just set this up once, then make a copy and have your export to PNG automatically get sucked into the 4-up postcard layout. So you'll never have to insert and resize and position the graphics again, just make the design, and export to PNG. It's fabulous. Stay tuned.