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Plotter Frequently Asked Questions

Plotting FAQ

What is a Plotter?
Who may use this service?
How much does it cost for a plot?
What are the payment options?
What hours is the plotter available?
What is the largest size I can print?
Is there more than one type of paper available?
What software do I use to make a poster?
How do I convert a file from Word to PDF?
How should I format my document for printing to the plotter?

What is a Plotter?

A plotter is a large format printer that produces both high quality prints in full color or black and white.  IT Services has an HP DesignJet Z3200ps 24-inch wide plotter.

Who may use this service?

Any member of the faculty, staff, or student population may use the plotter provided they have a GL account code to use to pay for the print job.   At this point we are not accepting any other form of payment, but we do plan to extend this in the future.

How do I print to the plotter?

Faculty, staff and student organizations must submit a print request to the Helpdesk via e-mail with the print job attached. We do not accept content on thumb drives or web links. Additionally, each request should be accompanied with the GL Account code for the department that individual represents, so that we can charge for the print job.

Please allow one business day to complete your print job. You will be notified via e-mail when the job is complete. Only the person who submitted the ticket (the ticket owner) will be allowed to pick up the document unless the ticket owner notifies the helpdesk via e-mail with the name of the person who will be retrieving the printout.

Please have your document sized and ready to print before to submitting it to the helpdesk. IT Services does not edit, create or size documents for printing.

How much does it cost for a plot?

The cost of the job depends on the ink usage, size of the print, and the paper that is used.  The total cost of the print job will be calculated once the printing has finished.  For estimating purposes a full color print on premium paper costs approximately $1.70 per square foot.

Please proof read your document prior to submitting it for printing. IT Services is not responsible for errors in the original document. You will have to pay for any re-prints as a result of errors in the original document.

What are the payment options?

At this point the only payment option supported is a University GL account code.

What hours is the plotter available?

The plotter is available during the normal helpdesk hours.  Please see the Helpdesk FAQ.

What is the largest size I can print?

The plotter has 24 inch wide roll feed paper.  Therefore your print job can be 24 inches wide.  The length of the plot is limited by the length of the paper on the roll.

Is there more than one type of paper available?

The following types are available:

Plain bond paper – Typical print jobs
Premium photo paper – For high-color posters and art work
Opaque Scrim – This is a tear resistant paper that is used for making banners

What software do I use to make a poster?

While there are many applications that can be used to make flyers and posters, there are few applications that support creating documents up to the maximum size of the plotter.  For the best results, please use Microsoft Power Point, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Visio, Adobe Photoshop, or Adobe Acrobat.

How do I convert a file from Word to PDF?

From within Word choose “File” and then “Save as Adobe PDF”. 

How should I format my document for printing to the plotter?

When setting up the document, set the paper size to ArchD (Architectural  D ).  If that paper size is not available, then you can set the paper size to 7.32” x 11” and it will be enlarged during the printing process*.  You can also set the size of the document to the exact size of the desired printout, such as 24" by 36"**.

*If you use the 7.32” x 11” setting there may be a decrease in print quality due to the image being re-sized when IT prints the document.

**There will be a very small amount of clipping around the edge of your document, please do not put text too close to the edge when using this sizing option.


     
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