Knowledge Base

FAQ for Large-Format Printer


Does it matter Windows or Mac? Which works best?

For best results, use one of the Seeley Mudd Windows computers to print to the large-format printer. It is fine if you used a Mac to create the document to print, but at the printing stage use a Windows computer for best results. On the Mac the colors may be distored and you will not be able to specify the exact size of the poster to print.

Use InDesign or PowerPoint to open the file to view the document before printing the document to check that all the formatting is correct.

If you wish, if you created your document on a Mac, before printing, open the file on a Mac and save the document as a PDF. Then switch to a Windows computer and print from the PDF file. See our instructions about printing from a PDF.


 

How to turn the printer on/off

You may need to restart the printer if it returns an error or just stops working. In many cases turning the printer off and then on again can resolve problems. The on/off switch is located on the back of the printer, towards the right side, just to the right of the power cord. You can reach it by slipping into the corner gap between printer three and the large-format printer.

If you restart the printer and an error message still shows you can also try turning off the printer and also unplugging the power cord from the outlet. Let the printer sit without power for a few minutes, then plug it in and turn it on again. Sometimes completely removing power to the printer will resolve the problem. If the problem still does not resolve, contact the IT Specialist or IT staff person on duty at the Help Desk.

See the picture below as an example to locate the on/off switch for the large-format printer:

large format printer power button 


What to do if the printer menu screen shows an error

Turn off the printer and leave it off for one minute. Turn it back on and let it go through its booting up cycle. If the problem still does not resolve, contact the IT Specialist or IT staff person on duty at the Help Desk.


What to do if the printer won't start up correctly/has boot problems

Contact the IT Specialist or IT staff person on duty at the Help Desk. The IT staff person or IT Specialist should turn the printer off and remove the network card found at the back of the printer on the left side. The card is where the purple ethernet cable plugs into the printer. It has two screws that must be undone to release it. See the picture below as an example of how to locate the network card and find the screws:

large format printer network card 

Look at the contacts on the network card. If the contacts look OK put the network card back in and secure it with the screws. Turn the printer back on and let it go through its normal booting up cycle.

If the contacts on the network card are damaged, worn out, or scratched, an IT staff person must replace the network card with a new card. This can only be done during IT staff work hours unless special arrangements were made in advance for IT staff support outside of normal hours.


What to do if printer is low on ink

Use the printer menu screen to check the ink levels of the printer. If any of the six colors of ink are listed at 3% or less, alert the IT Specialist or IT staff person on duty at the Help Desk. We'll change the ink as soon as possible. When the ink is above 3% it should be sufficient to complete a poster printing job.


What to do if printer runs out of ink during your print job

If the printer runs out of ink while you are printing, the job will pause and it will resume once the ink is refilled. DO NOT CANCEL your print job. Alert the IT Specialist or IT staff person on duty at the Help Desk. We'll change the ink as soon as possible. If the job does not resume and you have to resend it, we will issue a refund in that case for the portion that printed out and did not complete.


What to do if printer is low on paper

Before you start printing your job, it is a good idea to check the length of paper roll remaining using the printer's menu screen. The menu screen tends to overestimate the length of paper by a foot or two, so don't start a print job if you have any doubt about the printer running out of paper before the job is completed. Alert the IT Specialist or IT staff person on duty at the Help Desk. We'll change the roll as soon as possible.


What to do if printer runs out of paper during your print job

If the printer runs out of paper during your print job, the job will pause and it will resume once the paper is refilled. DO NOT CANCEL your print job. Alert the IT Specialist or IT staff person on duty at the Help Desk. We'll change the roll of paper as soon as possible. Once the paper roll is replaced your job will start over from the beginning and print your job. You will not be charged twice for the printing, only for the one completed job. If the job does not resume and you have to resend it, we will issue a refund in that case for the portion that printed out and did not complete.


What to do if your poster gets cut off in the wrong place

The large-format printer might cut off a poster or other print job for a number of reasons. If it cuts off because the roll of paper runs out see the answer to the question above.

If it fails to print small amounts of text on the borders, the problem is likely with the Borders setting in the Print Settings menu of the printer driver. Make sure that you have set the borders to small, as per the instructions on the InDesign or PowerPoint instructions.

Last if your image size or orientation was not set correctly, portions of your print job can get cut off. Before printing, make sure to check the Print Preview that shows in the Print Window. If portions of your document fall outside the thick black lines of the print preview, those portions will get cut off when you print.

If you can't get your poster to print without getting cut off, make sure to print using a Windows computer, you can fine tune the size of the poster best using Windows. Also you might try saving your poster as a PDF file and printing from that, sometimes that will resolve poster size issues.


What to do if your poster text/images are distorted

If images on your poster are pixelated or distorted, it might be because the file you printed from has low-resolution images, or images that have been enlarged too much. Double-check your source images and print an 8 1/2 by 11 or legal paper size test page that shows the images to ensure that the poster looks normal.

If you designed your docment at one size and then try to enlarge it or change the dimensions, it can result in distortion. Make sure to design your document at the size you want it ultimately to print. This is especially important for posters designed in PowerPoint.

Take note that if you are using InDesign, imported images will appear pixelated while you are working on the document. In order to view the document as it will be printed, go to View in the menu and turn on the Overprint Preview setting to see how the images will appear when printed.


What to do if your poster comes out the wrong size

If your poster prints to a small or otherwise incorrect size, ensure that you've followed all of the instructions listed for the InDesign or PowerPoint instructions. If you have any difficulty, ask for assistance at the Help Desk.

If you can't get your poster to print without getting cut off, make sure to print using a Windows computer, you can fine tune the size of the poster best using Windows. Also you might try saving your poster as a PDF file and printing from that, sometimes that will resolve poster size issues.


What to do if you need to print a poster but have the charges go to someone else, for example a department

If you are printing something and want the expenses charged to a department, you will need to bring a reciept of the print job to the department Academic Coordinator. To recieve a receipt for a large-format print job, send an email to Eloy Shepard. In the email, include your user ID and the date and time of the print job.


When can you get a refund on poster charges

Refunds will be made only when there is a problem due to the printer malfunctioning. You cannot recieve a refund if your poster prints badly as a result of human error, if you print then discover typos, or if you print and don't like the colors.

Please carefully follow the instructions on the InDesign or PowerPoint instructions pages. Also, it is always a good idea to print a proof or practice copy to check for typos, problems and help to guarantee a successful print job. Last ask for help at the Help Desk if you need assistance.