Regular format printers
1.     Lab Colour
2.     Lab Black and White
3.     EC Printing (photocopiers campus wide)
4.     Kate Edgar printers

Large format printers
1.     Epson Stylus 9800
2.     Epson DJ 600
3.     Epson DJ 800


The Lab Printing

See also:



Large format Print Request


LEARN, The Catalogue


Official Support
Post a question to Media Centre


The choice of which printer to use to print your document depends primarily on the size and quality at which you would like to print.  Larger sizes and or higher-quality prints are usually put through the large format printers.  For smaller sized regular quality prints, use the regular format printers.  For information on standard sizes see here.


Tthere are two schools of printers operating in terms of size.
1.     Regular format printers
If you are printing at A4 or A3 you can use the regular format printers.  These are cheaper and usually quicker but they produce a lower quality image. The paper stock in the regular format printers is usually a standard 80-100 gsm office cartridge paper.
2.     Large format printers
If you are printing at A2, A1 or A0 you will need to use the large format printer.  Large format printing more expensive but usually you will receive a higher quality image. There are various paper stocks available ranging from double matte through to high gloss.  For more info on paper stocks try here. However, large format files can be tiled in Illustrator (see below) and printed at regular format sizes which is often cheaper.  Similarly, you can print regular format on the large format printers if you require a higher quality print and/or special paper stock.

File preparation:

Regardless of whether you are printing at regular or large format it is necessary to follow certain steps in preparing your file to be printed.
1.     General guidelines.  These guidelines will help to prevent blockages and generally speed up the printing time.
1.     Flatten any layered images.  You do not need to flatten the text layers, however it will improve printing performance if you do.
2.     Crop, scale and rotate to fit the desired page.
3.     Set print resolution to 300 dpi.
4.     Use Illustrator/InDesign for text+image layouts. However, you can print directly from Photoshop or standard viewer applications if you are not dealing with layout complexities.  If you are printing images only make sure you still flatten the document. 
5.     Use Adobe RGB (1998).  For more information see Colour management.
6.     Adding captions and scale or crop functions inside the print-time window will cause printing issues.  Make sure you complete these tasks inside your program, prior to sending the document to print.
2.     Standard route.  It is advised that you follow a route similar to the one described below in order to print correctly and efficiently.
The recommended route for printing your work is via Illustrator if it is a single page layout file (poster, drawing etc).  If it is a booklet that you need to print, or a multiple page document then either InDesign will be your program of choice, or a similar application.  In either case it is desirable that your file be exported to PDF before being sent to the printer.  This is file format of choice for the printers.  The following information gives a step-by-step for sending you files to print via Illustrator . NB: If you are printing ONLY photographic content then TIFF formatted files are fine.
1.     Open Illustrator.  You will find Illustrator under the Start menu > All programs > Image processing > Illustrator.
2.     Open a New Document. Choose File>New.  Set the dimensions of your artboard.  Make sure the Colour profile is correct.
3.     Import your files. Choose File>Place from the main menu at the top of the screen.  Locate your file on the drive and click Place.
4.     Set up the Layout of your page. Choose the arrangement of your file(s) on your artboard.   Choose File>Print from the main menu (Ctrl+P) and select Setup from the menu on the left.  Select Tile Imageable Areas from the Tiling options.  This will let you see how your work will be separated up over your pages.  Now go back to the General options and set the page size.  Click Done.  Use the Move Tool to adjust the position of any of the objects/fillies you¿ve placed on the artboard.  NOTE: Hold down on the Hand Tool to change it to the Page Tool.  With this tool you can specify whereabouts on your artboard the pages will tile.  Pay attention to the page numbers at the bottom of every time.
5.     Export to PDF.  Press print again (Ctrl+P).  The Print window will pop up.  Select Adobe PDF from the Select Printer drop down list at the top of the window.  Press the Setup button at the bottom of the window.  The window that pops up should have Adobe PDF printer selected.  Click the Preferences button.  Make sure the paper size is correct.  It should be the same paper size as that which you specified when you set the tiling parameters.  Press Edit.  There are a lot of options to tamper with her.  But the important one is Resolution.  Set Resolution as you wish.  Bear in mind a standard print resolution is around 300 dpi.  Back out of these windows till you get to the main Print window.  Press Print.  Set the safe location for the PDF in the pop-up window.  Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Pro will automatically launch. Print your PDF from either of these applications: File>Print.
3.     Dropfolders.
If you are large format printing it is not possible to simply send your document to print by File>Printing it as you would do say for the regular format printers.  Instead, for large format printing you are required to submit your document file to a specific dropfolder.  The file must be accompanied by a Large Format Print Request form.  If you are working on a Mac operating system your dropfolder is here and if you are working on Windows your dropfolder is here.
4.     CAD note
For particular information on bringing your AutoCAD files as EPS to Illustrator click here (Illustrator --CAD EPS.pdf).  The information in this tutorial provides is very handy for streamlining you CAD-drawing-to-printing process.  More information regarding printing from specific CAD programs can be found at the wikipage for the program in question.


Regular and large format printing within the School of Architecture and Planning and Elam Fine Arts is charged against your Pharos account.   For more detailed information on paper stocks available and costs of large format printing visit this page. Printing at the EC photocopiers, in say the General Library, or at the Kate Edgar Information Commons will be charged against your NetAccount printing account, which is totally separate from your Pharos account.  You cannot for example transfer credit between these two accounts despite the fact that they are both run by the University.

Printing costs in the School of Architecture and Planning vary according to the printer you choose and the paper stock on which you decide to print.  For more information regarding printing costs within the School of Architecture and Planning see here.  To discuss, view or test print different stock it will be necessary to talk with the Printing Helpdesk on Level 2, Architecture and Planning Building, beside the NICAI Faculty reception desk.  And if you want to print on the Kate Edgar Information Commons printers or with EC Printers (photocopiers) then it is suggested you visit this page for more on costs.

Learning support:

To get you started Media Centre suggest the following tutorials:
Beginner A: Print to large format DJ600 A1 black and white


You'll also likely find interesting:
Information on Pharos printing accounting system.



External links:



First published Mon. 1 Feb. 2010, substantive revision
Tue. 25 Mayb. 2010

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