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Plotter Printing

Document ID 142


Introduction

This is a guide for printing a document using the plotter. It includes instructions for using the plotter with different software applications.

You can choose from three different queues: AutoCAD, Plain, or Glossy.

  • $ 2.50 per sq. ft. for AutoCAD

  • $ 3.25 per sq. ft. for Plain

  • $ 3.50 per sq. ft. for Glossy

For the AutoCAD queue, only *.DWG files (the extension for AutoCAD files) should be printed.

This document is divided into sections for each type of software. AutoCAD users only need to use the "Plotting in AutoCAD" section. All other users should view the respective section and then continue to "Customizing Plotter Settings."

Note: Plotting a document incorrectly may be costly. If you have any questions about plotter settings, please ask the operator for assistance.

 

Plotting in AutoCAD

1. Open the file that you want to plot. Under "File," click Plot. You will then be presented with the "Plot-Model" dialog box [fig. 01].

figure1.jpg

[fig. 01 - Plot-Model Dialog Box]

 

2. Click the Name pull-down menu in the "Printer/plotter" field. Select \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-AutoCAD to change the printer selected to the plotter.

 

3. After the correct plotter is selected, choose the correct paper size needed for the document using the "Paper Size" pull-down menu.

 

4. If the desired size is not available, click the Properties button, which is located next to the "Name:" field under "Printer/plotter." A new dialog box will appear, click the Custom Properties button.

 

5. In the top left of this dialog box, click the Size pull-down menu in the "Paper" field. Under the "Size" pull-down menu, scroll to the bottom, and click Edit Paper List. Specify the paper size needed.

Note: Note that charges for using the plotter are based on the total square footage of the paper size chosen.

 

6. After specifying the custom paper size, click OK to close the "Paper Sizes" dialog box. Click OK again to close the "Custom Properties" dialog box, then click OK again to close the "Plotter Configuration" dialog box.

 

7. After closing the "Plotter Configuration" dialog box, a message appears that asks you to save the configuration changes made using one of the following options:

  • Create a temporary "PC3" file to apply to this plot only.
  • Save changes to the following file.

 

8. Select Create a temporary PC3 file to apply to this plot only, then click OK.

 

9.  After setting up the paper size, you should be returned to the "Plot-Model" dialog box [fig. 01]. Make sure that the "Name" under "Printer/plotter" and the "Paper size" have changed accordingly.

 

10. Choose the desired scale for the drawing in the "plot scale."

 

11. Choose the Preview... option to make sure the document looks the way you want before printing.

 

12. Click OK when satisfied to print to the plotter. A message will appear informing you that the print operator must approve and release the document. Go to the Resource Desk and notify the operator.

Note: At this point, you have completed printing your plot. You do not need to continue further in the document.

 

Plotting in Adobe Photoshop

 

1. After preparing your document, make sure the mode is set to "CMYK Color" by clicking Mode under the "Image" menu. Verify that CMYK is selected.


2. To set up the image to plot, click Print under the "File" menu. The Print dialog box will now appear. Select the Printer from the pull-down menu. Choose \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Plain or \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Glossy as desired [fig. 02].

Fig. 2.jpg

[fig. 02 - Page Setup Dialog Box]

 

3. Proceed to the "Customizing Plotter Settings" section below to learn about setting the paper size, color, and quality settings for the plotter.

 

Plotting in Microsoft Application (Word, PowerPoint, etc.)

 

1. Plotting from Microsoft Word or PowerPoint is similar to normal printing. Once the document is ready to be plotted, click select the Print command under the "Office" menu [fig. 03].

Fig.3a.jpg

[fig. 03 - Select Print Option]

 

2. You will now be presented with the "Print" dialog box. Change the printer destination to \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Glossy or \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Plain by selecting the printer in the "Name:" field [fig. 04].

Fig. 3b.jpg

[fig. 04 - Print Dialog Box]

 

3. Proceed to the "Customizing Plotter Settings" section below to learn about setting the paper size, color, and quality settings for the plotter.

 

Plotting in Adobe PageMaker

 

1. Once the document is ready to be plotted, choose Print under the "File" menu at the top left of the screen.  Change the printer destination to \\SCC\SCC-1-Plotter-Plain or \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Glossy in the "Printer:" dialog box [fig. 05].

figure4.jpg

[fig. 05 - Print Document]

 

2. Proceed to the "Customizing Plotter Settings" section below to learn about setting the paper size, color, and quality settings for the plotter.

 

Customizing Plotter Settings

This section describes how to set the plotter settings for size, color, and quality.

 

1. After the correct plotter is chosen, either \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Plain or \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Glossy, select the Properties button (PageSetup button for Adobe Photoshop) from the "Print" dialog box of the respective program.

 

2. The "Plotter Properties" dialog box will now appear. Under the "Color" tab, choose either Color or Grayscale.

 

3. Under the "Paper/Quality" tab in the "Plotter Properties" dialog box, choose the Paper Size and Orientatino. Make sure that Roll is always selected in the "Source is:" section [fig. 06].

Note: You may change "Quality" and "Orientation" but always select Roll for the "Source is:" section.

Fig. 5.jpg

[fig. 06 - Paper/Quatlity Tab]

 

4. To choose a paper size that is not listed among the preset options, select Custom. In the new dialog box, set the "height" and "width" of the document accordingly, then click OK.

Note: Be sure that the width of the doucmetn does not exceed 41.5 inches. Also, keep in mind that the paper size chosen determines the cost of the plot.

 

5. Click OK to return to the "Paper/Quality" tab. Click OK again to return to the "Page Setup" or "Print" dialog box, depending on which application is used.

 

6. Continue to the "Finalizing the Plot" section of this handout.

 

Finalizing the Plot

If the settings were determined using the "Page Setup" dialog box in the application, click OK. To preview the plot, select Print Preview from the Print options menu. When ready to send the document to the plotter, select Print or OK, depending on the application used. You will be presented with a message informing you that the print operator must approve and release the document. Go to the Resource Desk and ask an operator to release the document on the printer queue chosen (either Plotter-Plain or Plotter-Glossy).

Note: If you are using PowerPoint, make sure that the view is set at 100% to ensure that nothing gets cut off.

 

Plotting from PowerPoint on a Mac

Plotting on a Mac is similar to plotting on the PC. The biggest difference between the two is the lack of certain options such as “Auto rotate” on a Mac. Because of this, extra care must be taken to set up a plot on a  Mac.

 

1. Go to Page Setup  under the "File" drop-down menu. Take note of the "Width" and "Height" of the document and confirm the correct orientation. While in the "Page Setup" dialog box, click Options.

 

2. In the "Options" dialog box, select the appropriate plotter queue.  Go to the "Format For" pull-down menu and select the appropriate printer, either \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Plain or \\SCC\SCC1-Plotter-Glossy. Again, set the correct orientation for the plot. Select Custom in the "Paper" pull-down menu.

 

3. Set the "Width" and "Height" to match the settings in "Page Setup." Leave all the other settings alone. Click OK to return to the "Page Setup" dialog box, and click OK again to return to the document.

 

4. Under the "File" pull-down menu, click Print and make sure the desired plot queue is selected. Uncheck Black & White to print your plot in color. Then click Print to send the plot to the print room and go to the Resource Desk to sign for the release of your document.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I make sure my plot will print correctly?

Using the Print Preview option is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your plot will print properly. Also, you can send a test print out to the normal printers. Never plot your file until you are completely satisfied with the way it looks.

 

What type of paper should I specify to plot my file?

There are two types of paper used by the plotter: glossy or plain. The paper you choose is a personal preference.

 

How do I get my file to plot after I send it?

After you send your file, it will be paused in the plot queue of the plotter you chose. You will need to speak with a print operator at the Resource Desk and ask to have your file released. Be sure to specify the paper you want to use.


If you have any further questions, please email helpdesk@tamu.edu or call us at 979.845.8300.


Document ID 142
October 8, 2013
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