Using the Plotters from a Windows PC

To use the plotters from a Windows PC, you must be using a machine that has the appropriate printer installed. The computers in the public labs have the correct drivers for all three plotters. If you would like to install the plotters on a private PC, see "How to Print to Public Printers," which will explain how to install a printer or plotter via the print server.

If you are on a machine that has the correct driver, select Print from the File menu of your application. In the Print window, pull down the menu next to "Name:" and select the name of the plotter you want. Next, it is very important to choose the paper size for the plotter! If the paper size is not already set to an appropriate size, click on Properties and select the "Paper" tab, if there is one. On some versions of Windows there will not be a "Paper" tab; if this is the case, on the tab marked "General", click on the "Printing Preferences" button. In the window that pops up, click on Advanced... and a window will appear that allows you to select the paper size. The printer drivers under Windows give you a list of sizes to choose from,  ranging from smaller than US letter to Architecture E (36" x 48") and larger. You may select one of the standard sizes or specify a custom size, keeping in mind that the width of the plotter paper is 36 inches, and the maximum height is 72 inches. Note that, as a general rule, the width of your document should be 34" or less, and also that some applications require the document to be 2 inches less than the paper size in both width and height.

Use the Standard Paper Sizes page to look up the dimensions of the standard paper sizes (ANSI C, ARCH E, A0, etc),  if the printer driver does not display them.

If you would like to change the print quality from the default of "Normal," you can do so from the Print window by first selecting the "Device Options" tab. Once you have selected the options you want, follow the usual procedure for printing your document, after making sure to set the document itself to an appropriate size from within the application.