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Plotter (Poster Printer) Guide

A step-by-step guide to wide-format printing at the Main and Mudd Library.

Size & Cost

Paper: 28lb bond paper only
Minimum 3mm margins
24", 36", and 42" paper available.

At least one edge of print must be less than or equal to maximum available roll size.
Other edge can be any size, min. 10" max. 150"

Please see staff for information, including assistance with setting up your file to print on the Plotter!

Plotter printing costs $2.50 per square foot.
Payment is made through NUPrint. We cannot accept a chartstring for printing.

Calculate Printing Cost

Length (in) ="
Width (in) ="
Cost: $


Want to print a poster? Come try our Plotter! This plotter is located in the Information Commons, just down the steps from the main entrance. - see map (below)

Map of University Library with the Plotter location in the Information Commons highlighted.


We also have a Plotter in the Mudd Library (2nd floor, Mudd Hall) on the north end of Northwestern's Evanston campus.

Need Help?

Please see the Information Commons desk for questions or assistance with the Plotter in the Main library.

See a Mudd Library staff person for assistance with the Plotter in the Mudd Library (Mudd Hall)

Email with any questions!

Adobe Photoshop CC

Printing on the Plotter with Adobe PhotoShop CC. Photoshop gives you greater control over the scaling and placement of your image before printing.

Set Up

Step 1 : Getting Started!

  1. Select "File > Print..."
  2. For Printer, choose "PLOTTER-IC" or "PLOTTER-MUDD"
  3. Click "Print Settings..."

Paper Size

Step 2 : Paper Size!

In this step, you are choosing settings that specify the dimensions of the paper it will print on. What size does your poster need to be?

Oce Print Setting box that shows settings for paper dimensions, paper size, and scaling
1. Once you press "Properties," the settings page comes up where you can set your paper size and choose other options. To set the paper size, click the blue/grayscale umbrella icon that says "Page as in Application" to choose a different size or set a custom size.

A window with a selection box to choose a predefined page size or create a custom page size
a. A list pops up with some common paper sizes. Select the one that you want. If your desired poster dimensions are not on this list, click "Create a Custom Page Size."

A custom page size dialog box with 36 as the width and 48 as the height, and a descriptive name entered.
b. In "Custom Page Size" enter the width and length of your poster (in inches). Name your poster and click "Save."

You may need to go back to Note: At least one edge of your poster must be 42" or shorter to reflect the available paper sizes (24", 36", and 42"). It can be either the length or width of your poster. The other edge can be set to any length over 10.25 inches.

*If "Save" is grayed out and one of your sides is less than 42", try swapping the width and length numbers. This will not affect the orientation of your poster as the printer will automatically rotate it.

If you created a custom page size, you may need to click "Page as in Application" again and scroll to find and select the name you entered.

2. Once you have set your page size, click "OK."

Step 2B: PhotoShop Scaling

Step 2b: Finishing in Photoshop!

Choose a layout (portrait or landscape) to fit your image.​

You can manually adjust the scale and position of your file before you print.

  1. Drag the file by corners to manually scale and position your image.
  2. Position your image exactly by changing units to "inches" and entering coordinates for the top left corner of your image.
    (Check "Center" to automatically position your image in the center of the designated page size.)
  3. Scale beyond just "fit to page" by entering a specific percentage, height, or width for your image. You can choose different units of measurements to get an exact size, keeping in mind that the dimensions of your paper are set in inches.

    If you need to ensure that your file prints with exact dimensions intact (especially useful for technical diagrams, blueprints, etc.), we recommend setting the paper size in step 2 to something slightly (even just .5") bigger than your image to resist the printer's tendency to scale images to fit the paper size and uncheck the "scale to fit media" box.
    Position and Size window for photoshop showing position (centered), Scaled Print Size (100%)
  4. Print!

Step 3 : Print Preview

Step 3 : Final Preview!

  1. Once you click "OK" on the Oce Preview window, press "Print" in the Print Dialog Box.
    Note: If you not using a browser, you will be able to double-check that program's small preview screen looks right.
  2. Wait! There's one more step before release your print job!
    The Oce Preview Window showing a poster coming out of a printer and listing dimensions.
  3. A window will pop up with a final verification. Check the width and length measurements of the poster. If it looks correct, click "OK" and move to the next step. If it looks wrong, click "Cancel" and go back to check that the print settings in step 1 and the page page size in step 2 are correct.
  4. Release your print job from the print release station located next to the Plotter.