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Plotter (Poster Printer) Guide

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

Library Staff Plotter Use

This guide is for staff of Northwestern University Libraries to print using the Plotter printer for work-related purposes only.

Please contact Anne Marie Sticksel,, 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.


Step 1 : Getting Started!

  1. Select "File > Print..."
  2. For Printer, choose "IC_PLOTTER."
  3. Click "Print Settings..."

Step 2 : Printer Properties

Step 2 : Paper Size!

Note: In this step, you are telling the printer the dimensions of your paper. You will need to adjust your file in the software so it can fit the paper, either by manually entering dimensions that reflect your desired size, or by automatically by scaling to fit paper.

1, Click the icon that says "Page as in Application"

A: Select the page size you want from the list.

B: choose "Create a custom page size"
Under "custom page size" choose width and length (inches) of your poster.
Name the custom page size (TIP: name it "WxL" where W and L are the width and length you entered.)
Click "Save." Your size will be automatically selected. 

2. On the lower half of the window, click the large paper roll (Media icon) and select "any loaded roll" as your paper source. This will select a roll size based on the dimensions of your print. If you need to select a specific roll, use the bottom "media source" as your option to choose the paper style/size based on what is currently loaded in the Plotter.

3. Click the large layout icon, select "1 to 1." This will ensure that your document will print to the size you selected in step 1.

4. Click "OK"
5. In your program, click "Print"

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 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 by entering a percentage, height, or width for your image.
    (Choose "Scale to fit media" to fill to page size").

Step 3 : Print Preview

Step 3 : Print Preview!

Note: In this step, you have the opportunity to see what your poster will look like before it prints. You can make small changes, such as choosing a different type of paper, changing the way the document scales, or defining the position of the document on the page.

Before your document actually prints, there is one more step: the final preview!

  1. Make sure the Media is set to "Any Loaded Roll" and Layout is set to "1 to 1"
  2. Look closely at the dimensions & positioning of your file!
  • You can't change the dimensions of the page, but you can change the roll size/type or the layout of your document (including scaling, which may adjust the paper size). In this step, if you have more than one page, you will have to make changes for each page using the arrow icons under the preview image.
  • If you need to make changes to the paper size, or if you have a lot of pages and want to edit the scaling for everything at once, press "cancel" and edit the properties outlined in step 2 (everything you set so far will remain the same).
  1. If it looks OK, click "OK." Your file will send to the printer.

If your print is too big:
Make sure you have selected 1:1 as the layout. If you chose "Maximally scale to media" your file will rotate and scale to its biggest possible size.

If your print is too small:
Make sure that the dimensions of your file are correct.
Make sure to scale your image in the software you used.
e.g., "Fit" in Adobe Reader or "Scale to Fit Paper" in PowerPoint.