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Poster Presentations: Printing Using the Plotter

#1 Tip

The best thing you can do when printing posters is to prepare your files properly. 

  1. Create your file in the size you need to print it.
  2. Save your file as a PDF.  The plotter works best with PDFs.

Printing Image Files

Image files actually print best from a thumb drive.

  1. Connect your thumb drive to the plotter
  2. Select USB.  The plotter will scan your drive for .jpg files
  3. Select your image
    1. If you need to change the size of your output, you can customize the size %
    2. Click to Exit the customization screen
  4. Click Print

Trying to resize the image in GIMP or other graphic editing programs does not work reliably.


If your image file is still not printing, try flattening the image.  It may be that there are too many separate images.

If your PDF prints halfway and quits, try this:

  1. Click the Advanced button to the right of the printer selection
  2. Select Print as Image
  3. Click OK
  4. Click OK


Not printing background . . .

  • Save the file as a PDF then print.
  • Do not cut and paste the image into the background
    • Download the image
    • Add to background
    • Make sure image is .jpg or .png


Paper Size Options

Many times, the size of your poster will be specified.  Here are some of the most common sizes that you can select for printing.


in x in
Arch A 9 x 12
Arch B 12 x 18
Arch C

18 x 24

Arch D

24 x 36

Arch E 36 x 48
Arch E1 30 x 42
Arch E2

26 x 38

ANSI A 8.5 x 11
ANSI B 11 x 17
ANSI C 17 x 22
ANSI D 22 x 34
ANSI E 34 x 44

Printing Adobe Files

First step is selecting the correct plotter.  What size poster are you printing?

  • Poster maximum of 24in wide? Use B43-215-PLOTTER-24
  • Poster wider than 24in? Use B43-215-PLOTTER-36
  1. Select Print
  2. Under the Printer drop down menu select the correct plotter for your size
  3. Click Printer Properties (right next to or below the printer name)

Is your poster one of the standard/common sizes?  If so,

  1. Under Paper/Quality
    1. Check Orientation
      1. Is your poster landscape or portrait?
    2. Check Paper Options
      1. Under Document Size select the proper paper size.
  2. Click OK

Is your poster a custom size?  If so,

  1. Under Paper/Quality
    1. Check Paper Options
    2. Select Custom
    3. Enter the size you wish to print.  For most projects, the maximum width is 24 inches.
    4. Save your custom setting
  2. Click OK
  1. Back in Adobe, look under Paper Sizing & Handling
    1. Double-check the orientation. 
  2. Check Fit
    1. Look at the preview of your poster in the print box.  If it does not look right, it will not print right!
  3. Print



  • Make sure the paper has a clean edge
  • Make sure all paper fragments have been removed.  Check the backside of the plotter
  • Use canned air to blow out fragments
  • Raise print quality to give the ink more time to dry
  • Use a light(er) background
  • Output Settings: 
    • Printer Properties > Paper Output > Stacker/Basket

Need Help?

If you cannot get the plotter to work, ask for help.  There are student assistants and/or full-time staff in the library who can help you troubleshoot.

Scaling Images

If an image is low resolution and increasing the size makes it pixelated, try this:

  • Depending upon which program you have the image in:
    • Change the filetype as you save it to either jpg or png
    • This should bring up a choice to change the resolution
    • Change the resolution to 300dpi