Printing Tips

Best practice for the creation of documents which may be printed by students using our corporate IT facilities.

The hints and tips on this page address the creation of documents by academic staff, which may be printed by students using our corporate IT facilities. Staff should become familiar with the advice given to students.


Hints and Tips for Staff

Be Consistent

Before mounting any material on the web for distribution, please check with your faculty/dept web content co-ordinator that the document adopts a format and standard consistent with accepted guidelines and requirements. The 'plainer' the document is, the fewer problems will be encountered during printing.

File Size - General

Personnel involved in uploading or circulating PowerPoint, Word, PDF or other files for students to print need to appreciate the need to keep the file size and amount of graphics incorporated in the files to a minimum. Large, complicated or detailed (pictures embedded) files frequently create difficulties for users who wish to print such material. All material intended for printing should be prepared (formatted) for A4 paper only.

Do not create large files from multiple scanned images (e.g. pages from a book).

Powerpoint Files

Powerpoint files, in particular, should have the minimum of embedded graphics and backgrounds. Printing large PPT files, especially over the network, can create problems for users. Please offer a version of the PPT file that is sized for A4 printing, has only black and white content and with backgrounds (if any) that are plain i.e. not using any pictures /images as backgrounds.

Printer-friendly Files (PDF)

If at all possible, a 'printer friendly' (PDF) version of a file should be prepared and mounted on the network. A PDF version of a document is designed to print faster and more reliably than its master document. Please liaise with faculty /web content co-ordinators if you require advice on preparing PDF versions of your documents.

File Integrity

All files must be virus-free and have their integrity checked before being uploaded.

Instances have been reported where 'corrupt' files have been uploaded that have subsequently posed problems when printing.

HTML-formatted Material

If network-mounted material is intended for printing, please ensure that it is not loaded as HTML. HTML based material is intended primarily for screen output and will often not print faithfully on the A4 based CITL printers. Please adopt PDF, PPT or Word formats for such material.

Scanned Documents

Do not create files from scanned documents (e.g. pages from a book) as they are usually very big and can often be unsuitable for CITL printing environments.

Hints and Tips for Students

Printing Large Files

When printing large files (especially Word, PDF and PowerPoint), send the job to the queue in "chunks" to match the number of credits on your tokens i.e. No more than 40 pages at a time, assuming you are using "full" token cards.

Printing PDF files

When printing PDF files from the Internet, download (save) the file to the temporary area first. If a Save As option is offered, pick either Word or PPT format. Open the document from the temporary storage area and check the formatting (print preview) before attempting to print - this will reduce the overall amount of network traffic and be more reliable.

Printing Web Pages

Many web pages do not print easily as they are intended for screen display. For best results, download the page (useFile>Save As) to the temporary storage area as a document (.doc). Use Word to open the file and check the formatting (make sure it fits onto the A4 page) before printing.

Printing PowerPoint files

When printing PowerPoint files from the Internet:

  • Download (save) the file to the "Temporary storage" area and open it from there.
  • Remove the backgrounds from all slides as they generally are not desired when printing. From the Format menu option, select Background. Use "down arrow" to view the background option and then select the white (plain) background box and click "Apply to All". This should remove the background content and reduce the overall size of the file considerably.
  • From the print menu, make sure that the "Colour/Greyscale" setting is "Pure Black and White".
  • Ensure that the desired 'print what' option is selected - Handouts /Notes /Outline view, 6 to a page etc. before proceeding. Printing in 'slides' mode (especially with backgrounds or images) can take quite a while to print - you'll need to be very patient.

Cutting and Pasting Screens

Cutting and pasting entire screens into Word can lead to unreliable prints. Users are advised to copy and paste only the text required from a Web Page into Word and print the 'text' document instead.

Speeding up the process

To speed up printing, try selecting a different printer from the list, other than the default one. This is normally done via the menu options File then Print. A set of alternative printers is normally displayed.