Plotter printing at IU Bloomington

On this page:


As a student at Indiana University Bloomington, you can use the plotter in the Herman B Wells Library to print large-format posters for both academic and personal use. However, because of COVID-19, printing to the plotter is currently by appointment only, and UITS strongly recommends that you prioritize using the plotter printer for academic projects. See below for guidance on preparing your files for printing, appointment procedures, and options for getting help with printing your project.

COVID-19 precautions

The following special measures have been instituted to make printing your poster as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • UITS consultants will clean workstations between each plotter print.
  • Cleaning supplies are widely available for your use.
  • Reservations are required to use the plotter for poster printing.

To minimize in-person interactions as much as possible:

  • Prepare your project file before coming in for a print appointment.
  • Have your payment ready. To print to the plotter you will need to have funds available in your CrimsonCash account. For details on cost, see IU Bloomington plotter printing.
    To use a departmental account, contact the UITS Support Center before your appointment. They will transfer the money from your departmental account into your personal IU-affiliated account.
  • Arrive at the Wells Library a few minutes before your scheduled appointment time begins. You will need a few extra minutes to check in with the library HOST team before you can proceed to the fourth floor of the West Tower.

Prepare your file for printing

UITS recommends the use of Microsoft PowerPoint or Adobe programs for poster printing. See below for tips for preparing your project to print to the plotter. Use the resources available to create and prepare your project file so you can keep in-person interactions to a minimum and ensure successful printing during your 30-minute printing session. If you need assistance, remote and in-person support are available.

For details about scheduling a time to print your project, see Plotter appointments.

Microsoft PowerPoint basics

To prepare a PowerPoint presentation for printing to the plotter:

  1. Open PowerPoint and create a new presentation.
  2. From the top taskbar, select the Design ribbon.
  3. At the top right, select the Slide Size property, and then click Custom Slide Size....
  4. Enter a width, with a maximum value of 36 inches.
  5. Enter a height, with a maximum value of 108 inches.
  6. Add content to the file and then save it as a PowerPoint file (.ppt) or a PDF (.pdf).
  7. Save the file to a cloud storage location, in an email message, or to a USB device to bring to Wells Library for your appointment.

Adobe software basics

UITS recommends using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, or Adobe Illustrator for your plotter project, all of which are available through IUware. Best practice is to save the file as a PDF. Make sure to store your file to a cloud storage location, in an email message, or to a USB device to bring to Wells Library for your appointment.

The width of the plotter paper roll is 36 inches; therefore, one side of the file document size cannot exceed 36 inches, and the other cannot exceed 108 inches. The printer will rotate the file as needed to print properly. Keep this in mind when setting up the document size within your chosen Adobe program. To learn more about Adobe software, see the UITS IT Training Media Design Certificate Series.

Plotter appointments

Schedule an appointment

To schedule an appointment to use the plotter, go to Plotter Printer - Upcoming Events and register for a 30-minute time slot.

Procedures during your plotter appointment

When you arrive for your plotter appointment:

  1. Maintain at least six feet of physical distance between yourself and others.
  2. Check in with the West Tower fourth floor UITS desk and inform them that you have a plotter appointment. Staff will confirm that your project file is ready to print and that you have funds available on your CrimsonCard.
  3. Staff will direct you to one of two Mac computers that have been designated for plotter printing.
    You cannot use a personal device to print to the plotter.
  4. Log into the Mac and open the file you want to print.
  5. Ask the consultant to finalize your poster for printing. The consultant will clean the relevant areas as needed and set up the file to be printed.
  6. The consultant will direct you to the plotter release station. Log in and release your print job.
  7. Pick up your print job. Use the cutting table to trim and roll your print as needed.
  8. Return to your workstation to log out and retrieve your personal items.
  9. Be sure to clean your space before leaving

Content limitations

Since the plotter belongs to and is provided by IU, you must adhere to IU's standards when using it. Students are not permitted to print the following:

  • Sexual or pornographic material
  • Racist material
  • Anti-LGBT material
  • Anti-religious material
  • Political material
  • Material relating to drugs or alcohol
  • Obscene material
  • Any material that would result in your personal financial profit

IU has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to printing materials that fall into the categories listed above.

If you need to print something that falls into any of the categories above for a class, you'll need to provide clear supporting evidence that the material is for academic use, along with contact information for your professor to provide further confirmation.

Get help

Consultants are available to answer your questions regarding plotter project pricing, payment via CrimsonCard, software guidance, and anything else pertaining to your use of the plotter.

Remote support

For remote plotter support, call 812-855-3802 (available during Wells Library hours only) or send mail to

In person support

If you are having difficulty with the plotter and have exhausted the remote support options, staff are available for in-person consultations by reservation. To make a reservation, go to Spaces for Individual Work, Study, or Virtual Meetings and then, under "Wells Desktop Computer Workstations", click Reserve Now. On the "Seat Availability" page, click Wells Library West Tower Fourth Floor, select a workstation, and book a time slot, making sure to allow at least an hour of lead time. Upon arrival at your workstation, inform a fourth floor UITS consultant that you are there for help using the plotter.

This is document bgko in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-08-24 00:17:35.

Contact us

For help or to comment, email the UITS Support Center.