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Faculty of Mathematics

Poster Printing

Quick Start

The Maths Departments have two A0 poster printers:

  • An HP Designjet Z5400 printer in room BL.06
  • An HP Designjet T520 printer in room DL.09 (accessed via swipecard).

To avoid print jobs being sent to the poster printers by mistake, they are not networked. Instead each one is connected to a Windows PC by a USB cable. To reset your Maths Windows password to match your Linux password, please log into a Linux PC and type windows_password. If this does not work then email help@maths. Document viewers such as Adobe Reader are provided on the PC, and your Unix home directory will be accessible as your N: drive.

Alternatively you can disconnect the poster printer from its PC and connect it to your laptop. This may give the best results if you designed the poster on the laptop. Please remember to reconnect the poster printer to the PC when you have finished.

If you are printing from your laptop you will need to install the correct drivers for the poster printer. Windows may autoinstall them when you connect the printer, but if not, they can be found on the HP website. Go to https://support.hp.com/us-en and search for the model of printer you are using.

Note that the printer in BL.06 has two paper rolls, one should be loaded with plain paper, the other with glossy paper. You can choose which roll to use when you review the print option window just before you send the job.

Tips for Beginners

  • Allow plenty of time to print your poster. People keep finding that some part of their job doesn't print as expected. Do not expect to be able to just turn up, press print and have the perfect poster appear.
  • As with all viewing and printing of PDF files, if your document does not print properly from Adobe Reader then try Foxit Reader instead.
  • Please try to be considerate of paper and ink wastage. Print drafts on A4/A3 paper first before sending print jobs to a poster printer.
  • Design the poster for its actual size. Scaling up an A4 poster can have unexpected effects.
  • Bitmap images need to be very big; printers have many more dots than screens. A picture which fills your computer screen will come out about 6cm across on the printer - blow it up to A1 and the dots will be very visible.
  • If you find that areas of your poster are blank, tried printing the poster from a different PDF viewer. By default Adobe Reader will open PDFs. There is another program called Foxit that you can use, try printing from that. Another fix is to make a PDF or your original PDF. You can do this by starting Adobe Acrobat, Acrobat not Reader. Load your PDF and save as a new PDF. As part of the saving it 'flattens' all the images and text to one single layer. Try printing this new PDF.

Making a poster

There are many ways of making a poster. Regardless of the software used, a common technique is to make an A4 poster, and export the poster as PostScript or PDF. Print shops can then typically scale up the work to print to the desired size (check with the print shop first).

We are aware of two LaTeX poster class definitions:

  • a0poster.cls, by Gerlinde Kettl and Matthias Weiser and updated by Karsten Held at CTAN.
  • beamerposter by Philippe Dreuw and Thomas Deselaers, at github. Based upon a0poster.cls

There is advice from Norman Gray on making posters using TeX at http://nxg.me.uk/docs/posters/ and Stephen Eglen has a customised Cambridge latex poster class: see http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/sje30/damtp/cuposter/

Other programmes, such as Adobe Illustrator and Powerpoint are also useful, as they provide more control on the layout of your poster.

Printing fabric posters

The printer in BL.06 is capable of printing onto fabric material. This is something people who travel find useful as the poster can be packed in a suitcase like a piece of clothing and unfolded at your destination, it doesn't show the creases. The material is expensive (Chemistry charges 70 pounds for one A0 poster), it also takes some time loading the roll into the printer and config it ready to use. If you do want to use this free service, please email help@maths (Chris knows how to do this) asking for your poster to be printed. Please allow 3 days for your poster to be printed, it has to be fitted in with the existing work.

Poster Printing Services

The Computing Service Printroom can be used for a variety of printing tasks (theses, large runs for lecture notes etc).

The Photographic and Illustration Service (usually known simply as PandIS), closed permanently on 30 September 2017. Philip Ball who used to manage them can offer help with the design and production of posters for a fee.

The Anatomy Visual Media Group provide poster printing and encapsulation in any size up to A0. Price list and more info.