Usage of Wide Carriage Printer for Posters


Todd Schumacher and Doreen Murray are available to print posters with the Wide Carriage Printer, owned by ARS, in 466 Borlaug. We are happy to report many poster authors have been pleased with the printing results. However, many in the Department seem to be misinformed about policies related to printing posters and who may request posters. We hope the following clarifies the policies for printing posters.

The printer is available for all ARS and Soil, Water and Climate personnel to use. Simply let Doreen (5-9270) or Todd (6-2457) know you are ready to print your poster and supply a CD with the poster on it or email it to

The poster printer is NOT available to other Departments within the University or outside the University.

This policy is in place for two reasons. Please understand that printing posters is in addition to our normal duties. The load of poster printing requests is already quite high. Also, we have no way to bill poster costs to authors. We are asking Department users to buy supplies after they have printed several posters. This policy has worked well, but would be very difficult with those from other Departments. We are glad you like the output from the poster, but please do not recommend this printer to outside Departments. We are then stuck telling them it is unavailable, usually when they need a poster printed immediately. If you are involved with a poster from another Department, we will gladly print the poster as long as a SW&C or ARS name is on it.

ARS personnel will be given priority in order of printing. All printer users, no matter who they are, may anticipate up to a 48 hour wait before their poster is printed, especially as more posters come in.

Paper Sizes and Poster Production:

There is only one paper widths supported by the printer: 42 in. PowerPoint will only allow a 56 in. wide/high poster. For larger posters, we recommend making the poster half its intended size (21 by 45 in., for example). We can then double the poster size on the printer itself, resulting in a 42 x 90 in poster (always with a small border allowing for the paper size). It is the author's responsibility to fix any problems with their posters before they are printed. There is a wide selection of fonts supported by the printer. However, if you download new fonts or otherwise use a not commonly used font, be aware it may not be supported by the printer. Poster files are converted to a PDF file. Please do not convert your own poster, unless you are able to maintain the paper size you wish for your poster.

A very common problem seen involves text and graphics looking good within Powerpoint, but printing over each other on the poster. Make sure the selection boxes around text and graphs do not overlap at all when selected within PowerPoint. This will generally avoid most printing over problems.

The entire process to print a poster takes about an hour, including processing the print job and the printing itself. Our hours of operation are from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, allowing for this printing time. Please be patient and understand we have many other duties which can and will take priority over printing posters.

Finally, it would be to your great advantage to get you poster done as early as possible. If you wait until the last minute to request a printed poster, you may well be disappointed.