The Allen School's large-format color printer can produce color prints as wide as 42", and arbitrarily long --- great for printing posters and banners. It is an HP DesignJet Z5200ps, known as psclarge, and is located in CSE 415. It uses "UV" (fade-resistant) ink, and is normally loaded with 100-foot rolls of 42-lb standard coated 36" wide paper.

Note: The poster printer is only available for use by Allen School (CSE) staff, faculty, graduate students and other sponsored researchers, and is not accessible/available for use by CSE undergraduate students The device typically sees heavy load just prior to our Industrial Affiliates meetings, near the end of each quarter, and prior to conferences/sessions where posters are presented, so please plan accordingly.

IMPORTANT: Please do not wait until the last minute to print your poster. The configuration and printing processes take time and should be tested well before a project's deadline.

This document will explain, with words and pictures, how to successfully print using this printer. Templates, print drivers, and how to navigate the "print setup" dialogs are all covered. There are also plenty of helpful hints.


An application-specific template can serve as a good starting point: it's the right size and orientation for your particular need.

If you choose, you can start from scratch, without a pre-defined template. Setting the paper size in your application to 36 inches wide by 60 inches tall is reasonable for a portrait-orientation poster, and 60 inches wide by 36 inches tall for a landscape-orientation poster.

If you are mounting your poster on foamcore, you should set the paper size to 32 inches by 40 inches (portrait) or 40 inches by 32 inches (landscape).

Printing Your Poster

Printer Drivers

If you're using a Windows machine --- lab-managed or user-managed --- adding the "psclarge" printer will set up the printer for you, including the appropriate drivers. (If you're setting up your user-managed Windows machine for this printer, you'll need to use your CSENETID credentials, and add "\\\psclarge".)

If you're printing from a Macintosh, you should first search for and install the print drivers for this printer: you're looking for "HP DesignJet Z5200 PostScript driver" and the HP site has the drivers you seek:

Once the print drivers are installed, you can install the printer, and specify the correct drivers.

A note for Macintosh users: if you're using PowerPoint to prepare your poster, you should save your document as a PDF file, and then send the PDF to the poster printer.

Set The Paper Size and Other Important Settings

Regardless of the application or platform, you must set the paper size before printing.

Look for "Print Settings..." or "Page Setup..." and in the "Advanced Options" there'll be a "Paper Size:" option, and a "Custom Page Size" option somewhere in that list. The following thumbnail images (click to enlarge) highlight the various dialog boxes you need to find and interact with, in order to properly set the page size for the poster printer.
Note: In order to ensure the poster colors turn out as expected, be sure to set Print Quality Group and Print Quality to 'Normal' or 'Best' (the default is 'Fast'). These are located under Printer Features in the Advanced Options menu.

Look for "Page Setup..." and under "Paper Size" there'll be a "Manage Custom Sizes..." option. The following thumbnail images (click to enlarge) highlight the various dialog boxes you need to find and interact with, in order to properly set the page size for the poster printer.

Regardless of the platform, the print preview should look correct, with the 36" × 60" (or 32" × 40") paper size represented. You should see your entire document in the print preview window.

Where's My Poster?

Once you've sent your poster to the printer, you can check the printer queue or watch it print. Printer Cambot Image The static image, to the right, is a snapshot of the live video camera located in CSE 415; click the image to watch the camera feed.

Don't fret if you do not see your print job in the queue; this printer will transfer the entire print job and remove it from the queue before anything gets printed.

If you accidentally submit your print job twice, you can use the "Cancel" button on the front panel of the printer to kill the job that is printing.

Please don't mess with the settings on the front panel of the printer. We know you're really smart, but this isn't any ordinary printer.

Please be patient; your print job may take fifteen minutes to complete, and if there are other jobs in the queue ahead of yours, well, it's going to take some time.

Change the paper only when it's completely out. The rolls are one hundred feet in length, and don't run out very often. They will, though, especially during times of high usage. There are instructions in the quick start guide (on top of the printer) for replacing the paper roll. If you're at all uncomfortable about changing the paper roll yourself, stop and contact CSE Support and we'll come help you.

Posters with colored backgrounds are hard to read, and use a lot of ink. A light (10% or less) shaded background looks much better, if you're wanting a colored background.

After You Print...

In addition to the printer, there is a large-format paper cutter in room 415, as well as foamcore and adhesive spray for mounting your poster, and various tools you may find useful for working with your just-printed poster: scissors, utility knives, rulers, etc.. Please clean up after yourself; the room can get pretty messy during times of high demand, and it's easier to work in a clean workspace.


If the printer is out of paper, or it's in need of a new toner cartridge, or it just isn't printing, please contact support@cs and we'll come up and have a look at it.