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Printing at York

Someone using one of the MFDs. They look like photocopiers but they also scan and print.

York Print Plus is the printing, copying and scanning service for staff and students and is available across the University.

Once you've got the PrintCloud set up on your computer you'll be able to send items to it in order to print from any of the 'Multi-functional devices' (MFDs) around campus. MFDs look a lot like photocopiers because that's essentially what they are. But they also let you print and scan.

Printing to PDF

When we think about printing, we're usually printing to create a physical item: a piece of paper. But we could also print to a digital format like an image file or, more commonly, a PDF.

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is a print format document: in other words it's like a paper print-out of a file but digital. Unlike a webpage, which responds to various local settings like screensize, a PDF is a static document: it looks the same for everyone who can see it.

This consistency attracts a lot of people to make PDFs when other more responsive formats might be better (for instance in terms of accessibility). But at times we will need to create a static digital file, especially if we want to give others the option of printing the document on paper at a later date.

Formatting for printing

When you go to print something, it's important to check the various print settings and to look at the Printer Properties. On Windows devices, "Printer Properties" will often be a separate link on the Print controls that opens up the specific controls for that printer — these settings might sometimes override the ones you might have set in the program you're using, so it's important to double-check them.

The 'Printer Properties' link below the Printer dropdown in Microsoft Word on Windows.

The printers at York default to Greyscale (black & white) and Double Sided printing on A4 paper, so if you need something different to that you'll have to change the settings. Here's some things to check for:

  • Paper sizes – a printer may be able to print on a range of different paper sizes (at York, some of the machines can print at either A3 or A4);
  • Print on both sides – if you want each page on a separate sheet you'll need to set that up; if you're printing double-sided you can specify the direction of the flip;
  • Colour – on the "Color" tab on Windows machines, you'll need to uncheck "Print in Grayscale" to print in colour (which will inevitably be more expensive);

There are other settings to explore like "Paper type" (if you wanted to print on a different kind of paper like photo paper or labels), "Print Quality" (higher quality printing is usually slower and may use more ink), and "Output Options" (for instance, some of the printers at York have staples).

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