In the LRC SUB you have the chance to print A0-poster for studies relevant or scientific purposes. One print in A0 costs 14€. As you certainly do not want to waste 14€ on a faulty print, here you can find a few hints and tips how to correctly create, establish and print poster documents. As a general rule: If you have questions or if you are unsure, please ask our team before you print something on the poster printer. Unfortunately, we cannot give a refund if you make any mistakes when printing!
The printer queue of the poster printer has the name bcipls79. If the printer does not show up in the dialogue window of a programme (see images below), please ask one of our advisors. The printer has to be connected to the computer. User who are very familiar with the use of a computer can follow this short instruction.
The standard format for the poster printer is A0 (841 mm x 1189 mm). However, the printer cannot print rimless! This means that although the document is in A0, it won´t be printed on the whole paper area. Hence, it is always useful to print documents with the option “In Seite einpassen” (“Fit in page”) (see picture). If you want to print a poster that includes a lot of white areas, it is recommendable to adjust in the printing dialogue that a margin line or that crop marks should be printed (e.g. extended options in the printing dialogue of Adobe Acrobat). This will facilitate the cutting of the posters which you can also do in the LRC.
The paper comes from a paper roll. Hence, you can normally not put your own paper with another format into the machine. You have the opportunity to print two pages on one A0 document. You will then receive two poster in A1 size. If you choose 4 pages on one paper, you would get 4 A2 poster and so on. An overview for the DIN-formats can be find on the Internet.
Ideally, you should print with 300 dpi. When using 600 dpi a lot of data traffic occurs and the print can sometimes take too long or can be rejected by the system. If you choose less than 300 dpi the quality of the print won't be optimized any more.
Attention: While printing some posters the printing is not successful (for reasons as yet unknown) if you choose the size of paper A0 instead of 90×127. For prevention matters, always choose the size of paper as 90×127 instead of A0.
Usually we recommend the use of professional layout programmes (aka DTP-programmes). Such programmes are for example:
We do not recommend to layout posters in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Open Office. The possibilities concerning typography, layout- and image editing are restricted and do not lead to such results as the other programmes mentioned above.
Theroretically it is possible to design posters via Adobe Illustrator erstellt werden. Although it is a programme which is used to create vector graphics, it can also integrate raster graphics and generate a printable output. Adobe Photoshop is desinged for editing raster graphics (especially digital photos). However: It is not memory efficient to have a Photoshop file in size A0 (not only the text but also vector graphics are being rastered for the output) and consequently the files are very big. The consequence might be a crash of the computer or a very long processing while printing the document.
Important: It is important to set up the document to the final size (A0) and not smaller! Often when crating a new document a lot of software asks for the size of the layout. If you go to “Edit page” or “Set layout” it is mostly possible to change the size of the document afterwards.
A common mistake for creating posters in Word or Powerpoint is that the document size is A4 or screen size. If the document size is being enlarged (automatically) when printing in A0, the quality of the print suffers or problems arise concerning the arrangement of texts and images. The reason for that might be that a document in 4:3 screen size now needs to be squeezed on a regular A0 (portrait or landscape).
Alternatively it may happen that the content of the poster will be reduced so that big white margins appear on the paper.
Exclusively PDF documents show on the screen the same quality as printed out later. That is to say, fonts can be embedded and the layout has the final form for the desired print format. Consequently, no matter in which programme you design your paper, the last step should always be to export the document as PDF (the best would be in the default setting PDF X-3). This PDF document should be checked by the user in Acrobat Professional or Acrobat Reader (for example to check the dimensions and measurement via shortcut CTRL+D or a Preflight) and afterwards send to the poster printer. If you need help for using Acrobat, just ask one of our advisors.
If you want to set up a poster with graphics you should know the difference between raster graphics and vector graphics:
Vector graphics: forms or drawings based on mathematical vectors, for example a line or a circle. Vector graphics consist of many lines and circles which are called paths. They can be scaled randomly without any loss in quality. Consequently, a 1cm vector graphic has always the same display quality if you automatically adjust it to a A0 poster without getting blocky or blurry. Normally text is also based on vectors and can be scaled without quality loss of the output. File formats for vector graphics are for example .ai (Illustrator) or .eps (encapsulated postscript). Please note: If you export a photo to .eps format it does not automatically become a vector graphic!!!
Raster graphics: Generally, raster graphics are photos or scans. Raster graphics (for example file formats such as .jpg, .png, .gif or .tiff) cannot be scaled (=enlarged) endlessly without any loss in quality.
Example: You have found a photo on a website which you want to display on your poster. The picture is a JPG of a width of 500 pixels with a resolution of 72 dpi (you can read this information when right-clicking on the file and then go to “Properties”). However, the printer prints in 300 dpi. Additionally, you want to enlarge the photo and use it over the entire width of the poster. After printing you are disappointed because the photo looks quite badly. On the screen everything looked okay. Explanation: The low resolution (72 dpi per inch) and a width of 500 pixels means that the original size of the photo was actually 500 pixels / 72 pixels per inch = 176,4 mm which are 17,6 cm. Because it was enlarged manually in the layout programme it was expanded a lot! A0 is of a width of 85 cm! Additionally, the printing quality was reduced again, because it was being printed with 300 dpi. The missing pixels of 72 dpi of the photo to 300 dpi of the printer were filled by noise which leads to a considerable loss of printing quality. If you used a vector graphic the expansion of the picture would have been without any problem.
Summary: If documents should be printed in a large size, check the appropriate resolution (300 dpi) and size of the used raster graphics. It is recommendable to look for information on the internet when designing printing media or apply for a StudIT course !