Printers and Printer Problems

How To Print

There are four publicly available black-and-white laser printers: ps2 in the computer room, ps12 in the reading room, ps8 in D0.02, and ps5 in D0.21. There are also three colour laser printers: ps10 in the photocopier room, ps_trans (single-sided) in D0.21, and ps7 in the computer room. To print a file to ps2 from a Linux machine, type ``lpr -Pps2 filename''. N.B. This will only work with text or Postscript files. To print any other type of file, open it up in the application you use to view it on screen, and choose the ``Print'' option from the menu. You may be asked for a complete print command (such as ``lpr -Pps2'') or for a printer name (such as ``ps2'').

Printing from most Windows applications is straightforward, but remember to make sure that the correct printer is selected. If it isn't available, go to Start -> All Programs -> Maths Faculty Extra Programs -> Add Pavilion Printers, and make sure that your pavilion and room number are set correctly before clicking Install.

You also need to be a little careful when printing from GSView. Select Windows GDI Printer, click on ``Settings'' and ensure that ``Full Colour'' is selected.

If you need to print colour transparencies, you are advised to use the single-sided colour laser printer ps_trans in D0.21. Ask Julia or John for suitable transparencies, as if you use the wrong kind, they will melt in the printer. Simply put the transparencies in the normal paper tray, and ps_trans will automatically detect them and print using the correct amount of ink. Do not attempt this with any of the other laser printers! You can also use the inkjet printer attached to the Windows PC outside my office, but remember to click on "Properties" before printing to ensure that it is set up for transparencies.

Printer Messages

These are some of the messages which can appear on a laser printer's display, what they mean and what (if anything) you need to do about them. Many of our printers can clarify their error messages themselves - they tell you this by displaying ``For help press ?'' on their screens. As a general rule, the printer will flash the orange maintenance light if it needs attention.
The printer is ready to print.
The printer is paused. Press the Stop key to switch it back to Ready mode.
The printer has gone into an energy-saving mode.
The printer is starting up again after going into energy-saving mode. If you wait it should print out your job.
The printer is busy printing or thinking about a print job.
The printer is out of paper. Refill its tray. If this does not work, someone may have been fiddling with the control panel options, and you should email me if you are unsure how to fix this.
There is paper stuck inside the printer. Open the printer cover and carefully remove the paper jam. You may have to open the back of the printer or remove the tray or the toner cartridge.
The printer is running low on ink of the specified colour. No action is required, as printing can continue until the ink runs out.
The printer has run out of ink of the specified colour. Email me and I will change the cartridge.


If you print a long document and it doesn't come out, don't just send it again. If it was just delayed or sent to the wrong printer, you'll eventually get multiple copies of it, which is a waste of paper. If it was actually stuck, all those extra jobs will be clogging up the print queues and may make it impossible for other people to print.

The first thing to do is to check whether it went to the right printer. By default, all print jobs will go to ps2 if you do not specify a printer. You can change the default printer to ps10 by including the line "export PRINTER=ps10" in your .bashrc file. Some applications may require the line "export LPDEST=ps10" as well. For example, acroread appears to send jobs to ps2 even if you have set the PRINTER variable.

If you're sure it went to the right printer, try the following steps: