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There are HP LaserJet PostScript printers in all the EECG graduate labs. Use the lpr command to print a file which is already in PostScript format, and use enscript to convert an ordinary text file into PostScript, possibly while also shrinking the text to get two pages on one piece of paper, before sending it to the printer. Be careful not to print a PostScript file with enscript, unless you really want to take home a copy of the PostScript code which would generate the printed page.

To preview a PostScript file, use ghostview, the newer gv, or the display program. All of these use gs, the Ghostscript PostScript emulation program, to generate a display-able bitmap graphic from the specified input file. display is part of the ImageMagick suite of graphics tools, and is very useful for converting between different graphics formats: in particular, a Level 2 PostScript file which display generates from a GIF file is often several orders of magnitude smaller in size than the corresponding PostScript file converted by Netscape, so you can save huge amounts of disk space and printing time. See the man pages for more details on each of the programs mentioned here.

PDF files are NOT the same as PostScript files. To view or print a PDF file, use acroread. Because of printer memory limits, large PDF files may have to be printed a few pages at a time.

You can specify which printer you wish to use with lpr or enscript by including the -P option when you type the command, or you can change the default printer by changing the PRINTER environment variable in your .cshrc file. For example,

lpr -Plj2201

will print on lj2201.

Most printers should have the PRINTER name written on a label on top of the printer. Some printers have a duplex option for printing on both sides of the paper. In order to use the duplex option, the user has to specify the duplex PRINTER name. The regular PRINTER name for the printer in LP392 is lj392 and the duplex PRINTER name is lj392dup. The detailed printer information is outlined in the /etc/printcap file. The useful printer info has been extracted and copied to file /eecg/doc/printers.eecg. This file is updated periodically, so it may be out of date.

Always pick up your printouts ASAP, so it doesn't get thrown out and you have to print it again if you need MULTIPLE COPIES, please use a photocopier. Your supervisor should be able to give you a copying account. Photocopying is FASTER, CHEAPER, and means less waiting for others

If you have multiple large jobs, and it is during the day, please send them to only 1 printer. This way other people can print rush jobs on the free printer. After you print -- please check the paper tray in the printer. If it's nearly out, please fill it. Check the file size before printing.... be suspicious of large files. Use ls -l filename to see the size of the file (it's the # right before the date). Use less filename to look at the contents on the screen before printing. if you want to count the number of lines before printing, do wc -l filename (wc means word count, means count the lines only). All of these commands have man pages too.

Useful Commands and Examples

Use enscript -2r filename to print SOURCE CODE or other plain text files... this prints 2 columns sideways. Run man enscript to learn about other command line options.

Use psmulti | lpr to print POSTSCRIPT files, 2 columns sideways. Use man psmulti to learn about more options. You can also use pstops 2:0L@.7(21cm,0)+1L@.7(21cm,14.85cm) to do the same thing. Run man pstops to learn more. Look at /eecg/doc/psto2ps and /eecg/doc/psto4ps for simple scripts to do 2-up and 4-up.

Printer errors

Some printer errors may be cleared with the Continue button on the front panel of the printer (hold down Shift and then press Continue. If you mistakenly send the wrong type (not PostScript) of file to the printer, it is sometimes possible to abort a bad-format job by first taking the printer offline, using lprm to remove any part of the job which is still in the queue, and then power-cycling the printer to clear its memory. Turning off the power in the middle of a print job will usually cause a paper jam. Do not attempt to extract a jammed piece of paper from the printer unless you are sure of what you are doing: if bits of torn paper are left inside the printer, the problem becomes much worse.


If you run out of paper or toner, please contact printing AT ece DOT utoronto DOT ca. The support staff will tell you where to pick up new paper or toner (usually available at GB253B).

Printing From Windows

If you only have Windows Box, you must get a Samba user account from ecehelp AT ece DOT toronto DOT edu in order to connect to one of the EECG network printers. After you get a Samba account, you can simply add one of the network printers in the "control panel">>"printer and faxes" option.

EECG graduate admin
Last updated June 2004