|Using the HP DesignJet 500 Printer
(updated Feb 2007. There is a new printer
and not all of the information below has been tested.)
To date most of our experience has been with creating posters in PowerPoint 2000. Textboxes and figures can be created directly in PowerPoint or copied and then pasted from other applications. The discussion below describes what has been done successfully and any pitfalls that have been encountered. The information in this section applies to Windows 2000 and Windows XP unless stated otherwise.
- The first step is to set the slide size to your finished poster size and use guides to create 1" margins and mark off any sections. Our printer is 42" wide, and PowerPoint will not allow you to create anything over 42" x 56", so please keep this in mind when planning your poster layout. 42" x 36" is a good size but remember to leave at least 1" margins. (Mac users -- please remember that some of your fonts will not be compatible with the printer, so stick with common fonts (Arial, Helvetica, Comic Sans, Times). Rule of thumb for choosing font sizes is what can be read from 3-4' away. Most of our headings are 60pts or larger and text box fonts range from 18 pts and up.
- Do not group objects in PowerPoint; i.e. do not group a text box and a graph together. Grouped objects don’t scale correctly when printed. I believe this problem exists only for Windows NT. Also if you group an imported graph with a PowerPoint object (like a background) and then try to ungroup the graph and object PowerPoint will ungroup the entire graph into a bunch of individual items. It also loses the link to the program that created the graph. This applies to both Windows 95/98 and NT.
- Copying graphs from Excel , Sigmaplot v4.0 and v5.0 and Origin into PowerPoint has been successful. Copying figures or text from Word works fine. Copying figures from Microsoft Paint has also been successful. Copying and pasting into PowerPoint creates an embedded object. The embedded object can be edited in two ways. Right click on the object and choose either edit or open. Editing opens the object inside PowerPoint. Opening the object actually opens the application it was created in. Opening the object is generally easier to work with. Be aware that changes you make to the object in PowerPoint only effect the PowerPoint copy and not the original.
- Images (GIF, JPEG. BMP, and PS) can be imported directly from the file. Importing an image as a picture or as an object has no effect on the final output. In some cases importing an image as an object causes nothing to show on the screen but printing is unaffected. Use caution when saving the image. High resolutions (600 dpi) have caused the printer to run out memory and fail to print the offending image.
- When creating images in other applications and saving them to a file to import into PowerPoint, save the image as close to it’s final size as you can with a resolution of 300 dpi. This prevents loss of resolution and distortion caused by resizing figures within PowerPoint.
- Please refrain from using solid color backgrounds. They look nice, but use too much ink. It also causes paper to wrinkle and weakens the fiber (making lamination impossible). Text boxes and other objects in PowerPoint can be tinted, shaded, shadowed, etc., but again, be careful. Too much ink on the paper will cause it to wrinkle and once dry the ink is easy to scratch off..
- The best way to proof your poster before printing on the large format printer is to print a scaled down version on the Xerox copier. From printers, choose Copier, change paper size to Tabloid and on print dialog page, choose "scale to fit paper". This produces an 11" x 17" that is quite readable (also a good option if you want handouts of your poster).
- Printing. The poster printer is not a shared printer, so you must print from the general user machine in the GIS room. Put a copy of your file on "ecoshare/poster shared documents". To print, choose print and then choose Poster Printer from the drop down printers box. Then click the "properties" button next to the printer name. Make sure "Source is:" say "roll". Click "Custom paper size" type in the size and orientation of your poster (this should be the same size you entered in PowerPoint).
- Neither the paper nor the ink is waterproof. Keep your poster dry.
Note: WHOI Graphics and Village Printer both use Page Maker and InDesign -- they don't believe that PowerPoint provides as much flexibility as a true graphics program.
ARCVIEW layouts can be printed directly. Grid covers with transparent no data values may not print but this may have been fixed in the new version of ARCVIEW.
Importing ARCVIEW images into PowerPoint
There has been some difficulty importing images from ARCVIEW to PowerPoint. Be aware of the following when creating ARCVIEW images.
- Set all no data values to have a fill color other than transparent, i.e. white.
- Save images from ARCVIEW as encapsulated postscript, bitmaps, or Window's metafiles (.wmf). Dont be too greedy with the resolution. As mentioned above a resolution of 600 dpi caused the printer to run out of memory and fail to print.
- If you save your image as encapsulated postscript and want to view it on screen, you will need to convert it to another format. Grids saved as postscript have not printed successfully. One recommendation is to convert the image to JPEG using ARCTOOLS or ARCPRESS. If you do this choose NO compression and a resolution of 300 dpi.
- When ARCVIEW is installed on a computer it installs a number of fonts also. If you try to print or view a Window's metafile (.wmf) created by ARCVIEW on a computer that does not have the extra fronts installed you may not get what you want.
Has anyone tried this yet? Write down what worked and didnt work so it can be included here.