School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering - The University of Adelaide School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering logo The University of Adelaide logo
Printer image

School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Room N107

Engineering North Building





Phone + 61 8 8303 5280

8303 5030

Facsimile + 61 8 8303 4360

Printing and Print Configuration


Printing from Unix / Linux (Top of page)

For Unix printing the main commands you will need are summarised as:

  • <printername> <file> - Prints a file with filename <filename> directly to the printer <printername>. For example, lw5 mypage.doc
  • lpstat <printername> - To see what jobs are waiting on the line printer queue for printing. This will list your name, the file being printed, and a job number. If you realise that you have made a mistake, note the job number and use cancel job # to delete it.

Many documents are made available in postscript form for direct printing. These can be manipulated with a number of commands. However beware of the multitude of versions of postscript, many of which have incompatibilities which cause problems for software and printers. For previewing a postscript file on screen use ghostview.


There is an extended version of postscript called encapsulated postscript. This is intended to encapsulate a small thumbnail image of the postscript file which can be used by certain software packages to preview what is in the file. If such a thumbnail image exists, it will almost certainly jam the printer. Only encapsulated postscript files without the thumbnail image can be printed.


When you use LaTeX, the output will be in dvi format which needs conversion to postscript form before the printers will print it. The command which does all this is:

lwr dvi-file


If you want only certain pages printed, use -s to specify the start page and -f the finish page. The example below prints pages 3 to 5 inclusive. Note the presence of the spaces, which are important.

lwr -s 3 -f 5 dvi-file


Printing from Windows (Top of page)

The 'Print' menu in Windows is normally found under the 'File' menu. Once you have located and entered the 'Print' menu, all the printers installed on your PC will be shown in a list or drop-down box. Select the printer you wish to print your document to, make any necessary changes to the printer configuration (see below) and click 'Print'.

Windows Printing Configurations (Top of page)

Windows provides two ways you can access printer settings - printer defaults, and application print properties:

  • Printer defaults: Changes the default configuration for that printer which will apply whenever you select that printer from any application. This setting is accessed through your system's control panel (watch demonstration)
  • Application-based print properties: Changes the configuration for only the application in which you make the changes. This settings is accessed through the Print, Properties menu in individual applications (watch demonstration).

Get Flash Player

To change printer defaults:

    • Click the 'Start' button at the bottom left corner of your screen.
    • Click 'Settings', then 'Printers' or 'Printers and Faxes' (depending on your system configuration)
    • A list of all installed printers will be shown.
    • Right-click on the printer whose defaults you wish to change and select 'Printing Preferences'
    • Make any changes you wish to make and click 'OK'. The changes will take place next time you open a Print menu from within an application.

To change the application-based print properties (note: since this procedure is performed within each application, there may be slight differences in the order or naming of these commands):

    • From within an application of your choice, locate and select the 'Print' menu. This is normally found under the 'File' menu.
    • A list of installed printers should be shown for you to choose from. Select the printer you wish to print from. If the printer you want to use is not shown, read through the 'add a printer' page.
    • Click the 'Preferences' or 'Properties' button.
    • The same Print Preferences menu should be shown where you can make the changes you wish. Click 'OK' when you have finished. Your changes will not affect the printer's default settings in other applications, and will revert to the defaults next time you start that application.