plotter printing

Information Technology Services has two production-quality HP plotters that Northeastern students may use. Located in 138B Snell Library, large-format plotter printing is a managed service, staffed by ITS Customer Service staff who are able to assist you with the printing process during defined hours of operation. Cost is determined by the size of the printout, and varies depending on the overall dimensions, color and quality of the plot; costs will be deducted directly from your Husky Dollar balance.


This service is offered to students only since it requires Husky Dollars. Any faculty or staff that would like a large format job printed should reach out to Reprographics in the basement of the Curry Student Center. More info on Reprographics can be found on their website:

The plotter printers are located in 138B Snell Library, near the Argo Tea. For access to this room, see an ITS Service Desk staff member at the InfoCommons desk during scheduled hours (see hours below).

Plotter printers utilize Husky Dollars to print; they are not part of the Northeastern Printing Plan. Plotting costs will be directly deducted from your Husky Dollar balance. Funds added through myNortheastern via NUPay will be available in 24 hours. Funds added from the Student Accounts Office in Richards Hall are available immediately.

Get Started

Print jobs are sent from a Northeastern-managed lab computer or from a personal computer with the Virtual Print drivers installed. Plotter print jobs can be sent to two different print queues:

  • Plotter_Grayscale
  • Plotter_Color

Sample printouts of each combination are posted in 138B Snell Library.

The preferred file format for plotting is a vector or high-resolution PDF. The plotters are loaded with 36″ wide rolls of plain bond paper, so format the plot size and orientation accordingly.

Files should be sent to the print queue prior to arriving at 138B Snell Library. Practice good file best practices by using CMYK colors, and vector drawings when possible. Try to control the file size of the PDF, as larger files can take a long time to print. Make an effort to reduce file size when exporting a PDF file to be printed. You may download and review the original Adobe Illustrator file used to produce the test plots, for example to match and calibrate colors.

Once a print job has been sent, simply choose one of the swipe-to-print stations next to the plotter printers, swipe your Husky Card at the card reader, and select your file and print.

Within the plotter room there is a cutting mat and a T-square available for use for those who wish to trim their plots. You must bring your own cutting tool(s), such as an X-acto knife.


The plotters are located in 138B Snell Library, which is in back of Argo Tea.

Costs are calculated by area and depend on quality and colorspace. Below is a list of cost by queue, including the cost of common sizes ARCH E (36”x48”) and ARCH D (24”x36”). The default paper size for all queues is ARCH D, no margins (24”x36”), but this can be manually changed to any size. NOTE: Be sure to check the preview to ensure the correct orientation and scaling options – if one dimension is larger than 36”, the plotter will scale down the PDF.

Plotter_Grayscale | $0.004/in2
Best for crisp linework, fine hatch patterns and solid gray tones.

  • 24”x36” will cost $3.46
  • 36”x48” will cost $6.91

Plotter_Color | $0.0052/in2
Produces a fully saturated plot for photos and renderings, but the final results can have odd color shifts.

  • 24”x36” will cost $4.49
  • 36”x48” will cost $8.98


Regular Semester Hours
8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

138B Snell Library is monitored by the ITS Service Desk staff in Snell Library. Please seek out an ITS Service Desk Staff member for assistance. Hours are subject to change, and may vary during Finals Week.


For assistance with plotter printing, contact the ITS computer lab staff or the ITS Service Desk at 617.373.4357 (xHELP), email or initiate a chat session.


Plotter Printing – FAQs

How To

How To: Print a standard-size project to the ITS plotter printers

How To: Print a custom-size project to the ITS plotter printers