Up: info for short term visitors


Printing at the Geometry Center works more or less the same way as unix printing anywhere else. The only complication is figuring out to which printer you just sent your job. The following page gives generic printing instructions, as well as information about determining or changing your current default printer. (More technical information on printing is also available.)

General Instructions

The standard way of printing common files, such as email messages, or PostScript files is to use the unix lpr command. The command syntax is:

lpr [-Pprintername] filename

to send a file to the named printer. The command

lpq [-Pprintername]

reports the status of the print queue on the named printer. If the printer name is omitted, both commands use the default printer for that computer. Among other things, the lpq command will show you the job numbers of your jobs. This is useful if you change your mind and want to "kill a print job". To do this, type

lprm job_number

Typing lprm without a job number will remove all of your pending jobs.

Printing TeX files

The easiest way to print TeX files is to use the "Print" menu from TeXview, the NeXT TeX previewer. This will pop up a dialog box, allowing you to choose a printer and various other options, including saving the document as a PostScript file.

Otherwise, you can use the command dvips filename to create a PostScript file, which you can then print via the lpr command. By specifying the -f switch, you can use shell trickery to direct the output directly to the printer

dvips -f filename.dvi | lpr

Another option is to use the command

lpr -d filename

to send a .dvi file directly to the printer, though this may not work if there are included figures or \special commands. For more information, consult the web pages about TeX and including graphics.

Printing Graphics

In general, the strategy for printing graphics is to convert your images to PostScript and print them as outlined above. Frequently, however, graphics programs will have a "Print" menu, which typically produces better results. For details about specific kinds of graphics, consult the web pages on creating mathematical illustrations.

To print color graphics requires the use of special commands, and because of media costs, it is usually advisable to consult with the technical staff about color printing. You can learn more about the necessary commands on the printing page of the Center Software Overview.

Printers and Printer Names

The Geometry Center has a number of printers. Each one is designated by a symbolic name. To send a printout to a given printer, one typically uses the lpr command with that given printer name as described above.

The names and locations of the Center printers are indicated on the equipment map. The names of various printers are also indicated on each printer, if you are standing there looking at a printer, wondering how to get your paper to print there.

The only subtlety about the Center printer names is that the big HP4si in the main common area has two names: hp and hpsimplex. When a job is sent to hp, it will print on both sides of the paper, while a job sent hpsimplex is printed one-sided. On the Macintoshes, there is no way to printed single-sided pages on the HP, so Mac users need to choose a different printer for single-sided jobs.

The Default Printer

Every new unix account at the Geometry Center sets a default printer for that account. Typically this printer is the big HP printer in the main common area though the NeXT systems often redefine this default to be a nearby NeXT printer. The default printer is determined by the PRINTER environment variable , and in general, it doesn't change unless you change it. To examine your PRINTER environment variable , issue the command printenv PRINTER. To change it, use the command setenv PRINTER printername. This command works in the c shell environment that is installed in new accounts by default. If you have changed shells, you may need to use a different command. Note, you can set the PRINTER variable in your .cshrc if you want to permanently change your default printer. On a NeXT computer, nearly all applications use the same system printer dialog box. Thus, if you change the highlighted printer from within the dialog box, things you print from other applications will also go to that printer. Consequently, if you have lost a printout, try popping up the print dialog on a NeXT and see where it points.

If you are printing something reasonably long, and you think of it in time, you can use the command lpq described above to find out where your job is currently printing.

On Macintosh systems, again the default printer is typically the HP in the common area. To change the default printer, go to the Chooser, under the apple menu, and select printers. The printer which is highlighted is will be the current default printer.

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Created: Fri Sep 8 11:39:00 1995 --- Last modified: Jun 18 1996