Public Printing Tips and Tricks

Due to on-campus restrictions, please see Public Computing Availability During COVID-19 for the most current information.

Even though Wharton Computing provides more than 30 printers for student use, there are times when you may have to wait in line and times when there may be problems with a printer or a given job. These tricks should help you avoid frustration during the printing process.

Before You Start 

You might need one or more of the following before you can complete this task: 

  • An active Wharton account
  • A Wharton printing account with sufficient funds
    • This can include both printing credits & PennCash

General Tips

Check Your Print Balance

Make sure to check your printing account before you print to ensure you have sufficient funds. To check your balance, login to MyWharton and click Print Credit Balance under All Links, or swipe your PennCard at one of the printers. If you are running low on funds, consider adding PennCash to your PennCard here:

Try Another Printer

If a document doesn't print the first time, it may be an issue with that specific printer. A different printer may solve your problems. If not, contact Student Support -- knowing that you couldn't print to multiple printers may help us identify a problem print job.

Use Campus Copy

For any type of specialty printing such as poster board or business cards, visit Campus Copy at 3907 Walnut Street or UCS in Houston Hall! 

Check Document Properties

Paper Size

Use 8 1/2 X 11 paper.  Our printers are stocked with letter sized paper, and any documents configured for a different size paper (A4, tabloid, or other non-standard size) may have problems printing.

Be Wary of "Print All"

If you select "print all", be aware that problems with one job in a selection may impact your ability to print the rest of the jobs.

Use Print Preview

Use Print Preview (usually from the File menu) to confirm the way your document will look before submitting your job. When you're ready to print, choose Print from the File menu and click the OK button. (The Print Preview choice isn't available in the Acrobat Print menu.) 

Printing in Black & White 

We know it can be confusing figuring out which printer to choose when you are printing a Black and White document.  We recommend that you select the "Grayscale" or "Black and White" option in your print properties before sending the job to the printer

Windows and Mac Print Screens

If you would rather not do this, then release the job from a Black and White-only printer.  

NOTE: Please be aware that if you plan to release from a color printer and you do not specify black and white as noted above, any pages containing color elements will be printed and charged as color pages. We are working on ways to make this process easier and less confusing, and hope to have a solution in place in the Summer of 2019.

Printing PDF Files Using Print as Image Option

Printing a PDF file as an image simplifies the document being sent to the printer and can often bypass problems. This option is checked by default on our lab computers, but you can select it on your own computer:

From Adobe Reader, choose Print =>  Advanced =>  Print as Image.

Printing a PDF document as an image

Please note, this will only work if you open the file in Adobe Reader. The option is not available from Preview

Printing from Excel

Make sure to specify the print area by using the "Set Print Area" command. If you format an entire column or row, the full spreadsheet may print even though it is blank. This will not show up in Print Preview, and you may print out hundreds of blank pages. The "Set Print Area" command is under "Print Area" on the File menu. click and Drag to highlight the area you want to print, then click on "Set Print Area." 

Wharton Printing for Specialty Jobs

For specialty printing, such as bound course packs, bulk printing, large format, or specialty papers, there are several options around campus. Popular choices include Campus Copy on Walnut Street and UCS in Houston Hall.

Questions or Issues?

See our Public Printing Troubleshooting article here.

Contact: Wharton Computing Student Support