Plotting FAQ

Have a question that isn't included here? Email us: Campus Operations

Q. How long will my plots be kept and available for pickup once printed?

A. All plots will be kept for thirty days after being marked ready for pickup.  Following the thirty day period, we will clean out and recycle all unclaimed plots.

Q. Why is my PowerPoint plot missing content?

A. If your PowerPoint plot is the correct size and format and still missing content it is probably not your fault. This is a common problem and our current solution can be found here. We are also working on a more permanant and better solution.

Q. Can I insert an Adobe PDF document into PowerPoint for plotting?

A. Yes, it is possible to insert a PDF file into PowerPoint. In order to do this go to the Insert tab and then select Object. Next select Create from file, and then click Browse and find the desired file you wish to insert into PowerPoint. Once you have selected your file, click OK and it will insert the first page of your PDF file into PowerPoint. Note: This will only insert the first page of the PDF, you will need to split the file into multiple files to get more than one into PowerPoint.

Q. What size should I make my plot?

A. The plot queues correspond to two paper widths: 36" and 42". Each new roll of paper contains 100 ft of paper, so technically a plot that is 100 ft long could be printed. The dimensions of your plot can be made to anything you desire, as long as they fall within the bounds of the selected queues (36" x 100' for CCIT Plot 36 and 42" x 100' for CCIT Plot 42). To save paper, an exact dimension of 36" or 42" can be used. The most common plot sizes include: 36" x 24", 36" x 48", and 42" x 36". Note: Any dimension between 42" and 46" should not be used, because these dimensions cause the document to rotate incorrectly. Also, for any plot exceeding 10 feet in length, you should contact Printing and Plotting so that they can ensure enough paper is loaded onto the plotter for your plot job.

Q. What large format printing services are available?

A. Printing Services allows students, faculty, and staff to print to two queues: CCIT Plot 36 and CCIT Plot 42. Specifically for faculty and staff with departmental accounts, the queues CCIT Plot DEP 36 and CCIT DEP 42 are avaliable.

Q. What software can I use to print a plot from?

A. Several programs are available on campus that students, faculty and staff can print from. The most commonly used programs used to plot include MS PowerPoint, Windows Picture and Fax Viewer and Adobe Photoshop. Several other programs, usually those specific to a curriculum, are also used. For more information about curriculum specific software (such as architecture), please consult your college consultant. We do not recommend plotting from MS Word or Excel. For more information on how to plot, please visit our Plotting How-to's.

Q. Will gradient backgrounds print?

A. Yes and no. Gradients print fine, but will often take a long time to print because of complexity. It is recommended that solid color backgrounds be used.

Q. How soon may I pick up my plot(s)?

A. All plots are bound to a 24 hour turnaround time. While the required amount of time may in reality be much shorter, users should always allow for this delay! All users should receive an email whenever their plots are released to the plotters. Users may pick these up as soon as the printing process is complete. Generally, you may pick your plots up 2 hours after having received email notification that your plot has been released.

Q. Where and when can I pick up my plot(s)?

A. Once finished printing, plots are immediately available for pick-up at the Customer Support Center located on the second floor of the Cooper Library. After checking in and being called up to the Front Desk an attendant will find your plot(s) for you. Normal business hours are: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM except for during university holidays. (Note: On Fridays when there will be a home football game the following Saturday, the hours are 8:00AM - 4:30PM).

Q. Do the plotters operate during the weekend?

A. Yes. Campus Operations runs the plotters Monday-Friday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM and Sundays 1:00 PM - 10:00 PM, except during university holidays. (Note: On Fridays when there will be a home football game the following Saturday, the hours are 8:00AM - 4:30PM).

Q. I sent a print job in error. How do I delete it?

A. There is no direct access for the user to their job once it has been submitted.  Please call us immediately at 656-4766 to delete the job.  If we do not hear from you or your job is printed before you contact us, then your account will be charged for the plot. 

Q. Where can I find more information on printing to these plotters?

A. Consult the Plotting How-to's section. If the application from which you desire to print is not listed, read the documentation for another (perhaps PowerPoint - the printing process is a bit more involved). A great deal of important information is presented in each How-to!

Q. How do I know if my plot failed to print properly?

A. Campus Operations employees inform users of significant problems (e.g. plot was printed out 8.5" x 11") via email. Be sure to check your email (the username under which the plot was submitted) often in order to avoid unnecessary trips to the Customer Support Center.

Q. What types of print jobs are considered acceptable?

A. The plotter is for academic use only! All non-academic and/or wasteful plots will be cancelled. Any user that submits non-academic and/or wasteful plots may have their plotting rights suspended at any time.

Q. How can I preview my plots which are on queue?

A. At this time, no interface is available for this purpose.

Q. Where can I find high quality Clemson University graphics for inclusion in my plot?

A. The CU seal and other official graphics are available on the Share drive (S:\), assuming you have logged into Novell on a Windows workstation. These graphics are available in several different formats, but the two most commonly used are EPS and TIFF. TIFF graphics are similar to traditional bitmaps, implying that such documents are not as suitable for printing. EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) graphics are specifically created for printing purposes, and are infinitely scalable (this is usually a safe assumption).

EPS versions of Clemson University graphics can be found in the following location:


As PowerPoint and several other applications support the direct insertion of EPS graphics, this resource may be used quite easily. Simply treat the graphic as a standard image file, and proceed to scaling the inserted artwork as required.

Q. How many copies/pages am I allowed to submit to the plotter?

A. Users are allowed to submit no more than 2 copies/pages per print submission. If, for example, you need 10 copies of your plot, you should either a) send your job 5 times with 2 copies each, or b) send your job individually 10 times. Users that submit more than 2 copies/pages per submission will only receive the first two pages of their print job - if any at all. All other copies/pages will be deleted.

Q. I need my plot right away! Can you print my plot ahead of others?

A. No. Plots are printed in the order they are received. We guarantee you will have your plot, assuming it was submitted correctly, within 24 hours of submission (Monday - Friday). To be more specific: if you need your plot by 10am on Tuesday, you should submit it no later than 10am on Monday. If you wait until 9am on Tuesday to submit your plot there is no guarantee that it will be printed in time. It is your responsibility to have your plots printed by the time due; not ours.

Q. I submitted my plot correctly, but the plotting staff did not print it how I wanted. What should I do?

A. The most important thing to remember is that the plotting staff does not and can not alter any print jobs that are on the queue. If your plot printed incorrectly, it is because it was submitted incorrectly.

Q. I don't have the time to submit my plot to the queue. Can I email it to the plotting staff and have them print it for me?

A. No. We do not accept email submissions. All plots must be submitted properly through the queue for printing.

Q. Can I bring you sheets of paper to print on?

A. No. We only print on rolls of paper. Sheets will not be accepted.

Q. I would like to have my plot printed on non-regular paper (e.g. glossy photo paper, canvas, etc...). Is this possible?

A. Yes. We will print on non-regular paper to a limited degree. The user must supply his or her own paper - we will not provide any paper other than the Heavy Weight Coated paper the plotters currently utilize. Non-regular paper can be expensive (over $200/roll in some cases) and users should keep this in mind when considering printing on non-regular paper. Additionally, the user should consult a Campus Operations employee before purchasing any materials - the plotters can only take certain types of paper and it is best to be sure that we can handle your request before making any purchases.

Because Campus Operations prints, on average, over 100 plots/day, it is very important that the user understand that their plots, when printing on non-regular paper, do not become a priority over other students/faculty plots. Printing on non-regular paper is time consuming and labor intensive, and will only be done during slow periods. With this in mind, if you should need plots printed on non-regular paper, you should have your plots, paper and any other materials ready no less than 2 weeks before the project due date.

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