PowerPoint 2003

Document Preparation

The physical properties of a PowerPoint slide require acute attention from the user. If PowerPoint is not instructed to scale the artwork to fit the paper when finally printed (discussed later), then an error will not be issued should the page setup define an area larger than the clipping rectangle. Not accounting for margins properly may severely impact your schedule, and one user will not receive priority over another for simple negligence. The information available herein is more than adequate for preventing related atrocities.

Preparing New Documents

If the document to be printed has yet to achieve fruition, then two options present themselves. First of all, the document's page setup can be initially defined to account for the printer's margins, assuming you, the user, has predetermined the output paper size. Either the destination printer must be chosen prior to this action, or margins in excess of every possible printer's requirements may be selected. For example, a document intended to fit on a 36" x 48" portion of paper could be given the dimensions 35" x 46" in the Page Setup dialog box (shown below - accessible by selecting File -> Page Setup...). These dimensions would allow for 1" and 2" margins, adequately satisfying the requirements of both printer models listed above.

PowerPoint 1

A second option allows the user to define a page setup that is arbitrarily close to the desired final output dimensions. Whenever the document is finally printed, PowerPoint may be instructed to scale the artwork, while maintaining the aspect ratio, to fit the printer's margins (more information below). This approach does simplify the document preparation considerably, but the user must be aware of the disadvantages. Whenever an image is scaled beyond its original size, pixelation will occur, although the resulting quality typically remains acceptable up to a 2x scaling factor. Furthermore, using the Scale to Fit Paper option will result in a clipped printout when using a Postscript driver (not recommended) as the application is unaware of the printer's margins.

Preparing Existing Documents

Very little must be done if the document to be printed is already complete. First of all, you, the user, must determine the slide's physical properties by accessing the Page Setup dialog box (File -> Page Setup...). As stated earlier, do not forget to allow for the margins required by the destination printer when determining the output paper size. If the existing page setup is decided to be satisfactory, then nothing else must be done prior to printing.

If the document must be scaled (larger or smaller), then two options are available for consideration. As mentioned above, PowerPoint may be instructed to scale the artwork as needed to fit the margins of the paper (the size of which will be determined later). This approach assures maximum utilization of available real estate while guaranteeing that all artwork will fit on the paper without any clipping or aspect distortion. Again, note that this option will fail to work properly when using a Postscript driver (not recommended).

Lastly, the do-it-yourselfer may decide to preemptively scale the document, but must be careful to maintain the document's aspect ratio (as desired). Furthermore, the artwork may experience clipping if the final paper size chosen (discussed later) is inadequate. A simple proportional equation (a/b = x/y) will suffice for non-destructively determining the scaled document's page size.

Printing Instructions


Open the File menu and select Print...

PowerPoint 2

The Print dialog box should appear momentarily. Browse through the list of available printers to select Plot03, Plot36, or Plot42. If the desired printer cannot be found in the list, follow the corresponding instructions given at the Installation Page.

PowerPoint 3

Once you click on the Properties button, the Printer Driver's properties dialog box should appear. At this point, consult the corresponding Printer Driver Instructions in order to properly set the paper size, orientation, and other options. After finishing with the driver properties, the various options remaining in PowerPoint's Print dialog box should be considered and modified as needed. Most importantly, the Scale to fit paper option must be checked if PowerPoint is to scale the artwork as mentioned previously in the Document Preparation section.

PowerPoint 4

Once finished, either click Preview to look over your plot or click OK to spool your print job to the queue.

Hint: Preview your print job prior to submission in order to detect any clipped artwork.

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