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Printing Tips and Tricks


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.


General Tips

Choose Your Times

Breaks between classes and exams are the busiest printing time, particularly around finals. Try printing during classes or in the evening. Also, print early. If you encounter problems you will have time to address the issues with time to spare.

Try Another 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.

Don't Print!

If you don't need to print it, don't. Save a tree, save a dime, and save time. Talk with your faculty and identify up front what you can and can't use electronic media for.


Check Printing Balance

Make sure to check your printing account before you print to ensure that you have enough money in it. To check your balance, log into SPIKE and click on the My Account tab or swipe your Penn card at one of the printers. If you are running low on funds consider adding money to your PennCard here http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/penncard/ before you need it.


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 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.


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

Visit Wharton Printing (located in 400 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall on the ground floor near Joe's Cafe) for:

  • Bound course packs
  • Bulk printing
  • Large format
  • Specialty papers



Check out this page for help resolving some common printing issues. Additionally, the Student Support Office in SH-DH 114 is open M-Th:9-9; F:9-6. If you have problems, call 215.898.8600 or better yet, stop in and see them. The can often help identify the cause of the problem, give you an immediate solution, and help you avoid similar problems in the future.

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