How to Use a Plotter

By Nick Davis

A plotter is a great device for producing highly detailed images such as diagrams, layouts, specification sheets and banners. The plotter is capable of producing color drawings in a matter of minutes. Using a plotter is as easy as printing to a regular printer---select the plotter and specify what size your output document is. Your oversize document will print in minutes.

Step 1

Connect the plotter. Follow the instructions that came with the device to load the driver and connect to your computer.

Step 2

Open the document you would like to print to the plotter.

Step 3

Click "File" then "Print Preview" if you have this option to see what the document will like look before sending it to the plotter. Click "Print" from within the "Print Preview" if everything is OK. Then click on the down arrow by "Name" under the "Printer" heading then select the plotter from the pull-down list. If changes are needed, click "Cancel" and make the changes. If you don't have a preview function, click "Print" then click on the down arrow by "Name" under the "Printer" heading then select the plotter from the pull-down list.

Step 4

Click on "Properties" and select the size of paper to print to---48 x 36 is the most common size. Then select the "Orientation" as "Portrait" or "Landscape." Next, click "OK."

Step 5

Click "OK" to print the document.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your document's "Page Size" should match the "Page Size" on your plotter's print screen. If you are printing a document bigger than what the plotter can print, you must tell the plotter to "Fit to Page" or "Reduce to Fit" or similar wording to reduce the document before printing. If you have a "Print Preview" function, use it before sending your document over to the plotter.