Printing - All You Need to Know

Printers | Color Printer | Print Release | Web Print | Print QuotaChecking Print Quota | Printing from Linux | Printing from Windows | Add a PrinterDuplex Printing | Print Job Status | Troubleshooting | Cancel | Help


Black and White Laser Printers

As of February 2015, the 5 black and white laser printers in Elder, Hering, and 2301 lab are the same high duty-cycle Dell printer.

The Elder and Hering labs have four black and white laser printers, two in each lab: ptrcss00, ptrcss01 (Elder); ptrcss02, ptrcss03 (Hering lab 1220 SC). Elder lab also has the color printer. 2301 SC lab has one laser printer: ptrcss05. Students can print from Windows or Linux applications to those printers. You can print formatted text, PDF, and PostScript files on the lab and departmental laser printers. Pages printed on lab printers cost $.05 per page, unless you select duplex printing. As of the spring 2015 semester, you need to use the printer release station to print documents that have been queued to the printer. There is one release station for the color printer (ptrcss10) and printer01.

Hering north and south each have a local printer, called a resume printer, attached to a computer. These resume printers are not stocked with paper; you must provide your own. There is no charge to print on these printers. The computers connected to the resume printers have Acrobat Pro installed.

Color Printer

The color laser printer, ptrcss10, is in 1231 SC, Elder lab, sitting next to the two black and white printers ptrcss00 and 01. Output costs $.25 per side printed. If you print duplex (on both sides of the page), the cost for two pages is $.40, a savings of $0.10 cents.

Print Release Station

You must release print jobs to the printer by logging into the Color Print Station which sits next to the color printer in the Elder lab.

You can wave your Iowa One (student ID) card in front of the proximity reader or swipe your student ID through the card reader attached to the monitor of the print release station. You can also use the keyboard to login with your engineering account ID and password.

screen on color print release station

After login, you see all file(s) queued for printing. You can select to print or cancel each job of yours. The queue information includes the number of pages that will be printed and the print cost.

color printer queued jobs

Jobs are queued and must be released for printing so that you select what you print.

Print jobs stay in the print queue for 2 hours.

Color Inkjet Printer

In 1253 SC there is an HP Photosmart color inkjet printer that can print on paper up to 14" x 17". You must supply your own photo-quality inkjet paper; there is no additional charge to use the printer. This inkjet printer is a local printer and so must be used in 1253 SC, where it resides.

Web Print

Web print lets you upload and print jobs from your laptop to printers in the Seamans Center.

To use Web Print, go to Enter your engineering account ID (Username) and password. Select Web Print from the left side of the screen. Click on Submit a Job >> in the upper right of the screen.

Web Print opens at the first of 3 steps.

web print document types

If you use OpenOffice to create documents to print, remember to save your document as .doc rather than .odt.

If you upload a file that cannot be printed, you will see the message at the top of the screen "The uploaded file type is not supported. See the table below for supported files types."

  1. Click the radio button to select the desired printer from the available list. Then click 2.Print Options and Account Selection >>.
  2. Enter the number of copies to print. The default is one (1). Then click Upload Document>>.
  3. Click Choose File to select the file to print. Browse for the file and select Open. Note that the file must be one of the file types listed. After you have selected the file to print, click Upload & Complete >>.

Web Print sends the job to print and displays the submit time, printer, document name, number of pages to print, cost, and status.

Log Out (from the left side of the screen) when you are done.

Print Quotas

Every student Engineering account has a dollar-based print quota for printing. As of fall 2015, students are allocated $20.00 for Engineering students and $5.00 for Non-Engineering students of print quota at the beginning of the fall, spring, and summer semesters. At the beginning of each semester, print quota is reset to the allocated amount.

Once you have used all of your initial quota, you begin using credit printing. The default print credit amount is $35/month and this amount is enabled by default for each valid computing account. With credit printing as you print pages each month, the charges are accumulated. Until the monthly printing has been added to your U-Bill, your printing quota will show a negative balance. Each month your U-Bill will show a charge for the printing you have done, up to the amount you authorized. After the month's print charge has been added to your U-Bill, your print account is set back to zero and you begin credit printing up to the monthly limit.

Every month ECS charges negative print balances > $1.00 to your U-Bill.

If you do not want printing charged to your U-Bill or you want to authorize a monthly amount less than $35, you must come into the ECS main office, 1256 SC.

If you do not have charging privileges, you will have to pay for additional print quota at the Engineering Electronics Shop, 2018 SC. Additional printing that you purchase with cash in this manner will not carry over to the next semester, nor will it be refunded.

Checking Your Print Quota

When you login, you will see a small window in the upper right corner of your screen with your current balance, as illustrated here.

papercut information window

Click on the Details… link in the box and then log in to look at your print and transaction history. You can also see the environmental impact of your print jobs. You can minimize the Papercut window if you do not want it open on your desktop all the time.

If you don't see the papercut box above, then click here for your engineering printing balance.

Printing from Linux

To print from Linux applications, select the Print option from the application menu and follow the instructions and choose the printer you would like to use. If you are working in the Elder lab, choose printer ptrcss00 or ptrcss01. If you are working in Hering lab, choose printer ptrcss02 or ptrcss03. If you are working in the 2301 lab, choose printer ptrcss05. If you need to print color from a Linux computer, choose ptrcss10.

From the search bar, type print and choose printing to view all the lab printers. Right click on the printer and select print queue to view your files in the print queue.

From a shell, use

lpstat -u username

(username is your engineering account ID) command to view your files in the print queue.

lpstat -t

command to view the status of all of your printers.

Printing from Windows Applications

To print a file, select the Print option from the application menu and follow the instructions. Your print quota is adjusted by the number of pages that you print.

Printing is automatically set to print on one side of the paper. You can use duplex printing (prints on the front and back of the page); see the following duplex section for how to select duplex printing.

Adding a Printer [Windows]

Go to Start | Devices and Printers. Select Add a printer and then Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer. Select the desired printer and click Next two times then Finish. If the printer you want to add is not on the resulting list, click on The printer that I want isn't listed. Proceed as described below.

Select Find a printer in the directory and click Next.

radio button selecting Find a printer

Leave all fields blank and click Find Now to see a list of available printers. Scroll down the list to find the printer you want to install and double click on it. You can make this printer the default by clicking that option. Finally click Finish.

printer listing including PS and PCL drivers

Note that there are two listings for many printers: ptrxxx##ps and ptrxxx##pcl. The name indicates the printer driver used: "ps" is PostScript and "pcl" is Printer Command Language, used by HP printers. Some document types print more correctly with one driver than the other.

Duplex Printing

Duplex printing is printing on both sides of the sheet of paper. By printing on both sides of the paper, you get twice the output for each sheet of paper. Duplex printing on the black and white printers prtcss00, 01, 02, 03, 05 costs $0.05 cents for the first page and $0.02 cents for the back side. Thus to print two sides on the same sheet of paper costs $0.07 cents. If you print two pages on two sheets of paper, you are charged $0.10 cents. The HP LaserJet printers in the Elder, Hering, and 2301 SC labs can print duplex pages.

Note that duplex printing on the color printer, ptrcss10, which is in 1253 SC, costs $0.25 cents for the front side and $0.12 cents for the back side.

On a Windows computer, select the Print command from the application you are using. Select File | Print, choose one of the HP LaserJet printers, and click Printer Properties link.

printer properties  from menu

Select Printing Shortcuts to select Eco-print (duplexing).

duplex dialogue box

The illustration at the top right shows how the duplexing will be done; in this illustration the page will flip along the left side of the paper. Change that on the option "Print on both sides:". You can also set the paper source, pages per sheet, and orientation from this dialogue box. Make changes to the default settings as appropriate, then click OK to print your document.

Note about duplex printing: the printer paper handler briefly extrudes the paper to turn it over and print on the other side. Please wait until the pages are in the top output tray before removing them.

Print Job: Status

In the printer window (Start | Devices and Printers) double click on the printer to which you sent the job to see the status of your print job. If the print queue is short, your job may disappear from the printer status window before you can view your print job. The print queue window includes information on the document name, status, number of pages, size, and time submitted to print.

Troubleshooting Printing Problems

Printer Is Jammed, Out of Paper, or Out of Service

If one of the lab printers is out of service, please notify a consultant or ECS staff member in 1253 or 1256 SC. If no one available, please leave the printer alone. The problem will be corrected as soon as a staff member is available.

File Won't Print

If you have sent a file to the printer that has not printed within a reasonable amount of time and you have enough print quota, please do not re-send the file. Check to see if there was an error message on your screen.

If you cannot get your file to print and there is no problem with the printer, see the consultant at the Engineering Help Desk in 1253 SC for assistance, or call the consultant at 319-335-5055.

Cancel Print Job

What happens to my print balance when I cancel a print job? 

One of two things:
Scenario 1: Your print job is second, third, fourth, or any position other than first in the print queue. Papercut should refund the print job after you cancel it. You should see the refund reflected in your balance window shortly after you cancel the print job. You can also click on the Details link in the balance window, login to your personal print accounting page and check your recent print history to see whether papercut cancelled and refunded your print job.
Scenario 2: Your job is first in the print queue. If you go the the printer on which your job is printing and cancel the job, Papercut will not charge you for the unprinted pages. You will be charged for pages already printed.


Talk to the consultant at the Engineering Help Desk, 319-335-5055, 1253 SC, for help with printing. Report your problem to request assistance.