How does printing documents work at the RBI?

Dear students,

the RBI provides a printing quota of 500 pages per semester. To avoid the waste of resources, we
have provided a short printing tutorial. There you may find information, how to print, what is printable
in general and how you may save your quota by printing less pages.


Printable directly from the command line using lpr are plain text documents and postscript documents
(file extension ps). PDF documents are not always printed successfully using lpr !

It is recommended to print using a terminal window / shell and the command lpr instead of printing directly
from a graphical program like ghostview, okular, xpdf, Firefox etc. However, such applications are particularly
suitable to generate ps documents from pdf documents (by printing to a ps file) and to check the document's
preferences since often there is an inappropriate paper size setting (paper size US-Letter instead oft DIN A4)
causing trouble.

After generating ps documents it is recommended to open them before printing just to validate, they really
contain what you wanted to print. E.g. it could be, that wrong frames were printed out of a browser or the
document is unreadable because of wrong settings of your pdf viewer. Another advantage of printing into
ps files is, that you can collect your printouts (for instance when you are browsing the www and want to print
some single pages) and print them all at once e.g. with the command lpr *.ps. This helps you too, to find
your printouts easier at the printer's room.

Further you have the possibility to reduce the documents size. This can be done by the command

psnup -n [] [] ,

where n is the number of pages that are rearranged at one page of the new file. E.g.

psnup -2 >

generates a new postcript file with half the size in pages and 2 of the old pages on one of the new file.

This is also applicable for large lecture notes like "Stochastic" and you don't need to carry such a heavy
document your way home!

It would be even more nice to take your printouts with you regularly, otherwise you could get a warning mail.
Please be so kind to sort the printouts alphabetically while waiting for your own printouts. That would be very
nice and everybody would easily find his/her printouts.

P. S.: Further information you may get with man lpr and man lpq and of course in the FAQ about Printing.


How to generate postscript documents?


Using a graphical application
Basically to generate a postscript document using a program with a GUI is always similar:
open print menu > select print to file, file format ps, choose file name and save location, select paper size
DIN A4 (very important, most likely to find in the sub-menu page settings or advanced settings). If all settings
are satisfactorily, click Print. The opened document will now be converted and printed to a ps file. Now you
may open or print the created ps file.

Using a terminal
Use the command pdftops [old filename] [new filename]. To determinate the correct papersize it is
recommended to use the -paper option: pdftops -paper "A4" [old filename] [new filename]