EWS Printing

Printing Policy

An EWS account provides a free print quota each semester to any student who is enrolled in College of Engineering degree program or other eligible degree programs. This free print quota is provided to meet basic user printing needs. Quotas are refreshed the day before the start of the spring, summer session 2, and fall semesters. Temporary EWS accounts are not issued a free print quota. All EWS account holders are able to purchase pages through their my.engr account (see: my.engr Print Quota) in 100 page blocks for $8.00. Unused pages are lost at the end of the semester and do not carry over to subsequent semesters.

Free Print Quota amounts are determined based on your class standing on the day prior to the start of the semester. Quota amounts are as follows and are based off of pages printed in black and white (pages printed in color count as four black and white pages):

  • Freshman and Sophomore students receive a 300 page quota ($24)
  • Junior students receive a 400 page quota ($32)
  • Seniors and Graduate students receive a 500 page quota ($40)

Your EWS print quota can only be used at the College of Engineering labs. University housing, Technology Services ICS labs, private housing, the library as well as other Colleges have different printing systems. Therefore, you will not be able to use your quota at those locations. 

EWS strives to provide reliable and error-free printing services. However, we recognize that some printing problems are unavoidable. Because the vast majority of print problem reports we receive are due to user error, our general policy is not to grant refunds. The following printing mishaps are examples of instances where refunds would not be granted:

  • Multiple copies that were printed
  • Garbled output from using command line lpr or mpage on a .pdf file
  • Garbled output from printing a .pdf file in the browser
  • Encoding related errors

However, some EWS printing problems are the result of circumstances outside the user's control. When this can be shown to be the case, we do grant refunds. These types of problems may include:

  • Toner outages
  • Power outages
  • Print system malfunctions (with evidence)

If you wish to seek a refund, please retain any pages that printed improperly, and e-mail ews [at] illinois [dot] edu. Also, be sure to provide us with detailed information about when the problem occurred, what application was being used, what file was being printed, and to which printer you were trying to print.

Best Practices

  1. Ask an EWS operator for help if you have any confusion BEFORE you print including information about which printer works better for certain types of jobs.
  2. Preview your document in the program you are using to print, if possible.
  3. When printing any job, watch the pages come out of the printer and make sure everything is OK. If you catch a bad print early, you can cancel the job on the printer and minimize your loss.

Printing PDF Documents

One of the most common printing problems are errors when printing PDF documents. Here are a few guidelines to follow when printing PDF documents.

  • Linux: Never print a PDF from the command line. Open it in acroread and then print from within the program.
  • Windows: If the PDF is being viewed within a web browser, DO NOT print from the browser. First, save the PDF to your home directory. Then, open the PDF in Acrobat. Finally, select print from within Acrobat to send the file to the print queue.

Print Commands on Linux

The following print commands provide users with ways to send print jobs from the command line and manipulate print jobs to help conserve paper and print quotas. For further explanations of the print commands discussed, type man and the command following it at a command prompt to get a more detailed explanation on how each command functions.

Never print a PDF file from the command line. Open it in acroread and print from there.


To send a text (.txt) or PostScript (.ps) file to a printer from a Linux workstation, enter the following command:

lpr -P printer_name file_name

To override the default double sided printing option:

lpr -o sides=one-sided file_name

For examples, see: Unix Command Guide.


Users often need to print multiple pages on one sheet of paper due to the large amount of pages that needs to be printed. To facilitate the printing of multiple pages on one page, EWS offers a utility called 'mpage' on the Linux workstations. The usage of mpage is as follows:

mpage -# -P printer_name file_name

The above '#' represents the number of pages that will be put on one sheet of paper (# can be 2, 4, and so on). The use of mpage shrinks down the size of the font that appears on a regular page by a certain factor. For example, if a user chooses 2 as the #, the output will result in splitting the paper into two parts (as 2 pages are now printed on 1 sheet), and the size of the font printed will be reduced by a factor of 2.

For examples, see: Unix Command Guide.

Printer Queues

All EWS print jobs will be managed exclusively using the MY.ENGR Print Queue Web Tool. Please note that print jobs will be released immediately to the printer you have chosen. Verify that you have chosen the correct printer prior to printing, as refunds are not given for successful print jobs.

Color Printing

EWS has four color printers available for general use:

  • dcl-l426-color1 is located in DCL L426
  • eh406b1-color1 is located in Engineering Hall 406 B1 (Windows lab)
  • eh406b8-color1 is located in Engineering Hall 406 B8 (Windows lab)
  • mel-1009-color1 is located in MEL 1009
  • gelib-4th-color1 is located in Grainger Engineering Library (4thfloor)
  • eceb-3070-color1is located in 3070 ECE Building (Undergraduate Student Lounge)

When printing to the color printer it is important to remember that printing one page on a color print is equal to printing four (4) black and white pages on another EWS printer.

Duplex Printing

All balck and white EWS printers are capable of double-sided printing. When printing a double-sided print job, your quota is only reduced by the amount of physical paper pages printed. For duplex jobs, the My.Engr Print Queue Web Tool will show document (non-phyisical) pages printed but you will only be billed for .04 per non-physical page.

Checking Quota and Purchasing More Pages

To find out how much of your quota you have used, or to purchase more pages, visit the MY.ENGR Print Queue Web Tool

Laptop Printing

Click here for step-by-step instructions on connecting to an EWS printer from your laptop.

Paper Recycling

EWS encourages paper recycling, and we ask that students recycle all discarded paper products in the recycling bins in each lab.

EWS is not responsible for lost or stolen printouts.

Get Help

Questions about this topic? Don't see what you're looking for?

Email engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu, call the Help Desk at 217-333-1313, or contact your primary IT support professional.