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IDSC Services FAQ

Use the questions below to resolve common questions and troubleshooting related to IDSC Services.


Are there fees associated with using the IDSC resources?

Most resources are free of charge. However, there are fees associated with some products such as wide-format posters and color output. For more information regarding wide-format printing pricing and services, please see the IDSC Wide-format Printing page. For all other services, please contact the IDSC for current pricing and availability.

Who can request a fee-based service?

The IDSC offers fee-based services to current members of the PSU community, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff.

How can I request a fee-based service?

To request a fee-based service, clients should inquire with one of the lab attendants on duty. The client's request will then be entered into our online work order management system, and will include contact and billing information along with a description of the work to be completed and an estimate. In order to expedite your request, please add funds to your account or be prepared toprovide departmental billing information ( index or grant number) along with as much detailed information on your project as possible when placing your order.

Work orders will be processed in the order they are received. Print jobs will be billed upon printing with the exception of index and grant number orders which will be billed at pick-up. To ensure accuracy, files to be printed must be reviewed on a lab workstation by the client and a lab attendant. Complex projects may require additional information or time to complete. We highly recommend that you review the copyright, liability and services guidelines prior to submitting a work order.

How do I pay for fee-based services?

Payment for billable items and services must be made through the IDSC lab. Payment is required in full at the time of completion/delivery. Materials and /or services will be withheld until full payment can be made.

Please note: On July 8th, 2015, the IDSC transitioned to a Payment Gateway to process payments for their services. The IDSC Payment Gateway is similar to PayPal or Google Wallet, in that you will be able to add funds directly to it from your credit/debit card and use it to pay for IDSC services. As part of this transition, the IDSC will no longer accept cash and check payments for fee-based services starting August 1st, 2015. Clients can access the Payment Gateway by going to and signing in with their Odin credentials. Lab staff are trained to assist clients with adding funds to their account and answer questions. For clients that utilize departmental index and grant numbers, these orders will still be process traditionally for now. However, as part of the IDSC's push to make purchasing easier for all users, work to integrate index codes into the Payment Gateway system is already underway and more information will be available in the future.

Please be aware that IDSC services are only available during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). Orders must be requested and picked up during this time. Evening/weekend lab clients must wait until the next business day to pay for and pick up their order.

Why do I need to fill out an order? I'm only buying a DVD!

The IDSC is required to keep a record of all service transactions in order to comply with procedures outlined by the State of Oregon as well as certify that pricing is fair and consistent for everyone. Additionally, orders provide accurate tracking of inventory, assessment of our client's present and future needs, and project management to ensure that each work order is followed through to completion.

How do faculty print in color?

Clients can print to specialty paper in the IDSC for a small fee. This is separate from the standard printing available in all OIT labs. Please refer to the PSU Printing Overview page or contact the IDSC for more information.

What is a punch card?

In a previous effort to reduce paperwork for small color printing purchases, the IDSC offered "Color Solid Ink Phaser Punch Cards," also referred to as "Punch Cards" for sale. Clients could purchase a punch card for $1.00, which was good for 10 prints on our Xerox color printer.

If you currently use punch cards, please be aware that punch card sales ceased on July 1st, 2015, as they are being replaced by the Payment Gateway. However, you can bring your punchcards to the IDSC and have the funds transferred into your online account. Please note that these funds can only be used to add credit to your account, not to create cash refunds. The IDSC will count unused punches on the punch card and will transfer the number of unused prints purchased to the user's account. Punchcard credit transfers must be done during IDSC business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). The last day to "cash in" your punchcards is December 31st, 2015.

Wide-Format Printing

What is the difference between the "Lines & Fills" and "Image" rate? Ink coverage, or simply, how much ink is used for a print job is an important factor in determining the overall price of a print job. Outside of paper, the major cost of printing comes from the ink used to print the page. As some posters use more ink than others, we have two different rates to address the ink coverage of a file: "Lines & Fills" (L&F) and "Image."

L&F posters typically consist of blocks of text, simple graphs, and basic line art. They do not include backgrounds or a lot of photos. Some examples of L&F posters would be simple banners, illustrations, or basic event agendas. "Image" posters on the other hand, generally contain photos, graphics, or backgrounds with 50% or more continuous coverage. An example of an image poster would be the typical poster created for a conference. As a general rule, a poster qualifies as a 'Lines & Fills" if the printed poster covers less than 50% of the total printable area.” As a majority of posters have background images, photos or gradients, very few wide-format print requests meet this criterion. To determine the ink coverage rate to be charged, the lab attendant will review the file when it is brought in for printing.

IDSC Sample "Image" Poster IDSC Sample "Lines & Fills" Poster


How does wide-format printing pricing work?

There are three factors that determine pricing for wide-format printer jobs: paper selection, ink coverage, and file dimensions. Please see the Pricing section on the Wide-Format Printing page for more details.

I want to use the PSU logo. Are there guidelines that I must follow for my poster?

Yes. Be sure to review the guidelines regarding the use of PSU logos and graphics. The IDSC will not be able to print documents that do not follow these specific guidelines.

What are my file format and dimension options?

The file must be submitted in PDF file format with the same dimensions as the final output. Please see the Submitting a file for Printing section on the Wide-Format Printing page for more details.

How do I check the actual dimensions of the PDF?

We highly recommend that you verify the dimensions of the PDF before submitted the file for printing. To check the actual dimensions of the PDF, open your document in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. Move your mouse to the lower left hand corner of the document. While hovering over the corner (do not click), the document dimensions should appear. Additional settings can also be viewed by selecting File, then Properties.

I’m not sure how to make my poster. Can you help me?

IDSC staff can assist you with minor adjustments that take less than 15 minutes. This is in accordance with our "15 minute support guidelines" which states that lab attendants may spend up to 15 consecutive minutes per user per hour, ensuring that the lab attendant remains available for everyone that needs assistance. Assistance with full poster development is beyond the scope of our support.

Can you trim my poster after printing?

Yes, but there are some limitations. Please see the Trimming section on the Wide-Format Printing page for more details.

Can I print to the wide-format printer from my office/workspace?

Your file can only be sent from IDSC workstations. Please speak to an IDSC lab attendant about submitting a wide-format document for printing.

Can I use my own paper or ink in the wide-format printers?

Printing with your own specialty paper or ink on the IDSC wide-format printers is not supported. Currently, the following media are available for these printers: Heavyweight Coated Matte Bond (CMB), Satin Semi-gloss Photo (SSGP), and Enhanced Matte Posterboard (EM).

What is the difference between the three wide-format printers?

The IDSC currently maintains three printers for our wide-format printing services: a Canon iPF 9400, a Canon iPF 8400, and an Epson 9800. Please see our printers page for more information about the wide-format printers.

Which wide-format printer/paper should I select?

For wide-format printing services, the paper you select determines the printer that will be used. Paper selection largely depends in turn on how the final output will be used. Please see Media Selection on our Wide-Format Printing page for more information about the wide-format printers and paper.

Can I get a bag for my poster?

Yes. Plastic poster bags are complimentary with any wide-format output purchase. Please ask a lab attendant for a bag when picking up your poster. Please be advised that the bags are intended for temporary protection of wide-format printer output, and should not be used for long-term storage. The bags can be recycled (#4) with shopping bags, bubble wrap, or plastic film bags. At this time, we do not have bags for poster board output.

Do I need to reserve the plotter ahead of time?

No. The wide-format printers are on a first-come, first-serve basis, with work orders processed in the order they are received. If your department is hosting an event or you are attending a conference that requires multiple posters to be printed, please contact the IDSC for more information.

Print Quality & Troubleshooting

The color of my print job is not how it looks on the screen. What happened?

In order to have the color on the screen match the final printed output, all the the equipment must be calibrated. Calibration requires third-party software, but is not always effective as equipment ages. At this time, we are not able to calibrate our equipment.

My fonts changed! What happened?

If you have used a special font to create your document, we may not have it installed on our workstations. If you are using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign, you can prevent this problem by highlighting your text and selecting Create Outlines from the Type menu. Do this for each of your special fonts. Please note that you will NOT be able to edit text after this point. Other software programs may require that you embed the font in the file.

Why do my fonts or images print out with jagged edges?

If the fonts and images in your document print with jagged edges, the file resolution may be too low to print smoothly, the file may contain PostScript data, or the file was highly compressed. If you used a special font to create your document, we may not have it installed on our workstations. Try selecting another font, converting the font to outlines (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop), or returning to the original computer and creating a PDF of the file.

If you used a graphic or photo from the web, the file has most likely been optimized for quick downloading (small file size). When an image is optimized, the resolution is reduced and the file is compressed by throwing out excess information. Because web images are intended for screen viewing and not printing, compressed images can afford to lose a lot of information. Try using a higher resolution copy of the file instead.

IDSC Service Guidelines

What are the "IDSC Service Guidelines"?

The IDSC Service Guidelines state that by signing the work order, the client verifies that they have reviewed the work that they have requested and have accepted the final work (i.e. found it to be satisfactory and containing no errors). If the project must be redone or reprinted due to content errors, or errors discovered after the client has signed the work order, the client will be held responsible for the cost of the original work order and the cost of any further work or reprints needed to correct the error. Additionally clients are responsible for the accuracy of files submitted as well as any associated costs with reprinting the files. Please see the Integrated Digital Support Center Standard page for more information.

I made a mistake on my poster. Can I reprint it?

Yes. However you will be charged for both the original poster and the reprinted poster.

Can I cancel or make changes to my order?

If the order has not been printed yet, the order may be cancelled or changed. However, it is the client's responsibility to immediately notify the IDSC that the order needs to be cancelled/changed. Orders that have already been printed are not eligible for cancellation or changes. Clients are responsible for the costs associated with the printed posters, which will be charged to their account if abandoned. Please contact the IDSC regarding the status of your order.

Can I get a refund or discount if I don't like how my poster turned out?

As previously stated in the IDSC Service Guidelines above, if you have already signed the work order, you have accepted the final work. We are not able to offer discounts or refunds. Clients are responsible for reviewing their documents for accuracy before submitting the file for printing. This includes, but is not limited to spelling, grammar, layout, missing images, and font substitution. The IDSC will not be held responsible for the cost of any printed materials that contain errors that were contributed solely by the client.

If a poster needs to be reprinted, the client will be charged the price of the original poster plus the poster reprint with no discount. When dropping off the file for printing, the lab attendant will open the document and have the client review the document for any errors. It is important that the client reviews and verifies that the file is accurate. If the client refuses to review the document at the time of drop-off, the document(s) will be printed "as is," and the client will be held responsible for any errors and the cost of both the original poster(s) and the re-printed poster(s). If the problem is due to technical issues, we will reprint the file at no additional cost. Please see the Integrated Digital Support Center Standard page for more information.

Further Resources Contact the Helpdesk for additional assistance.