EWS Printing

Printing Policy

EWS printing is managed through the Technology Services PaperCut service. From this page, EWS printing customers can view their balance, purchase printing credit, view their printing history, request refunds, or submit Web Print jobs.

EWS printing uses Illini Cash, the campus-wide reloadable balance system that is attached to your I-Card. You may purchase Illini Cash from the PaperCut printing system. Illini Cash can be used within all computer labs across campus that participate in the Illini Cash System; for example, Engineering EWS labs and Housing/Technology Services ICS labs.

EWS strives to provide reliable and error-free printing services. However, we recognize that some printing problems are unavoidable. EWS will refund print jobs in cases where the job did not print correctly due to our error; for example, streaks due to low toner or printers that are out of paper. EWS will not refund print jobs due to user error; for example, printing the wrong document or printing to the incorrect printer.  

PaperCut FAQ


To allow us to look into the problem, all refunds must be requested within 48 hours of the failed print job. To request a refund, please follow the following steps:

  1. Log into PaperCut.
  2. Select “Recent Print Jobs” from the left-hand menu.
  3. Locate the print job you would like to request a refund for, and click the “request refund” button under the “status” column.
  4. Leave a detailed description of your refund request in the “reason for request” box. Please be specific about the problem.
  5. Click “send.” You will receive an e-mail when your refund request has been processed by Engineering IT, which may take up to 2 business days.

Best Practices

  1. Check with an Engineering IT Helpdesk 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. Make sure you watch for and pick up your job promptly to avoid it being accidentally removed by another person .

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.

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

Most EWS printers are capable of double-sided printing. Double-sided print jobs will only be charged for the amount of physical paper pages printed, not per-side.

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.edu, call the Help Desk at 217-333-1313, or contact your primary IT support professional.