Tech DOs and DON'Ts

On the lab/studio computers:

  • DO SAVE often!  DON’T rely on autosave: not all applications have an autosave feature, and those that do autosave at different intervals with varying degrees of success in recovering from unexpected errors or program/computer crashes.

    • Save copies with different file names to revert to in case of file corruption.

    • Save copies to both Google or Box and external drives.

  • DO add an external hard drive as a Scratch Disk when working with large files in Photoshop to prevent memory crashes:

    • Go to Edit - Preferences - Performance

    • In the box labeled Scratch Disk select the external hard disk option listed (e.g. D:\ ).

    • Restart Photoshop to apply changes.

  • DO WORK with files LOCALLY on the Desktop (internal hard drive), but SAVE COPIES to Google Drive, Box, etc. and/or external drives.

  • DO REBOOT every once in a while; it only takes a few minutes, and it makes the computer perform better and less likely to lock up or crash.

  • DON’T watch videos or listen to music on your workstation: those activities poach system resources and can lead to poor performance or lock-ups and crashes; if you must watch videos or listen to music while you work, do so through a mobile device.

  • DON’T work on multiple files unless you need to perform actions across files (e.g. copying from one and pasting into another).

  • DON’T have multiple applications open unless you need perform actions across those applications; when you have completed those actions, close the application(s) you are not actively working in.

​On the PAWs/plotters:

  • DON’T do full-sized test plots to see how your colors will come out; they waste a lot of ink, and in the evenings and over the weekend, our ink suppliers are CLOSED.

  • DO create a small test document (e.g. 11”x17”) with a sampling of your colors, areas of high contrast, and other particularly important details, and print on the medium and plotter you will use for your final project.

    • DO write down all of the steps you perform and settings you use, so that you can repeat them exactly when you are ready to do your final print.

    • DON’T change any variables between your test print and your final print, such as the type of paper selected, the application you are printing from, the file format (i.e. directly from a PSD or converted to PDF first), working color profile, etc.

  • DON’T create your optimized PDFs at the PAWs; do that at your normal workstation

  • DON’T drastically alter your colors in Photoshop if your colors do not come out on the plotters the way that they looked on your monitor; instead …

    • Verify the correct paper type; if someone loaded the paper and selected the wrong paper type, it can drastically affect the colors.

    • On the HP T790 and T2300’s, select HP Universal Bond Paper.

    • On the Canons, select Ex HW Art Paper when loading watercolor.

    • For the HP T790/T2300’s, follow the instructions for color matching at

    • For the Canon iPF8400’s, you MUST use the Photoshop plug-in; see

  • DON’T load watercolor in the HPs!

    • They are more fickle to load than the Canons, and they have easily-damaged paper sensors that take several days for HP to service.

    • The Canons are built to handle thicker paper (verified up to 260lb)

  • DON’T try to figure out how to change ink or paper on your own; DO ask for help ... if you cannot find the student worker on duty, email