Frequently Asked Question

What guidelines are there for department or office printers?
Last Updated 3 years ago


Department or office printers can be purchased and set up by individual departments, but in order to have the printer joined to the network and allow workstations to network to the new printer, IT must be involved in networking the printer. This tutorial will assist you in gathering the information and resources you need to get your printer networked and ready to access connections.

To set up a printer on the network you must contact IT for registration. Please have the printer plugged into a network wallplate and turned on. You should also view the printer naming guidelines below to decide on how to name your new printer.

Printer Naming Guidelines

In order to decrease the number of inaccurate printer names and reduce the impact of customers during printer moving, Information Technology Services has now adopted the following printer naming guidelines. We sincerely hope this makes printing to a network printer through ITS resources much easier for our customers.

Character Limitations

The limit for a printer name for the supported printing services is 30 characters.

Since many characters are not allowed on disparate systems for printer naming and printer setup, names will be limited to alphanumeric characters and the hyphen. Printer names will not be able to begin with a numeric value.

Naming Suggestions

We believe that identifying printers easily requires two pieces of information, the customer's identifying group and a defined name for the printer. Due to our recommendation of limiting the printer name to 30 characters, we suggest this structure: DEPT-PrinterName.

  • The department section can be any municipal group or department (we suggest this be limited to five characters in length although this is not a requirement). This name can be selected by the customer who purchased the printer and should try to not coincide with any other acronyms of departments and groups used in the city.
  • The printer name section can be any printer identifiable traits, such as the group, function of the printer, printer model or location. IT suggests the group and function be used since the printer model and location can change more frequently, causing changes in printer setups on client computers. This section should not cause the 30-character limitation to be exceeded when combined with the department and delimiting character. For example: DEPT-HelpDesk, DEPT-HP4050 or DEPT-AD230.
  • Printers using Microsoft Print Services or Banner print queues must follow the naming convention outlined on the page.

Additionally, all printer devices will be placed in the domain using their DEPT-PrinterName identifier for the hostname section.

For example:

Reasons for the Naming Guidelines

Quite often the IT Help Desk was approached to rename printers that have been created with a name based on the building and room number. These changes require altering all client workstations that print to the old name, as well as notifying all clients to use the new name when printing from Banner or other resources.

Many printer names are created for the ease of system administrators at the time of creation (to make the printer easier to find). It has been our experience that even though this may be the initial reason for the printer name, most of the printers retain the same name regardless of where the printer is moved to, including moving buildings! The reason why printer names are not usually changed when they move rooms or buildings is the same as reason #1. We have many customers contacting the Help Desk that have to find printer names that have no correlation between the printer name and the actual physical location of the printer.

The function or functional location of a printer does not change as much as the location or the printer model. For example, the Help Desk has physically moved three times in the past five years and the printer models used as the printer have change approximately five times. If the printer was originally named IT-HelpDesk instead of a name based on the room or model there would have been no printer name changes required for that entire five-year period.

Even though printer names based on building and room number (if accurate) are easier for system administrators, or individuals who have worked with the department for years, most new employees with the city have more of an idea of the functional name of a location, not the actual room number.

There have been conflicts of printer names when names are not updated for printer moves and new printers are added to the system trying to use the same name.

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