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IT Area FAQs

Last updated: September 2019

Which password do I use for these computers?

The computers in the IT resources area and in the other computer rooms in College are part of the “Managed Cluster Service”, which is itself part of the University’s centralised computing resource known as “Desktop Services”. To log into these computers, use your CRSid (e.g. jkh25) as your username and your Raven or Desktop Services password. If you forget your password, please contact the Girton Computer Office so that the Computer Officer can give you a password reset token.

You can signup to get your password(s) before you arrive but it doesn’t matter if you arrive in Cambridge without having done it already. Log on to one of the machines in the IT resources area using the username signup and leave the password blank. You will need various forms of ID, e.g. your UCAS number. This will give you a single password for the following functions:-

  • Desktop Services (i.e. the university’s network of computers for student use – many of the computer rooms in departments and faculties are part of this network, as are the computer rooms in Girton). This was previously known as the PWF or Public Workstation Facility and you may still see it referred to as such.
  • Microsoft Exchange Online email or Hermes email.
  • Raven based websites (an authentication system which lets you look at areas of University websites which are not available to people from outside).

Further information about resetting passwords is available here. You can configure your Raven account to let you reset your own password using security questions: to do this, go here and select Managing your account.

Please note that if you arrived at the University before February 2014, you will have received three separate passwords, one for each function. If you wish, you can reset the three passwords to a single password – go to

Can I change my password for (a) these computers? (b) email?

Yes, to both.

You can use the Raven Password Management to change your password(s).  If you still have 3 separate passwords, please note that this will change them all to a single password.  You will need to know either your UIS or Raven password to use this application.  If you have forgotten it, please ask the Computer Officer for a password reset token.

What password do I need to access electronic resources?

As a rule of thumb, if a password is required it will be a UIS/Raven password.

There are some databases and electronic journals which you can access without a password if you are using a machine on-campus (i.e. any machine connected to the University network) but which need a password if you try to use them from outside the University. See the eresources website for more information.

If you are accessing electronic resources while away from Cambridge, it is strongly recommended that you access ejournals through iDiscover or databases via the links in the eresources website. These listings have been set up to take you to the Raven login page for the first resource you access, and then your Raven login is remembered until you close your browser.

Do any of the machines run Linux?

Yes. In the Library, all the machines can run Linux. You will need to restart them, then select Linux when asked.

Please note that you might not be able to print from Linux though.

I’m leaving the Library to go to lunch. Can I leave my computer logged on? How long before the computer logs itself out?

IT Area computers can be inactive for 35 minutes. They will then give a 5-minute warning. If the computer is not used during this time period (total 40 minutes) the computer will log itself out.

Please note that the computers in the IT Area are frequently in high demand.  Do not “hog” them!

How do I pay for printing?

You need to buy printer credit in advance. Girton is part of the “Common balance print credit scheme”. You can pay online using the eCredit facility. If you are logged onto a Desktop Services computer, go to Start (bottom left corner) → Account Management → DS-Print eCredit. This will open a new browser window and you may be asked for your UIS or Raven password. Or go to from any computer and login with your UIS or Raven password. The minimum spend is £1 but you’re not allowed to take your balance above £30.

If you prefer or if you need more than £30 of printer credit, you can pay in cash at Computing Service Reception (in the Roger Needham building on the West Cambridge site).

General information about printing is available here.

Printing at Girton costs as follows:

  • Black and white: 4p per sheet of A4 single-sided, 8p per sheet of A4 double-sided & 8p per sheet of A3 single-sided.
  • Colour: 15p per sheet of A4 single-sided, 30p per sheet of A4 double-sided & 30p per sheet of A3 single-sided.

Charges elsewhere will vary.

Please note that the colour printer at Swirles Court  (Girton_SCT_Col) is the only A3 printer available for Girton College members.

Is the printer working? (aka I think there’s something wrong with the printer.)

Do you mean that you having problems getting something to print? If so…

  • Do you have enough printer credit?
  • Are you sure you are trying to print to this printer? (see Which printer is this one? below)
  • Is the printer switched on?
  • Are you getting an error message on the screen? (see I get an error message on the screen when I try to print below)
  • Is there an error message on the printer? (see There’s an error message on the printer below)

If none of these applies, try switching the printer off/on using the rocker switch on the side (for the black & white printer, on the front for the colour printer.)

Which printer is this one?

The Library’s main printer is an HP Laserjet P4015x and is listed as Girton_Lib_BW. The computers in the Library should default to this printer. There is also a colour printer which is an HP Color Jet M553 and is listed as Girton_Lib_2_Col (if you wish to print in colour) and as Girton_Lib_2_BW (if you wish to print in black & white). To specify a printer other than the default one, click on a file and then print and select the printer from the list.

Please note that if you are using Linux, you might not see any of Girton’s printers listed.

The complete list of printers is:

Location Printer
B.2a Computer Room Girton_B2A_Col (for colour printing) – A4
Girton_B2A_BW (for b&w printing) – A4
F-corridor Computer Room Girton_FCR_BW (b&w printing only) – A4
Library IT Resources Area Girton_Lib_BW (b&w printing only) – A4
Library IT Resources Area Girton_Lib_2_Col (for colour printing) – A4
Girton_Lib_2_BW (for b&w printing) – A4
Swirles Court Girton_SCT_BW (for b&w printing) – A4
Girton_SCT_Col (for colour printing) – A4 & A3

If you think you can’t see the right printers, go to the Start button and select Connect to Nearest Printer.

I get an error message on the screen when I try to print

If you don’t have sufficient printer credit, you will get a message at the bottom right of the screen to tell you so.

Very occasionally, you might find that you don’t have any printers available or the wrong printer is set as the default.  If this happens, please log off and then log on again.  If it keeps happening, please let the Computer Office know – email

Can I cancel things I have sent to the printer?

Cancelling your printing is only possible if you get an error message or your printing is stuck behind other people print-jobs. In order to do that please go to the particular online print queue and cancel your printing from there.

Can I print double-sided / single-sided?

The Library printers automatically print double-sided unless you specify otherwise. So, if you’re using a computer in the Library and you click the printer icon on the toolbar, it will select the Library black-and-white printer and will print double-sided.

To specify single-sided: click on a file and then print. Click where it says Print on Both Sides to activate the drop-down list and then select Print One Sided. NB If printing a PDF document, tick the Print on both sides box on the main print dialogue box.

My PDF document is taking a long time to print.

If the PDF document is very large (e.g. a long journal article or something containing a lot of images), it will take a long time to reach the printer and to be processed for printing. The best option is to cancel that print job (see above) and then to print in smaller batches (e.g. 12 pages at a time).

Can I print in colour?

Yes, although the default option is always black & white. Please note that colour printing costs more per sheet.

If wishing to print in colour, select Print from the File menu. Then select a colour printer – Girton_Lib_2_Col to print in colour in the Library, Girton_B2A_Col to print in colour using the B.2a printer, Girton_FCR_Col to print in colour using the F Corridor printer.

There’s an error message on the printer

Error messages vary:

  • “Add paper”. Self-explanatory. Please, ask a member of the Library staff for more paper.
  • “Paper jam”. Lift the various flaps and check around the paper tray.

If in doubt, try turning the printer off and then on again.

I’m trying to print part of a Word document but nothing comes out

Are you specifying particular pages to print and does it start at page 1?
If you are trying to print just the first few pages but your document doesn’t start at page 1 (e.g. if it is chapter 9 of your thesis, pages 279-301), then you need to make sure that you ask for the right page numbers to be printed (e.g. 279-283 and not 1-4).

Can I print to a Desktop Services printer from my own computer?

It is possible to print remotely if you are using a computer running Microsoft Windows 7, 8 or 10, Apple macOS 10.8 or later.

You also need:

  • Administrative rights to install DS-Print service on the computer
  • Network connection (wireless eduroam or UniOfCam, or college network permitting the DS-Print service).
  • Desktop Services account for authentication
  • DS-Print credit

For full installation, and support instructions, see:

Further information and instructions are available here

When I try to print a PDF document from a website, I get blank pages with just a header/footer

If the PDF document is embedded within a web page, you cannot use File → Print in order to print. You should one of the following 2 options:

  • Click the printer icon: this may be just above the PDF text or at the bottom when you hover the mouse over the text. This will open the same dialogue box and allow you to specify the number of pages, number of copies, etc.
  • Instead of left-clicking on the link to the PDF document, right-click on it and then select Save as or Save link as from the context menu. This will allow you to save the PDF as a standalone document, which you can then print from in the normal way.

Where should I save things?

In an ideal world, you should have your work saved in 2 different places, e.g. on the computer AND on a memory stick; e.g. on the computer AND as an email attachment. As you work, you should save your work regularly to one of those 2 places; e.g. if word processing, save at the end of every paragraph. When you have done 2 hours’ work, you should save to the second of those 2 places.

If using a Managed Cluster/Desktop Services computer, the best place to save things is onto your U:\ drive. This is your own space on the Desktop Services network and anything you save there can be accessed from any computer on the network. You can also access items on your U:\ drive from non-DS computers – see below. You can save things to the desktop but it isn’t advisable and it might make your roaming profile too large (because it has a maximum size of 10MB).

How much space do I have? (aka how large is my quota?)

Everyone starts with a DS-Filestore quota of up to 3.5GB. This can fill up quite rapidly – with documents saved, documents auto-saved, preferences, bookmarks, caches, etc.

You can request an increase to your DS quota and request an increase to your hermes quota but you will need to make a good case as to why you need more.

How can I do a running word count for my essay?

You can see an overall word count for your essay in the lefthand corner of the bar at the bottom of the screen. You can do a word count for a selected part of your essay by highlighting the section and then clicking on Review and Word Count.

However, there is no way of getting Word to add a running word count to each page of your essay.

How do I put accents onto words?

In the black ring binder on the printer table, there is a sheet outlining the 2 main systems of key combinations for typing letters with accents. There are also plenty of websites which list the key combinations, e.g.

The alternative method is to use the character map. Go to Start, then Windows Accessories, and then Character Map. Select the font to match the one you are using for your document. Click on the character you want, then click select. The character should appear in the “characters to copy” box. Repeat until you have all the characters you need. Then click copy. Go back into your document, put the cursor where you want the accented characters, and click paste.

NB You can also use the Character map to look up key combinations for accented characters.

How do I double-space my essay?

Do NOT go through your essay putting in hard returns at the end of every line! Instead, highlight your whole document by pressing Ctrl + A (or highlight the sections you want to double-space). Right-click and select Paragraph from the context menu. Where it says “line spacing”, change “single” to 1.5 lines or to double, depending on how much space you want between lines, and click ok.

My own computer doesn’t have Word on it and my essay looks like gobble-de-gook when I open it on one of the College computers

One option is simply to save your essay in a format with which Word copes better. When you are saving your document, in the box labelled save as type, look at the drop-down list to see which options you have. If you are using OpenDocument, you should have a *.docx option. If you don’t (if you are using Microsoft Works, for example), you will probably need to use *.rtf – this can be opened using Word on the College computers but may not preserve all your formatting. It is useful to make this decision at an early stage in writing your essay; it is much better to write your essay entirely in RTF than to convert it afterwards.

If your essay is already finished, contains a lot of formatting that you don’t want to have to redo, and all you want to do is print it, you can save it as PDF. See below for more information about saving documents as PDF.

How do I save something as rtf?

If you are using Word, go to File and select Save as. In the box labelled “save as type”, select Rich Text Format (*.rtf).

If you are not convinced that has worked, click on My computer (on the desktop). Find the directory which contains the document you want to save as .rtf. Click on the wording of the name once and then click on it again; you will then be able to give the document a new name and make sure that it ends .rtf .

How do I save something as PDF?

If you are using a Desktop Services machine, go File and Print, and then select AdobePDF from the list of printers. You will be prompted for a new file name and a location to which to save the new document, and then it will save a new version of your document as .pdf.  If you are using Word on a DS machine, please ignore the “Save as Adobe PDF” option on your File menu.

If you are using your own computer, you will need to install PDFCreator. You can download it for free from sites such as – see You then use it like a printer (even if you don’t have a printer for your own computer) – i.e. go to File and Print, and then select PDF Creator from the list of printers –  and it will save a new version of your document as .pdf.

Is EndNote installed on the College computers?

Yes, Endnote X7 is the version currently available. You must open it via the Start menu (Start → Thomson Reuters → Endnote). There is more information about Endnote (and Mendeley and Zotero) here.

If you are wanting to insert the references from your Endnote library into a Word document, you need to open the programs in this order:

  1. Open Endnote from the Start menu
  2. Open Word from the Start menu.

If you don’t, you won’t get the Endnote toolbar in Word.

How you access your email will depend on the type of email account you have. Students who arrived at the University in 2018 and most new members of staff will have a Microsoft Exchange Online account. Others who arrived earlier will have a Hermes account.

Your Cambridge email address (Microsoft Exchange Online)

Your @cam email address takes the form of your CRSid at the Cambridge domain: [CRSid]

The University, your College and Department will use this address to contact you, so please check it regularly.

For additional information on Your @cam email account go to this website.

Your Cambridge email address (Hermes)

You can log in to Hermes webmail with your CRSid and UIS Password

The University, your College and Department will use this address to contact you, so please check it regularly.

Can I read my Hermes email on my mobile phone?

Yes, you can.  Not all the built-in browsers on mobile devices work very well with Webmail, so the best way is to configure your phone so that you can access Hermes using the email app.

Go here for instructions.

How do I find someone’s email address?

There is a University email directory available. However, it is not complete as it relies on members of the University to “opt-in”. If someone has not opted-in, you will not find their email address in the directory.

The University lookup service – – does contain everyone. You will need to login using your Raven password. You can also access the Lookup service from within your email; go here for more information.

If the someone is a Fellow in the University, they might have their email listed on their Faculty or College web site.

Please note that, if you are unable to find an email address using these methods, we are NOT allowed to tell you what it is (even if we know).

How do I look at an attachment?

If you are reading your Hermes email using Webmail when you look at the message, any attachments will be listed to the right of the text of the message; click on them one at a time to open them. If you want to save the attachment, select save as from the file menu and save in the normal way. Once you have finished reading or saving the attachment, click the back button to return to the email message.

How do I attach something to an email message?

If you are using Webmail begin writing the message as normal. Click the Attach a file to the right of your message text click Browse and locate where you have stored the document which you want to attach. Once you have found it, highlight it and click Open. The file name of the document should now appear in the box. Click Upload. Repeat the process if there are more documents you wish to attach.

NB This works better if the document you wish to attach has been saved and closed, i.e. if it is NOT open on the computer while you attach it to the email.

My Hermes quota is full – what do I do now?

You need to delete and expunge any unwanted messages, particularly those with attachments (because they use up a lot of disk space). There is more information on Computing Service’s website.

Can I check the Girton catalogue from my room/the faculty/home?

Yes; you can check the Girton catalogue from any online device. Go to Girton library and click on the button to enter the catalogue. You do not need to register to search the online catalogue; however, if you want to reserve books on it or to check which books you already have on loan, you need a PIN. Please contact a member of Library staff to request a PIN.

Can I check the UL/faculty/department catalogue from here?

Yes. The catalogues of the UL, its dependent libraries, and the Faculty/Departmental and College Libraries are all part of iDiscover catalogue.

Go to iDiscover. For information on how to search iDiscover read our eGuide.

If you are in the Library and want to check something on iDiscover but can’t remember your UIS/Raven or Desktop Services password, you can still do so using a computer in the IT Resources Area but without logging on as yourself. Instead, login with the username newton and leave the password blank. If you do login this way, you can access only the library catalogues and some selected links.

I know you have this book, why doesn’t it show up when I search on iDiscover?

Girton has only recently become a member of the Union Catalogue. In fact, we had a computer catalogue before the Union Catalogue even existed! You can search our catalogue (Heritage) separately (see above). Books acquired since January 1998 and all items in Anthropology, Archaeology, Economics, English, French, Geography, History, Law, Politics and Spanish sections will be listed on both our own catalogue and on iDiscover. Items in other subjects catalogued before January 1998 may be listed in our own catalogue only, although more are being added.

Do you take this journal?

Have you checked our catalogue? If you use the Advanced search option on either the online catalogue or the OPACs in the Library, you can specify in the “medium” box that you are looking for a journal and then search using the journal’s title. Please note that details of individual articles within journals are NOT included in the catalogue.

I need to find something to read for my essay/supervision/report

A good starting place is to look at one of the electronic guides on our website. One of the most popular general databases is called Web of Science – despite the name, it also covers arts and humanities.

If you don’t have much time, start with iDiscover which allows you to search multiple electronic resources in one go.

I’ve found some references to books and journal article on a database; why can’t I link straight to the articles?

On some databases you can, on some, you can’t. Why not use the databases to create a list of likely-looking items (and most databases allow you to print out the results or to email them to yourself) and then search for those items in the same way as you would search for items on a reading list given to you by your supervisor or lecturer.

Is this journal available electronically?

Use iDiscover to search for journals. This will tell you which libraries take the hard copy and also if there is an electronic version available.  You can narrow your search to just electronic versions by using the JOURNAL SEARCH option, found in the middle of the top menu bar.  There are some journals which are freely available over the internet without a subscription and so are not included in the UL’s listing, so you could try doing an internet search.

Can I access electronic journals from home?

That depends. Use iDiscover to check that there is an electronic version you can use.   Sometimes, the same journal is available from more than one source, so pay attention to years covered and off-campus access for each different source.

It is strongly recommended that you access ejournals from iDiscover if you are off-campus. The links have in up so that you are taken straight to the login page and, even if you look at more than one journal, you will only need to login once. If you do not access journals from iDiscover, you will need to log into each journal separately and find the login page each time. Finding the login page is not always easy:

  1. Look for a link called something like Shibbleth login or Institutional login and click on it. [Now skip step 2]
  2. If you can’t find one, look for a link called ATHENS authentication point, click on it; then look for a link called Alternative login and click on that
  3. Find the University of Cambridge from the list of participating institutions
  4. Follow the link Go to the University of Cambridge login page
  5. Finally, login using your Raven username and password.

I’m trying to access an electronic journal but it’s asking me for a password

Are you trying this from home (or another location not within the University)? It is strongly recommended that you access ejournals from iDiscover if you are off-campus. The links have been set up so that you are taken straight to the login page and, even if you look at more than one journal, you will only need to login once. If you do not access journals from iDiscover, you will need to log into each journal separately and find the login page each time

If you are trying this from a computer within the University, are you sure you are trying to connect to a journal to which the University has a subscription? Use iDiscover to double-check the dates of coverage; you may find that we have a subscription for certain years only and, although you can see that other years exist electronically, you will not be able to access them.

I’m trying to access an electronic journal article but it’s asking me to pay to see the articles

Are you trying this from home (or another location not within the University)? It is strongly recommended that you access ejournals from iDiscover if you are off-campus. Double-check the dates of coverage; you may find that we have a subscription for certain years only and, although you can see that other years exist electronically, you will not be able to access them without paying for individual articles.

If you are trying this from a computer within the University, are you sure you are trying to connect to a journal to which the University has a subscription? Use iDiscover to double-check the dates of coverage; you may find that we have a subscription for certain years only and, although you can see that other years exist electronically, you will not be able to access them.

I can’t get an ejournal to print

This is a problem sometimes with ejournals in pdf format, e.g. on JSTOR. The easiest thing is to save the journal article to the computer and then print from the saved version.

Is this book available electronically?

There are thousands of ebook titles which are available to members of the University of Cambridge. The best way to search for ebooks is on iDiscover; you can then follow the links directly to the ebook. If you are looking for an ebook which you know (or suspect) exists but can’t find on iDiscover, go to libguides for ebooks. There are a few collections of ebooks which aren’t (yet) catalogued on iDiscover, which you can access from the ebooks Libguide.

Can I access ebooks from home?

The same titles which are available within the University should also be available from home. Search for the title on iDiscover and then follow the links.

Is there wifi in the Library?

Yes, you can use UniOfCam or Eduroam, although the signal will be stronger in some areas than in others. More information is available here.

What’s the difference between UniOfCam and EduRoam?

UniOfCam is browser-based and simpler to set up but requires you to log in every time using your Raven/UIS password or a visitor ticket.

Eduroam is an international initiative.  You need to configure your device to enable you to access it but, once you have done that, it will connect automatically.  If you configure your computer properly before you leave Cambridge, you can use the Eduroam service at other universities (if they participate). If you are a visitor from another university which participates in Eduroam and you configured your computer while at your home university, you can use Eduroam in Cambridge.  Information about configuring your device to use Eduroam can be found here

Please note that in order to configure any ‘Android 8’ you need to contact

Why is UniOfCam allowing me local access only and not internet access?

In order to get internet access with UniOfCam, you need to open a browser window and login with your Raven password.  Until you do this, the internet icon in your taskbar will indicate that you have local access only.

If you are using Internet Explorer and find that it doesn’t automatically take you to the login page, try using a different browser such as FireFox or Chrome.  Make sure that the first page you try to access has an address that starts http and not https.

If you find having to log in each time is a pain, you would be better off using Eduroam.

Is there a scanner I can use?

Yes, there are two scanners you can use:

  1. B.2a computer room (Girton College)
  2. Multifunctional Device, which can print, scan and photocopy (Swirles Court)

How do I connect to CamCors?

The url for CamCORS is
However, supervisors should not be using the IT Resources computers to write supervision reports because of the lack of privacy.

Can I plug my memory stick into these computers?

Yes. All the machines have USB ports on the side of the screens and at the front of the CPU (if the machine has one).

Can I play the Library’s DVDs, CDs and CD-ROMs on the computers in the Library?

There isn’t a simple answer to this!

  • The DVDs of films and the audio CDs should all work on the IT Area computers. Headphones are provided.
  • Some of the CD-ROMs (the ones which don’t require you to install any software) should work on the IT Area computers. These are indicated by the green sticker on the label of the case.
  • The other CD-ROMS (the ones which do require you to install software) will NOT work on the IT Area computers. These are indicated by the red sticker on the label of the case. You CAN use them on the stand-alone machine in the physics section of the Library – please ask a member of Library staff if you need help.
  • There are a few disks with idiosyncrasies:
    • JUNQUERIO, Basic histology, 10th and 11th eds (633 J96). When using on the IT Area machines, both say they need a screen resolution of 800×600 and don’t load. If you close the screens and re-run the application, they will then work [Stickered green]
    • SQUIRE ET AL, Fundamentals of Neuroscience, 2nd ed (652A Sq4). When using on the IT Area machines, you need to cancel the error message and run the program from start.exe [Stickered green]
    • VOET, Fundamentals of biochemistry (636 V85 – copied version). Disk can’t be read on IT Area machines and may not read on personal machines or the CD-ROM machine either [Stickered yellow]
    • BROY & DENERT, Software pioneers (512.6 B82). Disks can’t be read on IT Area machines. They should run on personal machines and may not read on all personal machines, and they require software to be loaded [Stickered yellow and red!]

How do I use “Premium solver” in Excel?

The first time you use it, you will need to add it to your tools. From the Tools menu, select Add-ins. Tick the box for Solver add-in. Go back to the Tools menu, and Solver should now be listed; if you select it, you should see a function box with a premium button on the right.

Is there 3D engineering software available in the IT Area?

You can use AutoCad on one specific computer only – PCGIRLIB01, which is the computer nearest the printer in the Library.

Do any of the machines run ArcGIS?

You can use ArcGIS on only four machines in College.  Both are in the Library – PCGIRLIB11, PCGIRLIB 12, PCGIRLIB13 and PCGIRLIB14, which are side-by-side on the table furthest from the printer.

Library Guides

We have wide range of guides for College members to use

Find out more