Plotter Vs. Printer: Their similarities and differences

Plotters and printers are both considered kinds of printers. Both of these printers have similarities and differences with each other. For instance, plotters are computer-controlled equipment that creates images and graphics after receiving orders from computers. However, a printer received orders from a network, then later on printed components like images.

If you are in New York and you are looking for a Copier in New York for your business, you may contact Clear Choice Technical Services in New York. You can ask about Copier Leasing Services in New YorkCopier rental services in New York, and Copier Repair in New York.

The discussion above is the basic differences between the two, but later on, we will go deeper into their similarities and differences. Keep on reading to find out more.

What is a Plotter

A plotter directly receives instruction from the computer. It is considered a special type of printer mainly used for large prints and detailed outputs. This includes plotting construction maps, blueprints, architecture and engineering drawings, charts, and more!

They generate a high-resolution image and produce photo-realistic colors. It is why graphic artists and designers use plotters for their work. For the reason that its performance is outstanding, and they generate professional-quality presentations. However, they create prints at a slower rate.

The plotter can also be an independent device and then put a CPU. Or, a getting some computer accessories to connect directly to the computer system. They can print and draw lines from point to point continuously. So getting an eerie print is nearly impossible. Because of these notable benefits, they are used by professionals and are costly.

What is a Printer

A printer is an external device that generates pictures, graphics, and text to different mediums like paper. There are different types of printers distinguished based on their performance, printing process, and capacities.

Printers can produce prints and copy at a significantly quicker rate. However, the text and image are generated one line at a time.

Nowadays, there are different printing options that a user can use. For example, wireless printing technology is a simplified form of printing through devices like computers, smartphones, and even digital cameras. There are two types of wireless printing, Infrared printing and digital printing. Infrared printing connects to a laptop or devices using infrared light waves. But, Bluetooth printing utilizes radio waves to transmit data from computers and other devices.

The difference between a plotter and a printer

Let’s compare these two on different factors, such as:

Continuous lines or not?

The plotter can draw a continuous line while the printer is unable to create continual lines.

Effectiveness in reading files

A Plotter can read files in the Al, CDR, DWG, and other available vector formats. However, printers can read JPG, TIFF, PDF, BMP, and other file types.


Plotters are not efficient for everyday use, so generally, less cost-effective and costlier. But compared to a printer, it is less costly and more cost-effective.

Speed and Performance

A plotter is relatively slower, yet its performance is outstanding and high-quality. On the other hand, printers work much faster, and performance depends on the type of printers used.


Photoshop and any other image-editing tool are examples of software, while for printers, Adobe Illustrator, Corel, Flexi, and CAD are examples of plotter software.

Output data format

The output format is comparable to vector graphics and images made using lines. But, the output format of a printer is in the form of bitmaps, pixels, and another form.

Examples of each printer

  • Some examples of plotters are electrostatic plotters, drum plotters, pen plotters, inkjet plotters, and more.
  • Some printers are LED printers, Laser printers, Business inkjet, Home inkjet, and more.

Similarities of Plotter and Printer

  • Plotter and printer can be connected to many computers.
  • Both of these devices are capable of producing high-resolution prints.
  • Memory cards, digital cameras, and scanners are compatible. 


Plotters and printers have similarities and differences. However, both can stand out in terms of uses and performance. I’m sure you’ve already had an idea of what to buy, so don’t forget to check out more of our products, and we will gladly provide what you’re looking for!