Brother A3

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Brother A3 Printer / Scanner

LP owns a number of Brother A3 Printer / Scanners, primarily for scanning Permatrace, but also for printing large A3 plans and drawings, or colour documents where an office does not have a colour laser printer.

NOTE: These printers are Ink Jet printers, which means the inks are not archivally stable and so cannot be used for printing Recording Sheets and any other documents to be deposited as part of the site archive. You must use a laser printer for these purposes.


The printers should be setup to connect via the office network, although sometimes they may be directly connected via USB to a machine. If you need any assistance with this please contact the Sysadmins.

Apple macOS will automatically detect the printer and scanner once they are connected to the network and they can be immediately used from the macOS print dialog or Image Capture app (under the Shared section, click on more to display). They will usually be listed with a model number like Brother MFC J6930DW.

If you need to use some advanced features, or do large volumes of Permatrace scanning, then you will need to install the official Brother drivers and app. The drivers can be found in the Library/Software/Printer Scanner Drivers/Brother A3/ folder, or downloaded from If you need Admin rights to install the drivers, please talk to your managing partner or the Sysadmins.

Scanning Permatrace

You can use the standard Apple Image Capture app to scan permatrace using the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), but this app will only allow you to do so at A3 paper size. While the image resolution will be correct you will have to manually crop the image to permatrace size afterwards.

The Brother Control Centre app enables you to scan custom page sizes using the ADF. You can find the app in the Finder under Applications / Brother / Control Centre. If it is not installed, see the Setup section for installation instructions.

Run the Control Centre, choose the printer Model you want to use, and click on the Custom Scan tab to see if the Permatrace option has already been added:


Load the scanner ADF with up to 30 sheets of permatrace. Click on the Permatrace button to get the Save to File dialog:


Change the file name prefix to the LP standard format for the site and drawing type you are scanning. This will usually be something like cxt_STE18_ for context drawings for site STE18 (see the LP Data Standards for further guidance).

Use the Browse button to select the folder to save the scans to. We recommend saving to a local folder and not the server as it will be faster and easier to manage the files afterwards.

Ensure all other settings are as displayed above.

Click Start Scanning button which will show the Brother TWAIN dialog to set the image scan details. This will default to the last used values, you should not change these once set the first time:


Once you click start the permatrace will start feeding through the ADF and saving to your local folder. You need to watch the ADF carefully as dirty permatrace misfeeds easily. If it does misfeed you have to unload all the permatrace, close the scan dialog, reload the permatrace, and start the scan again. If the ADF clicks on a misfeed you have enough time

To create the Permatrace option click on the Configuration button and choose the Custom1 option to edit:

This will show a Config dialog which needs to be set up as follows:

Click OK to save and you'll have the Permatrace option.

You'll only need to fill these in the first time, afterwards it will remember them once you click Start.