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The Most Common Printing Problems and Their Solutions

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” – Steve Jobs

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.”

― Brandon Mull, Fable haven

Most common complaints heard in any office: Photocopier stuck (paper jam) or not printing properly, print command stuck, no ink and blurred printing, images or data not fitting into the page, or picture sent for printing has lost its head or feet in the printed product etc.

Ok I have had days where I was running a deadline and after doing everything and with 20 minutes left on the clock all I had to do was print. That was when everything would go haywire and my boss or colleagues would either start the blame game or I would get a talk about procrastination and so on and so forth. But it wasn’t my fault! Cursing the printer and Microsoft windows or any other program or even wanting to kick the lousy machines sadly all happened in my head.

What I did do, was talk to the tech guys and learn simple DIY tricks that can be done to handle such situations.

Paper Jam: First of see if the paper tray is full or empty. Temporarily remove the rest of the papers if any are still present. Then switch off and restart the printer. Put one rough page in the printer, if the printer is working fine now the paper will show a clear print now. If not, open the printer itself (i.e. if you know how to, if not ask the office repairman for help here) and take out the cartridge. You will then be able to see if any pieces of paper are still stuck, take those out, and put the cartridge back. Restart the printer and give the print command again. Your papers will start printing again.

Symbols seen instead of words: Quickly stop printing. Switch off the printer for a while. Copy and paste your document on a new page and print. Restart if problem isn’t solved, run a virus scan on your pc or laptop. The symbols may be because of a faulty word document or in worst cases a sign that a virus has hit the system. If either of these options do not work call the tech guys immediately.

Blurred text or images: This may be a sign that the printer is low on ink. You will have to either replace the ink cartridges (always keep a spare one in the office) or get them refilled. Cartridges should be refilled from the original dealers/manufacturers. Third party refilling is normally a waste of time and money since ink may leak or you might get prints that are too dark or too light will filled cartridges plus lesser number of prints.

Data or image does not fit on the printed paper: Always before you give the command for print, go on ‘print preview’ and check if the data and image position is how you want it printed. If not go on print preview and click on the option that would best suit your need. Then press the print command.

Printed picture lost its head or feet or edges of the paper have no color: Always use crop lines and color bleed lines on images that you send for printing. It helps the printer figure out how much of the image you want printed and where should the colors merge or end on the paper (edges).

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