TROUBLESHOOTING PRINTING PROBLEMS

Printing Problems

Most people will find that their template prints just fine, straight and centered on the card. But since printers (and printer drivers) vary, sometime it happens that you’ll need to fine tune your test print because it has come out a little off. There are generally four ways this can appear:

  1. Your design prints too far to the left or right, or too far up or down on the card
  2. Your design prints crooked, i.e. the lines are sloping up or down
  3. One of the borders on your design doesn’t print
  4. Your design doesn’t print at all, even though it sounds like the printer is printing something

Below we’ll show you how to fix all of these problems.

Problem 1: Print is too far to the left or right or up or down on the card

This is generally pretty simple to fix. All it means is that the template needs to be moved over a little so it prints correctly on the card.

Solution: Click anywhere in the text so that you highlight the text box that contains the text. Then place your cursor over the edge or border of the text box until the cursor changes to 4 arrows, left-click and drag the text box in the direction you think it should go. Try another test print and see if you moved it in the right direction. Repeat the process until you have the design printing exactly where you want it.

TIP: If the design is only a tiny bit off to begin with (¼” or less), we would suggest instead of trying to move the whole text box, just move one border a fraction and that will move the whole thing over. To do this just highlight the textbox by clicking on its edge and this will show the handles on each side. Click on one of the handles in the center of each side of the text box and drag just that edge a tiny bit in the right direction. It’s a way of making much finer movements than moving the whole text box.

Problem 2: Lines print crooked, i.e. sloping up or down

This means that the card goes through the rollers crooked, and when this happens it’s generally one of four things:

  1. Reason: You may have put the cards into the printer tray incorrectly.

    Solution: Remember that the cards need to generally go into the printer tray long ways, i.e. so that the first side that hits the roller is the card’s shortest side, as shown in Illustration 1 above.

  2. Reason: The guides were not snug against the cards so they wiggled or wandered as they were fed in to the rollers.

    Solution: Make sure the cards are held securely in place by the guides of the printer tray.

  3. Reason: There is some small and often unnoticed obstruction either on the rollers or inside the printer mechanism that skews the card just a fraction to one side. The obstruction can be a piece of tape stuck on the roller, a paper clip or pen cap lying under the roller, scraps of discarded paper from previous paper jams that got torn off but are still inside the mechanism.

    Solution: Pick the whole printer up and turn it upside down and give it a good shake so anything loose falls out. You’d be amazed how often this solves the problem!

  4. Reason: The cards are going into the rollers correctly but the mechanism inside the printer that grabs the card, grabs it unevenly and in the process skews the card just a fraction to one side.

    Solution: Place a stack of cards in the printer tray so as to lift the topmost card (which is the one to be printed) to the point where it meets the roller right in the center of its curve, like this:

    Printingproblems

Problem 3: One of the borders on your design doesn’t print

When this happens it means that the printer can’t “see” the border because it’s in the margin. (The margin is the edge of the paper that the printer doesn’t print on).

Solution: Drag the border in until it’s inside the margin. Here’s what you do: Click on the border to highlight it, and then move your cursor over the little square in the middle of the border until the cursor changes to 2 arrows instead of 4. Click on this little square and drag it inwards a little bit. Now try printing again. Keep doing this until the border prints.

You can also try reducing the margin sizes in Page Setup.

Problem 4: Nothing prints on card, even though it sounds like the printer is printing

This sounds a little strange but it can happen when the printer thinks it’s supposed to print somewhere right off the card.

Solution: Take the cards out of the printer tray and instead put some sheets of standard 8 ½” x 11” copy paper in the tray. Then try printing on that and you’ll generally see the design appear somewhere else on the page, like the bottom right corner or something. That tells you the printer can see the design, it’s just not printing it where you want it to.

The solution is similar to #1 above – you have to move the text box on the page until it prints correctly on the card. Start by moving the text box to the opposite corner of the 8 ½” x 11” page. Then take out the paper and replace it with the cards you’re trying to print on. Try another test print. Sooner or later you’ll see some corner of the design print on the card and that will tell you where to move the text box to until it prints exactly where you want it to on the card.

STEP 4: Print

Now that you’ve finalized the design so that it prints perfectly on the test sheet, you can go ahead and print everything. We would still suggest however that you only print a short stack of cards at a time and check them for quality as they come out so if something goes wrong you’ll catch it immediately and not waste a stack of your blank cards.

Give the cards a few minutes to dry before handling them or assembling. If you are printing vellums, we suggest you give them a longer time to dry – at least 5 minutes in a warm room because vellum paper does not absorb ink as quickly as ordinary cardstock does.

Also Vellum paper is sensitive to humidity so if you live in a humid climate, you may find you need to place a ruler or a book on one edge of each vellum as it dries to keep it flat. If it does curl while drying, no need to worry – it will go flat again when placed on top of the invitation card and placed in the envelope.