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Tips for Solving Simple Printing Problems

One of the most frustrating things is preparing to print a document and when you click the print button nothing happens or you are get on-screen error messages. Here are some useful tips for troubleshooting your inkjet printer problem and in many cases fix your printer:

Many inkjet printers have built-in diagnostics programs to help you troubleshoot. Typically, running a test page involves pressing a button or two as you turn on the printer. Many inkjet printers also use a combination of indicator lights to help you identify the cause of the problem.

Turn your inkjet printer on and off if there seems to be a problem. This is just like rebooting a computer; quite often when you turn the printer on and off it resets itself and gets things working more efficiently.

Manually cancel a print job by selecting "Printers" from the Windows Control Panel and double-click your printer's icon. You should be able to see a list of the current print jobs. Right-click the job you want to cancel and then select "Cancel Printing".

Printouts are lighter than expected; prints contain white spots or horizontal lines. These are signs that point to a blocked or clogged print head - especially if you havenít used your inkjet printer for some time. You can clean the head by running the head cleaning tool in the printerís utility section.

Vertical lines are jagged. This is usually a sign that the print head is out of alignment. Thereís not much you can do to avoid this problem - all print heads become misaligned over time. You can usually recalibrate the heads using the alignment tool that comes in your printerís utility section. This involves printing a pattern of lines on normal paper and choosing which pattern looks best.

Colours are missing from the print; prints lack shadows and contrast. Colours may print inconsistently even before your printer tells you to replace an ink cartridge. If the ink cartridges are low on ink when the problem occurs, try replacing them; this may improve the colour print quality.

If thereís enough ink but your print seems to be missing a particular colour, you are likely to have a blocked or clogged nozzle, so you will need to clean your print head. Colour quality can also be reduced if an ink cartridge has been in your printer for more than six months. Try replacing with a new cartridge.

Keeping the inside of the printer clean is important. You can use tweezers and/or compressed air to clear out any dust build-up and paper snippets from inside your inkjet printer.

Regularly check for updates to your printer's driver. If you are experiencing problems you can visit your inkjet printer manufacturer's website and download the latest printer driver. Once you have re-installed your printer software you will need to reboot your computer and then try printing again.

These are some common causes of poor print quality after a new ink cartridge has been installed into your printer:

  1. Allowing a printer to stand without an ink cartridge installed. To avoid this don't remove the empty ink cartridge until you are ready to install the replacement one.
  2. Extended use of the printer without cleaning the inkjet printer heads. If the printer is used frequently, then it is recommended to regularly clean the heads.
  3. Allowing the printer to stand for long periods of time without being used. Printers are similar to any other piece of machinery - if they are not used they "dry up" and need to be used on a regular basis to avoid this.

Article by UK Ink Supplies, based in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, UK stock a wide range of printer ink cartridges and laser toner printer cartridges.  For more information visit UK Ink Supplies for the latest digital media products.

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