Drivers Driving you crazy? Get the Most Out of Your Print Drivers!
Thu Apr 20, 2017 | Lasers Resource
Here you sit, at the office. Your department just shelled out a bunch of money for that large, new copier, yet you can’t seem to get the darn thing to work. You know there is a hole punch in this thing somewhere, yet it never punches any holes. The new copier may be actually fine; the problem may be that you’re not configuring the print driver correctly.
I will walk through the print drivers for HP and Xerox devices (because those are the brands we are qualified to talk about; the other manufactures shouldn’t be much different from these examples) and show you all that you can do with them.
The Advanced Menu Tab is the first one in the options going left to right. This is where you can select the number of copies you want printed, set up more advanced color and document options, and change the page order.
The Image Color Management section allows you to select your color management preferences. You can turn off this advanced feature with ICM Disabled. If you want the color to be determined by your computer, you can select ICM Handled by Host System or ICM Handled by Printer / ICM Handled by Printer Using Printer Settings for the printer or copier to determine the color settings. Most of the time this feature is disabled and your prints should look fine without it enabled. This should be activated when you need the colors to be perfect, like in marketing or advertising, and everyday office printing will not be harmed by this being off. This tab also gives you some PostScript Options for better vector printing if you need that configured.
To save on some color cost, you can enable the option to Print All Text as Black. This will avoid the full color cost page for one word being printed in red, for example. Below this is where you can select if you want to print on an Alternative Letterhead Mode and change the printing order (back to front instead of front to back – 10 page document prints page 10 first, then 9 and so on).
Printing Shortcuts Tab
Printing Shortcuts Tab is the tab that the driver opens. This menu is pretty straightforward and will, normally, be used the most. Down the right side you can select your paper size, what tray the printer pulls the paper from (paper source), how many pages you want to print on each page (pages per sheet – a little confusing but think of it like PowerPoint where you can print multiple slides on a page), If you want to print on both sides of the document instead of just one side and how you want to flip the page when you’re reading it, the paper type (if its basic paper, a heavier stock, or whatever kind of paper you use), and the orientation of the page.
Whew, now that the longest sentence in the world is over, let’s move to the left side of this tab. This side allows you to save shortcuts to preferences you use regularly. The drivers come standard with the default letter size, a tabloid size (11X17), and an ecoSMART setting that saves you toner. If you change any settings, you can save the changes as a shortcut above the HP logo in the bottom left.
The Paper/Quality Tab starts with another option to select your paper size, source and type. The print quality can be changed here. ImageREt 4800 allows the device to emulate 4800 pixels using technical settings and different pixel dot sizes as the toner gets put on the page. I recommend keeping it on this setting, but if you wish, you can change it to 1200X1200 in the dropdown. There is an option to change the gloss level from Default to Standard and Best, depending on the glossy look you’re after.
IIf you wanted to scale your document for any reason, you can with the Effects Tab. You can keep the setting at actual size, or select what paper size you want and scale it to fit. You can also print it at a % of actual size.
Watermarks can be applied to your pages here. If you need to have watermarks on your documents, you can create them here under the Edit button. You can change the font used, color of the watermark, shading and the font size. You can also choose what direction you want them to show (Diagonal, Horizontal or an angle you pick) and save them here. HP gives you prebuilt ones that say Confidential, Draft and Sample.
The Finishing Tab holds document options like printing on one or both sides of the page, how many sheets per page, and the orientation of the page. If it seems like there is a lot of repeating here, don’t worry, there is. The Printing Shortcuts tab gives you the most used settings in one tab; most of what you use will be held there, that’s why the driver opens on it. Each tab after gives you the options again, because that is where they actually reside, and a few more options to go along with them for more control.
If your copier has stapling or hole punching built-in, the Output Tab is where you can select how you want those to be on the page. You can also select what output tray your documents will come out on if you have multiple options on your device. There may be more options or fewer depending on the finisher you have attached to your device; these are the most common.
Job Storage Tab
If this document that you’re about to print is one that you will be printing often without any edits, you can store this print job right on your printer or copier by using the Job Storage Tab. This will save the document in the copier’s hard drive, allowing you to access and print this again, any time, from the copier’s memory. If you work in HR and store the new hire form, you can print the form from the copier on your way from meeting to meeting instead of having to run back to your computer. You can either make this job private (if you have authentication set up on your device) or public for the whole department/company to use.
Altering your color settings and switching between automatic color, manual color or printing in a grayscale (black-and-white) is available through the Color Tab. More advanced features at the bottom allows you to change your RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). I would recommend not changing these settings unless you’re in marketing or graphic design or know how to. When you create a picture in something like Photoshop, you can select what RGB or CYMK setting you want that workspace to be; this is when you change the printer setting to match your document’s setting. If you’re printing spreadsheets or basic documents, changing these setting will not help besides making your document’s colors look a little different than they do on the computer.
RGB is mostly used on digital screens and CMYK is mostly used for printing. Your computer monitor uses red, green and blue lights to create the images on your screen. Your color printer or copier has four toner/ink cartridges in it, one of each of those colors.
Troubleshooting tips and product manuals are found in the Services Tab. You can choose between online diagnostic tools, product manuals, and device and supplies status reports to help you with your device should a problem arise.
The Xerox driver has fewer tabs, but just as powerful in options.
Printing Options Tab
The Printing Options Tab is the first tab you see when you open the driver, and like HP’s Printing Shortcuts Tab, holds the main settings you will need. You can select the job type here, the paper input (what tray and what kind of paper you need), if you want it printed on both sides of the document or just one, quick settings for stapling and hole punching, enhancement of the image quality, and what output tray to use.
You can save your changes as an option for easy selection in the bottom left of this tab and see your supplies’ levels to the right. This is nice, for example, because if you have a heavy color document about to print, but see the printer is about to run out of yellow, you can hold off on printing until the toner gets replaced so you don’t waste a bunch of pages and time reprinting. It also shows you how full each paper try is so you can know if you should refill it or not.
Image Options Tab
A quick tab is the Image Options Tab, as here you can select if you want the printer to convert your document to black-and-white (monochrome) to save on toner and save some money. It offers a preview to check for print quality (monochrome vs color?), and for a quick way to see if it is selected or not if you miss the checkbox.
Document Options Tab
The Document Options Tab allows you to select if you want multiple document pages printed on a sheet, the settings for any special pages in the print job, adding a watermark, and the page orientation.
There is a lot packed into the Advanced Tab. Its starts simple with being able to select the number of copies you want printed and moves on to in-depth driver settings including downloading extra software to print fonts correctly.
You can change the offset here, making it easy to pick up each print job individually or the whole stack at once. You can turn on an ID page that will print a page with the print job information on it. This helps if you print to a centralized location for sorting and delivery. You can change the margin settings and rotate the image on the page.
If you wish to know when your job is sent to the printer or finished printing, you can turn on notifications here. Below this is a lot of enhanced settings like downloading additional font software that I would highly recommend you use your IT staff to help you figure out or give us a call. I will not tell you to download software without company permission first if you work in a place with IT employees.
I hope this helped you figure out how to get the most out of your printer and copier drivers and reduced some of that stress you get when you print. If you still need a little help, check out our services.
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