Top Tips for Cardstock Printing
Most of us are experts at printing standard 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper, but many of us have limited experience printing card stock in other sizes. If you’re running into trouble printing custom card sizes, you may find the answer you need in our top 10 most overlooked printing suggestions below.
1. Is your printing template set to the exact size of the paper?
It is important that your document settings matches the size of the invitation paper you are printing. If your document settings are different than the paper you are printing to, your paper will not print correctly.
For example, if you are printing on a 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch invitation card, your document settings must also be sized to 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches.
Continue reading: Printing Invitations? How To Create A Custom Document Size.
2. Have you entered your custom paper size within your print driver?
When printing custom invitation cards, the step of communicating the particular paper size to the printer is often overlooked, resulting in incorrect printing.
By default, your printer assumes 8 1/2 x 11 size paper is in its tray. You must communicate otherwise for your non-standard size paper to print correctly. Where does this communication take place? Its located in the print driver that is automatically installed when you installed your printer. The print driver can be accessed just before you send the document to print.
Continue reading: How Do I Enter A Custom Paper Size In My Print Driver?
3. If no custom card or paper size option is available, have you updated your printer driver?
If you find yourself at a disadvantage of not being able to enter a custom paper size, you should check your printer manufacturer’s support site to see if they have released a printer driver for your operating system that is newer than the software you installed when you purchased your printer.
Often, printer manufacturers will make their printers more user-friendly by updating the drivers. If you’re lucky, your printer may have received an update in the form of a fresh driver that unlocks the ability to enter custom paper sizes.
4. Have you set orientation correctly to either Portrait or Landscape?
If your printed text is cutting off or printing in the wrong direction, you may have overlooked setting Portrait or Landscape orientation in your software, your print driver, or both.
Continue reading: When Printing Invitations Does Your Text Cut Off, Print Wrong?
5. Does your printer support the card & paper size that you want to print?
All printers have a minimum and maximum paper size they are capable of printing, and that range differs between the different makes and models.
Continue reading: Can My Printer Handle The Card Size I Want To Print?
6. Does your printer support the weight/thickness of the paper you want to print?
Printing cardstock that is very thick can cause undesirable results. The paper may jam inside the printer. The rollers that pull the paper along the printing path may leave impressions and marks on the paper. Paper that is light or thin may not be recognized inside the printer and might not print at all. But it is not the paper’s fault.
The fact is, every printer has a maximum and minimum paper weight/thickness it will accommodate. It is important to find these specifications in your manual so that you can determine the range of paper weight designed to work with your printer. Finding out now will save time and money later.
Continue reading: What Is The Appropriate Paper Thickness For My Printer?
7. Have you tried to select an alternate Paper Type?
For special items like lightweight vellum paper, heavy weight card stock, or envelopes, printing performance may improve by selecting one of the different Paper or Media types offered in the printer driver for your specific printer.
It may be that papers & cards previously too thin or too thick to print at all are now able to navigate through your printer’s path just as smoothly as plain copy paper.
Continue reading: Should I Adjust Paper Type In My Print Driver To Print Specialty Paper?
8. Are you printing from the correct paper tray?
Are you running into any of these printing problems?
- Paper is jamming in my printer
- Can’t set my paper size in the print driver
- Colors are not as vivid as expected
It may be that a different paper input tray or other feeding mechanism is recommended for the type and size paper that you’re trying to print.
Continue reading: Paper Jam? Are You Printing From The Correct Paper Tray?
9. Have you turned off scaling & resizing?
In the print driver, in Adobe Acrobat, and in some other programs, scaling and resizing options are often available to stretch or shrink your printing to fill the paper size. Just say “No” to these options because a properly sized document (in Word, Publisher, InDesign, Quark, etc.) matched with proper paper sizing in the print driver usually produces a perfectly printed piece. You will not need to scale your document.
Even if your other print settings are correct, a missed check mark in your scaling settings can creep up to bite you.
Continue reading: When Printing Invitations Should Scaling Be Turned On?
10. Have you positioned the paper correctly in the printer’s paper tray?
Everyone knows how to load 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper into their printer, but where do you place smaller paper, like invitation cards? How should 5×7 cardstock, for example, be loaded in your printer’s paper input tray?
The plastic, moveable paper guide in the paper tray is the key.
Continue reading: My Invitation Card Is Printing Off-Center. What Can I Do?
Do you have any other tips for people that are running into trouble printing on cardstock? Let us know so that we can pass along the advice!