My invitation card is printing off-center. What can I do?

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Are you experiencing any of these problems when printing paper or cards smaller than 8 1/2 x 11?

  • Text is printing off-center
  • Text is cut off
  • Card is not being pulled into the printer at all

Off-Center Printing

off center text printed card

Correct Printing

correctly printed card

The following printing tip may solve these problems!

Have you properly positioned the paper 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 a 6 1/4 square card, for example, be loaded in your printer’s paper input tray?

The plastic, moveable paper guide in the paper tray is the key.

Some printers have 1 sliding guide and some printers have 2 that work in tandem. It is important to identify the guide format in your printer’s tray and load the paper correctly as shown below. Otherwise, the card will not be in the correct position and the printer rollers may be unable to feed the card into the printer. If the printer does feed the card in, it will not be able to print text in the proper area of the card.

Correct positioning gives your printer the opportunity to feed the paper in to the paper path. It also sets the proper print alignment.

Printers with 1 Plastic Guide:

Right Align the Paper

Generally, paper is loaded flush against the right edge of the tray. The moveable guide slides from left to right to rest flush against the left edge of the paper.

inkjet printer loading paper right aligned

Printers with 2 Plastic Guides:

Center the Paper

The paper is placed in the center of the tray and the guides are adjusted inward so that they rest flush against the edges of the paper.

inkjet printer loading paper right aligned

We want to help.

Do you have any questions about where to place your paper in your printer’s feed tray? We’ll be happy to help if we can.

Still need help? See other common printing problems and get our best advice:

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  1. Lee says:

    I have a HPdeskjet940C and my prints
    are being cut off on the right hand
    side and sometimes the bottom of
    other prints How can I get this

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Lee,

      All printers are different, each having a margin of unprintable area typically where the printer initially grips the paper to feed it through the printer. That being said, I have three suggestions for you. Hopefully one will work for the HP Deskjet 940 C.

      1. In document/page set up, set your printable area margins (not your document margins) to 0.0 all around. It may be default to cut off printing at a certain point, regardless of what the document margins are.

      2. If this doe not work, you can “trick” your printer into printing in the cut off area. To do this, set your document dimensions to match the size of the paper, and set the size in your print driver to a slightly larger size. For example, if you are printing on a 5 x 7 card, set the size in your print driver to be 6 x 8. This way your printer assumes it is sticking to the printable area of the larger document even though it printing on a smaller sheet.

      3. You might try altering your document so that it does not appear to be justified on screen, but prints out correctly. Unfortunately this is just a trial and error way of doing it.

      4. If none of these suggestions help, you can always print multiple cards to an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet. To do this, you will need a new template. If you need assistance with this, please let us know!

      Last, you might find this video helpful:
      Tips on Printing Custom Card & Paper Sizes

      I hope this helps, best of luck!