Whether you’re using the printer at home or at the office, the quality of your printouts should be of utmost importance to you. While most people think that it is unadjustable and it solely depends on the model of the printer itself, this is merely one of the technological fallacies!
Here is one fact: the quality of your printout mainly depends on a number of both hardware and software related factors. The good news? There are a number of procedures that you can follow to fix that.
1. Always Follow the Advisable General Practices Recommended by the Manufacturer
Using Paper Products: Does Paper Affect Print Quality?
All printers –specifically inkjet printers- are designed to work with certain types of paper. Consequently, when the used paper does not comply with the preferences of the manufacturer, the results are very unsatisfactory.
The choice of paper directly affects the color output, specifically the color saturation and clarity of the documents. A clear manifestation of this clarity problem is when you find web-like spots formed around your images or texts.
Let that be a reminder that you should never opt for cheaper paper or choose it randomly because you’re in a hurry because you’re definitely not going to like the result.
Ink Cartridges: Are They REALLY That Important, Though?
The ink cartridge is the part of the printer that contains the ink that is deposited onto paper during printing, and as you may have guessed, this part can directly affect the print quality.
A set of common problems that are caused by ink cartridge malfunctions are: when printing has white lines or missing print, when images are completely the wrong color, when there is an excessive grey background, and when there are vertical lines on the page.
Here is a list of things to do to keep such malfunctions in check:
1- Protect ink cartridges by keeping them in a clean and secure place.
2- Do whatever it takes to prevent clogging. Gradually, the ink dries out and settles in the cartridge causing the printer to clog.
3- Store the cartridge in an upright position. If the cartridge is stored on its side or upside down, the ink inside the cartridge will move to one side and potentially result in print quality issues once put into the printer.
4- Clean the printhead to ensure it is not clogged with ink.
2. Know Your Printer
First off, it should be noted that many printers have default settings in order to save on ink, paper, and energy. However, that does not mean that such settings cannot be readjusted to get a high-quality print.
How to Change Your Printer’s Default Settings:
- Go to Control Panel, then open the “Devices” section
- Select “Devices and Printers” from the results list
- Right-click on the appropriate printer icon
- Select “Printing Preferences”
- Change print settings, click “OK”
Now, here are a number of factors to check for a high-quality print:
DPI and High-Resolution Print
DPI stands for dots per inch. The DPI is important because it has a dramatic effect on the resolution quality of the printer.
Increase the print speed to reduce color saturation when images and graphics bleed from over-saturation and do the opposite when colors fade due to being under-saturated! That should suffice to help you adjust the print speed.
The color management setting allows the application you’re printing from –could be Adobe Photoshop or any other application- to control the printing color options you’re using. This allows the printer to interpret the colors from these apps so they come out as the closest to the design you’re printing.
3. Always Perform Maintenance Procedures
What would happen if your printer had some malfunctions resulting in paper jams or other issues? Would you just throw it away?
The answer should be: definitely not! And that’s because all these problems can easily be avoided by performing the necessary maintenance that can help keep your printer running smoothly. Here is what you can do to maintain your printer:
- Download and install the latest firmware and driver updates: By doing so, you will keep your printer up to snuff.
- Examine the ink or toner used: It is important to keep a close watch on the ink or toner cartridge, especially if the quality of print has decreased. The cartridge could be getting empty, or it may be leaking. In some other cases, when you fill the cartridge with the wrong toner or ink, the results are again very drastic! All of these scenarios affect print quality greatly.
- Clean the ink cartridge: Cleaning the print cartridge ensures that the cartridges never become clogged. By doing this, you can guarantee to lengthen the life of the cartridge, and to get better print quality!
Clean the ink cartridge:
Check the Rollers
Especially if you experience problems with paper jamming.
In sum, in order to maintain a high-quality print you have to work in three different-yet-intercorrelated directions: knowing the features set by the manufacturer, knowing what your printer is capable of, and constantly performing the necessary maintenance procedures in order to have a print quality that measures up to your expectations.