Hi, I'm Shawnna

I create graphics and design resources for bloggers, crafters and biz owners; providing a fun girly style for your brand or products, with a design-it-yourself approach for easy access and affordability.

When I'm not designing I'll be out walking the dogs, binging on Netflix or curled up with a good book.

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Printing Printables



Ever run into problems printing out some awesome free printable you found on Pinterest? Or maybe you purchased some gorgeous party printables on Etsy but they turned out a mess on your home printer?

Well I'm here to tell you that you are not alone! Even seasoned pros will run into frustrations with print quality or printing mess-ups. The real trick is in knowing what to do when these things happen. How do you solve your printing problem without a flood of tears or chucking your printer out the window?

Take a deep breath... here's what you need to know...


TOP TIPS FOR SOLVING PRINTER DILEMMAS

1.  Choose the right printer for the job.

Here's the truth, not all printers can handle any job. So if your printer isn't up to it, nothing else you do will get your print job to look perfect. Understanding and accepting this will save you a big headache.

Rule of thumb, inkjet printers are great for text documents and photos while laser jet printers work better for graphics and large color blocks. Because inkjet printers are generally cheaper, this is what most people tend to have at home, and they work just fine for most home applications. But you might struggle when printing certain types of graphics.

Solution: Who do you know who has a laser printer? Is there a printing service near you that you could use instead? If you need to print semi regularly it could be worth researching alternative options before investing in a brand new printer. Either a local option or an online option, whichever works best for you.

2. Know your printer.

This is something that the average printer owner never really does. Explore the printer dialogue box and get to know every possible setting option that you have available to you.

Does that sound daunting? This doesn't need to take long but it will save you sooooo much agro later if you understand that there ARE different setting options for your printer. Just get to know what your printer is capable of with a quick review, make a few cheat sheet notes if you need to, and when you go to print something double check that your print settings are correct for the job.

I'll be honest, off the top of my head I don't know all of my own printer setting options. But I do know that it has a variety of options available and I'll check through these when I go to print anything other than a document just to be sure I'm making the most of what my printer can do.

These are things like paper size and weight. Paper tray selection (specialty paper often feeds better from the manual tray). And ink or layout settings.

3.  Printing the correct size.

One of the most common print issues that I come across all the time are printables not coming out at the right size. This is actually quite simple to correct once you know what to look for.

Most printers will try to optimize your printed page for you through automatic settings. If your print job is too close to the paper edge it will automatically scale the print smaller. If it's really small on the page it might make it bigger.

But when you need your printable to print at an exact size as it's intended to be these default 'helpful' settings are really not that helpful at all!

Each printer will have this in the print dialogue box a little differently but you'll want to look for a setting that says "print actual size" or "print at 100%".  You want to select this option and make sure that any box that says "scale to fit" is UNchecked. That's it.

4.  Printing colors.

This is such a common complaint. And not restricted to the home printer or novice crafter!

The cold hard truth is colors look different from one device to another and when applied on different surfaces. Computers are backlit and with retina or 4K display colors will appear more vibrant than they will do on paper.

And even amongst print surfaces colors will look different on one surface type from another. Matte paper for example absorbs more ink that glossy paper, so the colors are going to brighter or more saturated on the glossier surface.

Each printer will also print a little differently. A little too much yellow and your blue is heading towards green, a little too much magenta and that same blue is sitting on the purple side of the fence. These tiny little differences in how each printer mixes the inks can create unexpected variances.

So what's the solution? Test printing.

If you have very specific requirements for color the best option is to test print everything first. Know that you'll need to experiment, make adjustments or try a different printer and you won't be nearly as frustrated. It's just a matter of accepting that color isn't consistent across all mediums.


Shawnna




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