The Best Quality Print Output

I’m extremely picky about the quality of the pages that I print, and I thought I would pass on some tips and tricks I have discovered.

First tip is paper quality.

If you’re on a laser printer, your options for paper are limitless. You can print on almost anything and it will look crisp and clean. But if you’re printing on thicker paper, make sure you set your printer driver to the thicker or thickest setting for paper type. This will make the fuser a LOT hotter and will make sure the toner sticks to the page. I’ve printed on cardstock with the default settings and have been able to scratch the toner off the page. Of course, using a hotter setting will cause the paper to curl more when it comes out of the printer.

Inkjet printers can be a bit trickier. You need a coated paper so the ink doesn’t bleed into the paper fiber and feather, giving your text a slightly fuzzy look. There are lots of paper that specifically says “Inkjet” on it, and will usually give you good results. But I have used paper that says it’s for inkjet and laser, and the inkjet results have been less than stellar on it.

Something else I discovered today is that, on an inkjet, when you print something out and choose “Black and White” or “Greyscale” in your print dialog, things look a lot better, because the printer then only uses the black ink cartridge.

I have an Epson EcoTank ET-2750, and when I print without the “Black and White” setting, the text and stamp images have an ever so slight blue hue to them. The “Black and White” page is just super dark black. The difference to my eyes was pretty dramatic.

But I am picky.

Something else I learned today is that a lot of “tank” printers will use pigmented ink for the black color and dye inks for the other colors. Well, pigmented inks don’t absorb into the page. They stay on top of the page. So, paper you thought you couldn’t use on an inkjet, such as 100% cotton paper, might work just fine if you print in black and white or greyscale.

And the last thing that can affect print quality is the PDF viewer you are using. I’m on a Mac and always used Preview to print my PDFs. Well, for some reason, Preview stopped printing the images on my stamp pages. So, I installed Foxit PDF Reader. That printed the images, and I thought the text looked better. I reported the problem to Apple and forgot about it. Well, Apple has issued 3 updates to MacOS since I reported the problem, so I gave Preview another try tonight. And it printed the images and the text quality looked just as good as Foxit PDF Reader.

Get some paper, some PDF readers and experiment to see what looks best for you.

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