Friday, October 24, 2008

Printer Problems? Try these tips!

They cause a lot of problems for corporate IT departments and home users alike... We're talking PRINTERS. Fortunately for anyone who's ever walked down the hall only to crumble up their hard copy in frustration -- I've got some tips to make the most of your printer.

Update your printer driver -- software (we're talking operating systems, browsers, accounting software, even your favourite word processing program) is regularly updating itself with new and fresh updates -- especially with internet-connected machines these days. Your printer needs software check-ups as well. A great first step to reducing problems is to download the latest driver suitable for your operating system. Find the driver you need at your printer makers' website.

Don't get frustrated Know that printers cause headaches for even the most skilled technicians -- you're not alone. Patience, logical troubleshooting techniques (think of the basics first: is it properly connected, did you recently update your software, can another computer print okay, is the toner/ink properly inserted and fresh?) can often identify and solve problems quickly.

Proper care and feeding is important. Follow manufacturer's directions for everything from what supplies to use to how to regularly clean your printer. Think of a printer as a car -- it needs oil changes, cleaning and occasional repairs to run properly. Neglecting any of these maintenance tasks will shorten the life of your printer (and, like your car -- you'll be stranded when you need it most!).

While we're talking printers... recycled cartridges can be a good way to save some cash -- but be cautious, they're not all created equal -- look for cartridges sold by a vendor you trust (the big box office supply stores, for instance) that are designed specifically for your printer. If your printer is under maintenance contract or extended warranty -- be sure you are not violating these agreements to save a few bucks.

Be an eco-friendly printer: Print only what's necessary (do you really need to print that email?), use the "print preview" function to check pagination, reduce font size and margins when possible, and try double-sided or N-up (multiple images on one side) printing, especially with large documents. Give online reviewing options a try when editing documents, and use electronic PDF receipts for web transactions and bill payment verifications.

Perhaps you've got a tip on how to extend the life of your printer? Want to share an eco-friendly way to save paper and reduce trips to the office printer? Drop me a line (techexpert (AT) brianwestbrook (DOT) com) or leave a comment below.

Please, think twice before printing this blog! :)

No comments: