Multi-pass vs. single pass printing technology

30. June 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Technology News, Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

When shopping for a new printer, you might be thrown off by terms like "multi-pass" and "single-pass." To an inexperienced person, these terms mean next to nothing. However, they refer to the way in which ink or toner is used and applied, and they can dramatically affect the amount of money that it will cost you to use your printer. As a result, it's well worth it to familiarize yourself with the main differences, pros and cons of each type of printing. While there is no "correct" option, most people strongly prefer one type of technology over the other. Learn more about single-pass and multi-pass printing below.

Single-Pass Printing

People are typically very concerned about the speed with which a printer can produce copies. That's especially true in office settings, where time is of the essence. Single-pass printing refers to printing that produces a completed copy in a single "pass." In other words, the page is fed into the printer, printed and ejected immediately from the other side. It doesn't spend any extra time in the printer because all of the ink is applied at one time. That may seem obvious, but it's an important distinction.

With single-pass printing technology, the cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink cartridges each have their own drums, which allows each to dispense ink at the same time. The obvious advantage of this is that it produces much quicker results. If fast printing is your chief concern, this may be the right option for you. These printers are also very reliable. One major drawback of single-pass printing technology is that it's more expensive than its multi-pass counterpart. There are multiple drums, and replacing them can be pricey. Furthermore, it's more expensive to buy ink for this kind of printer. However, it may be worth it to you because of the extra efficiency.

Multi-Pass Printing

As you can probably already guess, multi-pass printing refers to printing that involves multiple "passes" under a single drum. One drum can only dispense one type of ink at a time. To produce full-color results, a sheet of paper has to pass beneath the drum four separate times. With each pass, different colors of ink are dispensed. After feeding a single sheet of paper into a multi-pass printer, you'll notice that it sort of lingers inside the machine. That's because it has to pass through several different times.

The biggest drawback of multi-pass printing is the extra time that is involved. Because ink is dispensed four separate times, this type of printing takes four times as long. That is simply unacceptable to some people. Another problem is there's the potential for shifting, which can result in distorted images. Whether the cartridge or the sheet of paper shifts, the ink won't align and the end result will be inferior. The primary advantage of this type of printer is that it's a lot cheaper to own. There's only one drum, and the individual cartridges are generally a lot less expensive as well.

Choosing the Right Technology

At the end of the day, choosing between multi-pass printing and single-pass printing is going to hinge on whether time or expense matters more to you. If you absolutely need to have the fastest printing around, a single-pass printer is the way to go. If expense trumps speed, however, you should investigate multi-pass printers instead. Although both types of technology produce similar results, there's the potential for distorted images with multi-pass printing. That is yet another point that you should keep in mind while deciding between the two. In the end, it all boils down to time and money.

Step by step instructions for cleaning an inkjet printhead and cartridge

25. June 2012 08:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Inkjet Printheads After spending money on an inkjet printer, you'd probably like to keep it working well for a long time. Today's inkjet printers are generally quite resilient. Very little routine maintenance is needed. However, there are a few small exceptions. Two common issues can negatively impact the quality of the copies that are produced by your printer. Clogged ink cartridges and print heads result in streaked, inferior print jobs. These problems don't go away on their own. If you're experiencing either problem, don't worry: With a few simple steps, you can correct the problem and enjoy top-quality printing again.

Cleaning Printer Cartridges

If you don't print very regularly, a single ink cartridge will probably last for a very long period of time. Every few months or so, you're going to need to clean your printer's ink cartridges to keep them from becoming clogged and inefficient. This doesn't mean that you have to get out a cleaning cloth and clean them by hand. Your printer should be able to do all of the work for you. In fact, you probably won't even need to crack open the manual. Steps for cleaning a printer's ink cartridges are as follows:

  1. Navigate through your computer's start menu to the Printer & Faxes section.
  2. A list of your available printers should appear. Right-click on the appropriate one.
  3. Select the "Properties" option.
  4. Within the printer properties dialog box, you should find a section for cleaning options. Click over to that section.
  5. Look for an option that says something like "clean printer cartridges." Follow the step-by-step instructions.
  6. If you're unable to find an option for cleaning your printer's ink cartridges, use the software that was included with your computer. It should include such an option. If all else fails, consult the owner's manual for your inkjet printer.

Cleaning Print Heads

Before you can successfully clean the print head on your inkjet printer, you need to figure out where it is. In some cases, it is a part of the actual printer. The print head can't be removed easily, and it is prohibitively expensive to replace. In other cases, it might just be built right into the printer's ink cartridges. In that case, the quickest and easiest way to deal with a serious clogging issue is to simply replace the printer's ink cartridges.

As with cleaning the ink cartridges, there should be an option for cleaning your printer's print head. You should be able to find it within the same menu that is featured in the above step-by-step instructions. However, using the "clean print head" function may not be good enough. Step-by-step instructions for giving your printer's print head an extensive cleaning are as follows:

  1. Remove the ink cartridge.
  2. Pour five to 10 drops of isopropyl alcohol into the area where the ink cartridge normally goes.
  3. Replace the ink cartridge.
  4. Run the computer's "clean print head" function. You should also be able to find this option within the software that came with your printer.
  5. You will have to run the cleaning function several times, but it should result in a completely clean print head and clear, legible printing.

If it seems like you deal with clogged ink cartridges and print heads quite often, you might not be using your printer regularly enough. Set a reminder to print at least a few test pages a few times per week. If your printer isn't used often enough, the ink dries up and clogs its print head and its ink cartridges. If you refill your own ink cartridges, always run the "clean ink cartridges" function immediately after refilling them. With these tips in mind, your printer should produce top-notch results whenever you need them.

Common problems when trying to print using Windows

22. June 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Sooner or later, most Windows computer users experience problems when trying to print images or documents. The printer may cover several pages with garbled characters, falsely claim to run out of ink or simply refuse to print. A few of the most common problems involve drivers, print settings and the cancellation of print jobs.

Many printing problems occur when the user connects a new printer to a Windows computer. Occasionally, Windows will recommend and install the wrong print driver. It is best to use a driver from the manufacturer's website or CD-ROM. If the correct driver cannot be found, use a driver for an earlier model from the same manufacturer and series.

It's also possible that the previous printer is still selected by default. Unless the old printer remains connected to another port, consider going into the Control Panel and removing its driver from the system. Otherwise, set the new model as the default by right-clicking its Control Panel icon and selecting "Set as default."

Problems can also occur when the printer is set to use supplies that it does not contain, such as legal size paper or color ink. This may cause it to malfunction or trigger false error messages. After selecting "Print" from the "File" menu, click the "Properties" button. Next, verify that all of the printer's settings are correct.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to cancel a print job; the wrong settings may have been used or the printer might be malfunctioning. First, try using the printer's controls to cancel the print job. Some printers have "Cancel" buttons. Microsoft suggests turning the printer off momentarily; this may cancel all printing.

If these methods don't work, try to stop the print job from within Windows. To cancel one document, right-click it in the print manager and select "Cancel printing." To remove multiple print jobs, you can click "Purge print jobs" under "Printer." A more elaborate method involves clearing the print spool; see Microsoft support document 946737.

A variety of other software-related printing problems can occur in Windows. An effective catch-all solution is to turn off the printer and the computer for a moment. Also, consider using the printer's self-test function to confirm that the problem isn't actually being caused by a cable, ink cartridge or hardware failure.

Common Canon Error Codes

18. June 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Have you recently encountered a malfunctioning Canon printer but found you could not interpret what was wrong? Printers are infamous for displaying cryptic error messages in their tiny displays. Instead of relaying a comprehensive error message, your Canon printer will most often give a simple error code for you to interpret. Here are some of the most frequent error messages that may pop up on your Canon printer and suggestions on how to fix them.

Error 11

This is the simplest of errors and one that you will encounter most often when using your printer. Error 11 means that the printer is out of paper. Making this error go away is easy. Simply insert some paper of your choice into the paper. If you find that you still get this error after refilling paper, make sure that your paper is aligned the right way and that the paper is inserted into the machine neatly and correctly.

Error 12

This error happens relatively often as well. This error means one of two things: Either the printer is open, or there is no cartridge in the printer. Check to make sure your printer is fitted with a necessary cartridge and that it is properly closed. Keep in mind that the cartridge, the paper tray, and all parts of the printer are secured in order for the error message to go away.

Error 13

You will need to clean out your printer's rollers because there is a paper jam. Some paper jams are simple to fix. If a large sheet of paper has been crumpled in the printer's rollers, tugging on it and pulling it out will suffice. If the paper jam is more complex, and your printer's internal components are involved, then consult your printer's manual or customer support.

Error 16

This error is notifying you of low levels of toner in your printer's cartridge. You will usually be able to continue using your printer for a while with it being low on toner, but you should find a way to change the printer's toner cartridge as soon as possible.

Error 21

Error 21 indicates a print overrun, which means that your print job is too complex for your printer to handle. There is no singular way to ensure that you fix this error. It could be that the document you are trying to print has incompatible fonts or margins. Alternatively, try printing a few pages at a time or converting your document to a more printer-friendly file type. There could be a myriad of reasons you are getting this error, so consult your printer's manual or the manufacturer if you cannot resolve it after repeated attempts.

Error 55

This error is one of the most complicated errors for Canon printers. When your printer is showing an error 55, it is not communicating correctly with your computer for some reason. As a result, the print job is not being processed. Make sure your computer and printer cords are connected and plugged properly. Like Error 21, there is no one-size-fix-all solution to Error 55.

Error UO43

If you get this error, then your printer is telling you that it cannot read the toner or ink cartridge. Take the cartridge out and insert it back into the printer again. If that does not work, try turning your printer off and on again or resetting it. Check to make sure all connections from the cartridge to the printer are clean and aligned. If you have tried these steps to no avail, replacing your cartridge will most likely get your printer working again.   

What are print queues?

15. June 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Technology News, Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

A print queue is an account of all documents that have been submitted to your machine for printing. Essentially, a print queue can be thought of as your printer's "to-do list"; the queue displays everything that your machine is currently printing and what it will print next. On the queue, documents are listed in order of their submission to your machine. The document that is presently printing is shown at the top line of the queue, while upcoming documents are listed below.

You can access the print queue by opening your printer's computer software. Precise set-up varies amongst different machines; however, most printers display a small icon in your computer's task bar whenever a document is in the queue. Double-clicking this icon allows you to directly access the print queue.

From the print queue, you can perform a variety of tasks; for example, the queue is often used to cancel print jobs. To delete an individual task, right-click the document that you wish to cancel. This will summon a pop-up menu. On the menu, select "Cancel Printing," and your machine will halt its progress on the document. Your entire print queue can also be cleared by selecting "Cancel All Documents" from the queue's main menu. You will be asked to confirm that you wish to purge the queue before the tasks are deleted. In addition, you can pause your machine's progress on an individual document or on all documents in the queue using these methods. Instead of selecting "Cancel," simply click "Pause" on the appropriate menu.

The print queue can also be used to adjust the order in which your documents will be produced. To do this, you must designate a priority level for each print job in your queue. Right-click the document in question and select "Properties" from the set-up menu. This will summon a separate menu containing multiple tabs. From the "General" tab, you can adjust the priority level of the document to determine when it will be printed.

All computer owners should become familiar with their machine's print queue. This tool is very handy when managing printed documents, whether on a personal or professional scale. Understanding your print queue is essential to getting the most out of your machine.   

Description of various finishing options available for office printers

10. June 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Technology News, Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

A multifunction printer can be absolutely invaluable in an office setting. Small startups and large companies alike can benefit from the many convenient finishing options that are available on today's best printers. Finishing refers to a printer's ability to perform tasks that extend far beyond merely printing text and images onto sheets of paper. In many cases, a printer can produce a completed brochure that can be used immediately without any additional work. Learn more about today's best printer finishing features and options below.


Collating is a standard feature on the vast majority of today's printers. By selecting the collate option, you will end up with several copies of a document. Each one will be in the appropriate order, so there is no need to sort them all out before binding them. This is an essential feature to have, especially in offices where large packets need to be produced on a regular basis.

N-Up Printing

Everyone is doing their best to be as eco-friendly as possible these days. When there's no pressing need to print individual pages, N-up printing is a great feature to use. This feature allows you to print several pages on a single sheet of paper. Most printers allow you to print either two or four pages on a single sheet. This option saves paper and ink, so it's a good one to put to regular use.

Automatic Hole Punching

If you regularly print copies that need to be placed into three-ring binders, automatic hole punching will save you huge amounts of time. This option is absolutely invaluable from a time management standpoint. After each page is printed, three holes are punched in the appropriate places. There's no need to use a manual hole-punching tool.

Duplex Printing

Double-sided printing has been around for some time. With duplex printing, a printer immediately prints onto the back side of a sheet of paper after printing onto the front of it. This is a more efficient way to print pages, and it allows a printer to collate and perform other finishing functions without jumbling up the pages of a document.


After printing hundreds of copies of a new brochure, nothing is more frustrating than having to precisely fold each one. Today's best multifunction office printers can automatically fold your brochures and other documents for you. As with other printer functions, this one is performed after the printing is finished. It's a huge relief to simply have to pull copies off of a printer without having to fold them up later.


Multifunction printers offer very sophisticated stapling options. Years ago, the only stapling that was available had to be done in one corner of a stack of paper or another. Today, it can be done along the center, which is known as saddle-stitch stapling, to produce booklets and brochures. You can take your pick from many different stapling options. When the print job is done, you will have perfectly stapled results.

It should also be mentioned that the preceding functions can usually be used in concert with one another. For example, you can tell a top-quality office printer to fold something and staple it right away. Everything is then collated. As a result, you end up with a stack of ready-to-use booklets, brochures or reports. Before buying a new multifunction printer, make sure to investigate the types of features that it has to offer. The right printer can dramatically enhance the productivity of any office. These printers go far beyond typical printers in terms of options. They usually cost more, but the extra expense is more than worth it.

Easily reorder products at!

8. June 2012 13:45 by Calvin Yu in Technology News, Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

One of the most requested features missing from our website has been the ability to reorder products that you have purchased from us in the past.  We just rolled out an enhancement to our website that allows you to do just that now!  The following is a short tutorial illustrating how to reorder.

Login to and reorder now >>

Step 1

Click the Login button at the top right of our website and login to your account.

Login to

Step 2

Click the Order History/Reorder link to view your prior orders

Account Information Page - Click Order History/Reorder

Step 3

Easily reorder product, but adjusting the quantities and clicking the Add to Cart button

Adjust product quantities and click Add to Cart

Login to and reorder now >>

What is Bluetooth printing and how does it work?

8. June 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Technology News, Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

bluetooth You may have heard of Bluetooth and seen people in public wearing Bluetooth earpieces talking on their cell phones. In recent years, Bluetooth technology has blossomed and has started to become more and more mainstream. While earpieces are still the most popular implementation of Bluetooth, it has found its way into the workings of other electronics like printers.

Bluetooth is simply a wireless technology that allows two or more electronics like computers or, say, a phone and an earpiece, to communicate without wires. Bluetooth uses radio signals in the 2.4 GHz range and comes in two classes. One class is capable of transmitting signals as far as 33 feet while the other allows for the transmission of data more than 300 feet.

Bluetooth is used in printers to allow for effortless cordless and wireless printing. Bluetooth printing provides an easier way for your computer to pass on print jobs to your printer without the need for any physical connections. Even if your computer and your Bluetooth printer are in different rooms, you can send print jobs at a data transmission speed of up to 3 Mbps, which is quite fast.

Some printers are sold Bluetooth-compatible while others require adapters. Bluetooth adapters will work with almost any type of printer, including ones that normally require a wire to connect with computers. If you need an adapter, find one that fits your printer model, and follow the manufacturer directions for installing the adapter. Usually, this involves inserting the adapter into the printer's USB port. Make sure your computer has Bluetooth functionality before continuing.

After enabling your Bluetooth printer, turn on your printer and your computer. Go to "Bluetooth Devices" under the Control Panel to add your printer. This may involve a discovery process, so be sure to check "Allow Bluetooth devices to connect to this computer." If everything goes smoothly, your computer and your printer should detect each other and make a connection while they are both in discovery mode. Otherwise, add your printer manually by selecting "Add Device" under the devices tab, or use the "Add Printers" wizard under "Printers and Faxes." When prompted, select the choice for "Bluetooth printer." If you are using Windows Vista, you can find your Printers folder by opening your Control Panel and clicking on "Hardware and Sound."

For your computer to properly connect with the Bluetooth printer, you may have to install drivers or operating system updates. Be cautious, and always stay vigilant to ensure you do not download and install any malware.

Your Bluetooth printer and the computer(s) you connect to it will together form a personal-area network (PAN). Within this Bluetooth network, it will be possible to print from multiple computers to a single printer. This printer network will work much the same as if you had formed the network through your home WiFi.

Most Bluetooth printers only use the weaker class of signals that only travel about 30 feet, so don't count on printing remotely from very far away.

The ease of using Bluetooth has its downfalls. Bluetooth devices are infamous for being able to connect to various networks easily. This has sparked concerns about the security of Bluetooth networks. It may be possible for someone to eavesdrop on or interfere with the radio signals to and from your Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth printing and other uses of Bluetooth should not be considered entirely safe. You may try to beef up the security of your Bluetooth network using encryption codes or passkeys. However, this is not a failsafe method of protecting your data, and an intrusion is still possible.   

How to choose the right paper for your Xerox printer

2. June 2012 08:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

xerox-paper After buying a new Xerox printer, you're going to want to stock up on paper for it. If you've never purchased paper for a Xerox printer before, you're in for a surprise. There is a dizzying array of options, and some of them work better than others. As tempting as it may be to choose the cheapest paper, you're not going to get the results that you need with that strategy. Instead, you should do a small amount of research to pinpoint paper that is affordable and produces the results that you need. Learn more about choosing the right paper for your Xerox printer below.

The Basics

In general, there are three basic types of paper available for regular printing: multipurpose paper, inkjet paper and laser printer paper. As you can probably guess, inkjet paper works best with inkjet printers while laser jet paper works best with laser printers. As for multipurpose paper, it has its time and place as well. Before you buy paper for your printer, though, you should find out why you need a specific variety. By doing that, you'll be able to shop for the best quality. A breakdown of the three main types of paper is as follows:

  • Multipurpose Paper - This is the workhorse of the paper world. Despite its name, it isn't suitable for every kind of printing. However, you definitely want to keep plenty of it on hand. This paper is ideal for times when you just need to print quick copies of something. If you're only going to need the printed copy for a short period of time, multipurpose paper is fine. This paper tends to be thin and insubstantial. If using an inkjet printer, it's best to switch your printer to the draft setting otherwise the ink could bleed through.
  • Inkjet Paper - If you have an inkjet printer, you're going to want to keep this type of paper on hand. Any time you switch your printer to a higher quality setting, you should use this type of paper. It is designed to be compatible with inkjet ink. This type of ink tends to spread when used on regular printer paper. With inkjet paper, you'll get crisp, clear, high-quality results. Furthermore, inkjet paper won't curl up after coming out of the printer, which can present a major problem.
  • Laser Paper - Don't use laser paper with an inkjet printer or vice-versa. If you use inkjet paper in a laser printer, the gloss or finish on the inkjet paper may melt. Like inkjet paper, this type of paper can be safely used for double-sided printing as well. It produces a gorgeous finish that looks completely professional, so it can be used for presentations, reports and other important projects. 

Make the Most of Your Xerox Printer

While shopping for printer paper, you'll also notice that each of the three basic categories is broken down into additional subcategories. Many different thicknesses and brightness levels are available. Over time, you will get to know the different types of paper and discover the specific benefits of each one. In the meantime, just make sure to get paper that is compatible with your Xerox printer. Stick with multipurpose paper for high-volume, basic printing, but use inkjet paper or laser paper for situations in which quality is the chief concern. In the end, your printed copies will always look fantastic.

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