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Printhead clogging?


If you don’t use your printer often, sometimes ink in your printer head will dry and lead to clogging. This may trigger the change cartridge signal on your printer, or could simply prevent ink from making its way onto the page. Unclogging your printer head can be messy and tedious, but maintaining your printer to prevent clogs is easy. A popular way to address a clogged print head is the paper towel method:

Paper Towel Method

To start you will need to have a damp paper towel and a dry paper towel at the ready. Take the warm, damp paper towel and blot the cartridge with the printhead side down onto the towel. The printhead is located on the end of the cartridge where the ink comes out and is typically a gold or copper strip. You should see ink appearing on the paper towel after blotting a couple of times. Be careful not to confuse the printhead with the gold and copper contacts or dots. I know they sound awfully similar…if you don’t see ink you are probably blotting the wrong part of the cartridge! After blotting onto the damp paper towel, hold the cartridge against the dry paper towel for 30 seconds to a minute. This process wicks out any dried ink that may be preventing you from a quality print. Once complete, slide the cartridge back in the machine and run a test print. Often times this does the job quite nicely. If not, repeat the process again. If the second time doesn’t cut it move on to our next tip, printhead cleaning!
Printer memory is used to store and process print jobs as they are sent to the printer from a computer. After printing, the job is cleared from the memory to make room for more print jobs.

Only printers with an integrated printhead can use the paper towel method. If you have a printer that uses individual color cartridges, the printhead is built into the printer. Most common culprits for a clogged printhead are microscopic dust particles, air bubbles or dried ink. Running a printhead cleaning on your machine will clear the print nozzles of excess or dried up ink. Though the setup might be different for each printer, this is a typical cleaning function built into the printer’s software. Consult your user’s guide to find the cleaning process that will work for you. Print a test page to see if the clog is gone, print a second one to be sure (sometimes two will do the trick). If that does not clear up the issue, stop doing any further cleanings as this use up a lot of ink and running multiple cleanings in a row doesn’t usually render better results than the first.



What Is Printer Memory?


Printers have their own dedicated memory, and you can install more printer memory to avoid problems and print larger files. This memory is an important factor in avoiding errors and printing documents properly.

Printer memory is memory (RAM) built in to the printer. Printer memory is separate from computer memory. All printers come with a certain amount of printer memory installed, but most are upgradeable to handle more or larger print jobs.

Printer memory is used to store and process print jobs as they are sent to the printer from a computer. After printing, the job is cleared from the memory to make room for more print jobs.

Printer memory is directly linked to two print characteristics: speed and print quality. More memory allows you to print faster and print larger, high-quality graphics.






Cost-per-print is an important factor to take into account when determining which printer to purchase. It can also be used to monitor the efficiency of your machine and supply usage. For example, if your cost-per-print trend increases over time, your office could be inefficiently using your printer or the printer is becoming less efficient. On a different note, you can also calculate cost-per-print to determine which toner cartridges produce the most cost-efficient results.

Let's get to the number crunching so you can start using and applying these calculations...

There's two ways to go about calculating your cost-per-print. The first option is to have a print provider do it during a print assessment, via print management software installed on your device. As you may have guessed, this is the more time-intensive approach because of how the data is gathered; but, the results you get are much more accurate.

The second, quicker method, is manual; here's how it's done. Please note however, this isn’t a precise measurement, because there are multiple factors that can affect results. Those are discussed at the end of this article.



Cost-per-print calculations vary by printer and manufacturer. So determine this information before beginning your calculation. These details can be located directly on your printer, within the manual or your computer’s control panel.


Most manufacturers share their page yield figures on their website and, often, on the side of their toner cartridge packaging. Different page yield figures are provided for black-and-white and color printing, and most manufacturers run a variation of the following tests to determine these figures:

To calculate black-and-white page yields, manufacturers print a text document that uses toner to cover about 5 percent of the page over and over again until the toner cartridge is empty.

To calculate color page yields they print a document that combines text and graphics, using toner that covers about 20 percent of the page, until each cartridge empties


If you are calculating your exact cost-per-print you will need to identify the cost of the cartridges you are using. You may need assistance from accounting or purchasing to obtain these details.

If you have difficulty obtaining this information, you can use average retail prices for the toner cartridges you use. You can find these figures on print manufacturers’ websites or on office supply sites.

To determine black-and-white cost-per-print you will only need the price of the black toner cartridge. For color you will need the cost of all cartridges: black, cyan, magenta and yellow.


When you have gathered all of the above information, you can calculate your cost-per-print; for black-and-white cost-per-print you will divide the cost of the toner cartridge by the page yield.

Black-and-white example:

A simple method to determine color cost-per-print would be to use the above calculated black-and-white cost. Additionally, assuming all color cartridges are the same price with equal page yields, you can determine the cost-per-print of one color cartridge (as done above) and multiply it by 3. Finally, add in the black-and-white cost-per-print.

Color example:



Printing resolution

As a simple way to visualize resolution, the higher the resolution is, the smaller the pixels will be once printed. That's why you see a different size on your screen depending on the resolution when looking at the image's dimension; if the resolution is 300ppi for example, the pixels will be smaller and more concentrated. If the image is 72ppi, the pixels will be bigger once printed. It's better to not use the ruler on your display to measure the size of an image for this reason, but it's possible.

In general, in printing, you can think of resolution as dots of ink; the smaller the dots, the closer they'll be and the less they'll be visible on paper. And the smaller these dots are, the clearer the image will be. That's why the requirements for printing are higher than for web use.

But it's not entirely true that 1 pixel once converted to be used for print will be shown as 1 dot. It depends on how the rip system will encode these pixels to fit the printer's quality. For example, if you use an image at 30ppi (30 pixels-per-inch) and print it, there will more than one dot to reproduce that one pixel as seen on the screen and the printed image will look blurry. If the printer is a high resolution one (eg. uses 300dpi), it will always fill with extra dots the missing "pixels" on its grid.

As the unit for the resolution says, if you have 30 pixels-per-inch (30 ppi), they'll logically be "bigger" than a 300 pixel-per-inch (300ppi) image if printed. The printer will not create one bigger dot for each pixel, it will split that big pixel into many small dots instead (see image above) and fit as many it can according to how many line-per-inch it can print in that grid.

Digital printing looks better at 200dpi and up and the offset printing should be at least 266dpi (preferably 300dpi and more for color, and 600dpi for black and white texts). If you print on a laser printer in your office, you can go as low as 150dpi.


Fascinating facts about inkjet printers


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