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Printers general discussion FAQ

Tray output selection.

How can I control which tray to print from ? by hpwizzard
Posted: 9 Jul 03 (Edited 17 Aug 03)

  Tips on solving tray selection problems in a network from a Windows OS environment :

Comment :
When printing from a client in a network, it might happen that the printer picks paper from the incorrect tray though you have selected the appropriate tray and papertype from the application.
In this guide, we will asume, that the printer(s) are controlled by a server in a network.

Driver choice :
Usually there are three different drivers available for HP`s printers. The PCL5, PCL6 and the PS (PostScript) driver. Which to use often depends on the need. The PCL5 is considered to be the most compatible driver to be used in environments with mixed OS. That means if you have both Win95, Win98 or Win XP in a network, this driver tends to work best with them all when installed on the server that manages the printers. The PCL5 also manages most common applications. The PCL6 driver is the newer version, but does tend to suffer faults in network when they are mixed, and especially when the OS of the server varies from the clients. The PCL6 however is fine as long as it is being used as a single client install with applications like MS Word or Excell. The PS driver is best used for those who wants to print complex jobs like PDF documents or graphics.  Adobe applications seems to benefit the most from PS drivers. Chosing driver shouldn`t be a problem, as you can install all of them on the server and  clients, and then afterwards select which to use, depending on the current printjob. You can even have several copies of the same driver installed with a different name, but adjusted in the tabs for specific usage fx. collating. Also always try and use a point and print bundle driver, as this driver contains the drivers for most windows OS, and automatically assigns the right driver version to the client.

Steps to solve an existing tray selection problem :

1) Check the printers settings on the printer. Are the trays setup correctly both physically and in the Paper Handling menu. In the tray you can often adjust guides to set the correct papersize. These guides can fails to tell the printer what paper size is in the tray if skewed. In the Paper Handling menu check that trays are set up with the right type and size as well.  If  tray 1 mode=first, the printer will allways try to pick paper from that tray regardless of what the paper type and size request is. Therefore set the tray 1 mode to cassette unless you really only want to use that tray. The tray 1 mode= setting is the same as the setting Manual feed on the newer HP laser printer models.

2) Another option that can cause problems is the setting Override A4/Letter= found in the Printing Menu. If it is set to yes, it will force all A4 printjobs to be printed on letter format paper.   

3) In the Paperhandling menu on the printer set the papersize and type for each tray so the printer will know where the correct papersize and type is located. Most HP printers will automatically jump to the next tray available with the same papertype and size if one selected output tray runs out of paper. Making these settings will also prevent the printer from jumping into another tray when the selected output tray runs out of paper, so you won¦t experience that the printjob all of a sudden appears on preprinted paper when not intended to.

4) It is way easier to control the trays by selecting the output papertype, than the size or tray from an application, as the client passes the request through an eventual server and the printer more or less ignores the settings in the driver on the server unless the tray is locked as unavailable.

5) Try and avoid using the quick sets tab in the driver as it most often only causes problems.

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