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Suggestion for label printing problems

Posted on 2006-11-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
HI,
We are having difficulty getting the label to print in the same place each time. Page after page of labels will print correctly. Then for no apparent reason the labels will drift 10 to 20 pixels, up or down, left or right. We are using fonts as small as 3 point on the label so it is very noticable when they drift.

We are currently using a HP LaserJet 8150N to print lables. We have tried the straight through path and the regular tray. The same problem is encountered in both. The label size is 7/8"H  x 4 1/2"W with a 1/8" separartion between lables.

Any idea what is going on?

Any suggestions for a laser printer that would always register page position consistently?

If we have to switch to a dot matrix printer, the software will have to be rewritten but that is doable. What printer would give good results at these small point sizes?

Thanks for your ideas.
pat
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Question by:mpdillon
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hdhondt earned 250 total points
ID: 17924660
Talking about pixels does not give exact error measurements as I don't know what resolution you're printing at. However, 10 pixels at 600 dpi is 1/60", or 1/3 mm. This is well within spec for any normal laser printer, which usually allow up to 1.5 mm or about 1/16". Of course, they're normally well within that.

On the other hand, 3pt text (about 1mm or 1/25") is really too small for a dot matrix printer. I think your best bet is to stick with lasers, but redesign the label so position accuracy is not as important. Come to think of it, most people would find 3pt text unreadable without a magnifying glass. The text size should not be affected by the drift, as that only causes the entire page to shift, i.e. the print on the label shifts. If you stay away from the margins that should fix it.
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Author Comment

by:mpdillon
ID: 17930019
The Graphics - Print Quality in the PrintDriver was 600x600. The labels were off this morning. To the best of my ability, I measured the drift and it was between 1 and 1.5 mm. So I believe you are on the right track. You are correct in needing a magnifying glass to read some of these labels. Actually, point size is adjust for each label. Only the labels with the most text get the 3 point. Most labels are 4 point. The quantity of the text cannot change and the labels are applied to an itty bitty bottle. So the font cannot get bigger because lable is so small.
In summary it sounds like Dot matrix printers do not have the resolution necessay. Laser printers do not have the required paper registration. And I can change the font size. I just love Mondays!!!
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 17977944
All that's really needed is to leave at least 1 mm space between the text and the edge of the label, to allow for drift. Of course, if these are really small labels that may be an apreciable part of the total area...
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