Recently a friend of mine e-mailed me about a printer problem. She said her printer wasn't printing all of the page. Because I couldn't see her printouts, I couldn't tell what exactly was wrong.
An inkjet won't print correctly for a number of reasons. The first thing to consider is that sometimes inkjets have really wide margins. In that case, the printer is working fine, but you need to change the setup of your document. For example, if you receive a document from someone else and print it out, there's a possibility text could get chopped off if the document was set up to run to a different printer. If you have problems, verify the paper size is 8.5x11 and your printer is selected as the target printer. If that doesn't fix the problem, try changing the margin settings in your software to accommodate your printer.
If the printer refuses to print part of the page, it could be that your computer doesn't have enough memory to print out the entire page. The printer gives up at whatever point the computer runs out of memory and stops feeding it data. In that case, you may need to free up space on your hard disk.
To see how much disk space is available, choose Start|Programs|Windows Explorer. Right click your hard disk and choose Properties. The dialog box tells you how much free space is available. If there's not much space, you can run Disk Cleanup (choose Start|Programs|Accessories|System Tools|Disk Cleanup) as a start. If that doesn't clear out enough space, then you need delete files you don't need any more.
It sounds obvious, but another thing to consider is that an inkjet won't print without ink. If you don't print very often or very much, you may not know yet what happens when the ink cartridges run out. Some printers make a big fuss with noises or flashing lights, but some printers just refuse to print when they need new cartridges.
Many printers have one cartridge for black ink and one for colors. Virtually all printers let you print a test page. If you print the test page and only color prints, the black cartridge is out of ink. If certain colors don't look right, the color cartridge is running out.
This problem is what happened to my friend actually. She showed me a printout and I figured that the black cartridge was dead. So we ran the test page and sure enough, no black was printing where black was supposed to be.
New cartridges are expensive, so be sure to buy the correct one. Write down the numbers and take them with you to the store. I found out the hard way that another way to really annoy an inkjet is by attempting to use the wrong cartridge. My printer just sat there and did absolutely nothing as I got more and more frustrated. Once I figured out that the salesperson had given me the wrong cartridge, I returned it and got the correct one. Now I have a Post It Note on the printer that says which cartridge numbers it needs, so that mistake doesn't happen again.