Technology KnowledgeBase

My printer isn’t printing, freezes, displays errors, or I am having problems printing a specific Word or PDF document.

There could a problem with the printer and its network connection, or it could be a problem with the document you are trying to print.

Is the problem the printer, the printer driver, or it's connection to the district network? Here are some things to check:

Power cycle the printer:
1. Turn the power off on the printer, count slowly to 10 and then restart the printer. This will clear the printer memory and allow it to receive new print requests. 

Test the Ethernet cable:
Check to be sure the Ethernet cable connecting the printer to the wall jack or switch is securely connected at both ends. Restart the printer. If that doesn't work, try a different known good Ethernet cable. Sometimes the cables get damaged. Your TRT or STS should have an extra cable to use if you need one.

Check that the correct printer driver is being used:

1.  Click on the gray apple in the upper left corner of your display.  Select System Preferences from the drop down menu. Select the Print & Scan preference pane. Click on the printer in the left sidebar that is having problems.

2. The image of the printer should be similar to the actual appearance of the printer. The Kind: field should show the correct printer model for the selected printer.

If the printer model is incorrect, delete and re-add the printer as described below. 

Delete and re-add the printer:
You can also try deleting the printer and re-adding it. This will often clear up a printing issue.

1.  Go to System Preferences —> Print & Scan. Click on the Options & Supplies button. Write down the IP address of the troublesome printer displayed in the Device Name field, omitting the leading underscore. Click on Cancel to close the Options & Supplies dialogue window. Most district printers also have an easily visible label on them with their IP address.


2.  Use the "  " sign at the lower left of the window to delete the printer and the " + " sign re-add it using the IP address you noted earlier. The correct printer model should pop up automatically in the Use: field. If the incorrect driver or "generic postscript" displays, the printer driver needs to be updated. Run the updater for the printer manufacturer in Self Service and then re-add the printer.

3.  Try printing again.

Is the printer intended for light use?

The following printer models are intended for light use. They will work much better when connected to a computer directly to the USB port rather than being connected to the district network. These printers will often freeze when two or more people print to them at the same time. They also may have problems processing large or graphics intensive documents. 

HP Laserjet 1300 & 1300n

HP Laserjet 1320 & 1320n

HP Laserjet P1505 & P1505n

HP Laserjet P2015d & P2015dn

If you need to print large or graphics intensive documents be sure to print to a newer model, robust printer intended for heavy use, or print to one of the Ricoh copier/scanners in your building.

Is the problem the Document? Here are some things to check:

Try Printing a Different Document
Does it print? If so, then you can troubleshoot the original document you couldn't print.

Problems Due To New Fonts
Often times issues like the one described above occur when printing new documents to older printers. The issue often lies with the type of font used (one popular example is the new Papyrus font). The older printers, like an HP Laserjet 4000 or 4050 among others, aren't able to handle some of the newer fonts like Papyrus. 

If this is a Word document, try changing the font on the document to something older (like Ariel or Times New Roman) and try printing again. If it prints fine, then you know it is due to the original font. Try changing the font to another font that you like instead of Papyrus or other problem font.

Recommended standard web fonts are:

  • Andale Mono
  • Arial
  • Arial Black
  • Brush Script MT
  • Comic Sans MS
  • Georgia
  • Impact
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet MS
  • Verdana
  • Webdings

PDF Files
Font issues can occur in PDF files too. Try printing to a newer printer, like an HP Laserjet P3005. 

Another workaround that sometimes helps is to open the PDF file with Preview rather than Adobe Reader. Sometimes Preview will translate the file in a way that older printers can process.

  1. Go to Applications -> Preview.
  2. In the Menu Bar, select File -> Open.
  3. Navigate to your PDF file and open it.
  4. Select File -> Print and try to print the document.

If the issue is still unresolved, create a ticket in Web Help Desk. Include the printer bar code and location.

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