Thanksgiving Tech Support: Thanks, HP.

HP claimed the first victim of the holidays – a teary mother.

I’d given her an HP PSC 1315 as an early Christmas present, and it’s really, really good so far.

With one fairly significant blow: it doesn’t like printing Avery labels properly.

Mum likes to print off about 250 christmas card labels each year. Each year we have a new printer, there’s some type of drama. And this year, we had another new printer.

As soon as the Avery sheet is inserted, the text is bumped up the page by about 1.5cm, which is too high for the labels we’re trying to print.

What’s so utterly annoying is that every time you put a normal sheet of paper into the printer on a test run, it works fine. It’s only when the avery labels are inserted that there’s a problem – only when you really need it to work!

After hitting the problem, a quick Google tells me we’re not alone.

Not being a word processing sort of person, I’d have instinctively blamed Word, but as it turns out, it affects good old Notepad too, so Word’s in the clear on this one.

Print with Notepad on plain paper – starts 1.5cm down. Print on labels, prints from the very top of the sheet.

Interestingly, printing on photo paper (which is about the same amount shorter than an A4 label sheet as where the printing starts) also leaves a margin. So for some reason, the printer is deciding that a margin wouldn’t be appropriate at the top of the page, thank you very much. I haven’t been able to find a collection of printer settings that actually get it working in software ( I’ve tried everything that looks relevant ).

So far, one solution has been to cut the top part off the label sheet (artificially moving it up by about half an inch), but that’s not why I buy “named” labels. I expect them to work.

I’m slightly annoyed*. Hours have been wasted on something that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place, and that turns out to be what looks like a “smart” device doing something dumb, despite all attempts to get it not to!

If anyone can suggest a fix that doesn’t involve fiddling with stuff within the document or carving up “standard” Avery A4 sheets to fix the printer’s flaws, I’d appreciate it. In the meantime, I’m going to have to call HP on Monday and try to find out why it happens, and how to make it not happen…