The most common printer that enters our trade counters is the humble inkjet printer by a long way. Unfortunately if someone has brought it in for us to have a look it normally means they are experiencing problems with the machine. Most problems can easily be solved there and then with a simple bit of troubleshooting, so it is always handy to have a good test page at our fingertips.
So today I thought it would be a good idea to share with you two of the pages we use here at Refresh and give you a brief explanation of what each section is designed to check. The two pages are actually very similar and one is simply a slimmed down version of the other as we realise ink isn’t the cheapest of substances.
This page is the one I would advise using as a first port of call as it will use much less ink but is still capable of diagnosing most print quality problems. It covers the black, cyan, magenta and yellow used in all inkjet printers and also the photo/light cyan and photo/light magenta used is some specialist photo printers. You should be able to determine which colours your printer uses by taking a quick look at the labels of your installed cartridges.
This page is best used for determining which individual colour/colours is causing striped prints or is absent all together from your prints. As there is nothing particularly specialist about this page it can be printed on any plain white paper with a flat surface and give good results.
If however you have a printer that takes more than six cartridges or are experiencing miscellaneous print quality problems I would advise going for this second page. It contains additional sections for the stranger problems out there and covers virtually ever colour under the sun!
This page is best used in combination with glossy paper to get the most accurate results from the “rainbow bar”.
You can save either of these pages to your computer for printing later by simply clicking the relevant image to enlarge it and then right clicking it and selecting “Save Image As”.
The colour blocks are used to determine if the colour in question is present and if the printhead is caple of sustaining printing of that colour for an acceptable amount of time. The corresponding diagonal lines are to test the printer ability to fine print using the colour so be sure to look for small breaks in these lines. If there are print quality problems with either block I could advise running any cleaning cycles available for your printer 1-3 times to attempt to remedy the problem. if it persists please contatc the supplier of the cartridge (if the issue occured immediately after changing) or the manufacturer of the printer if this is a persistant problem.
Overlapping circles demonstrate the printers ability to blend colours and also to identify which colour is to blame in common colour combinations. It is also usefull for spotting problems connected to two different types of inks mixing in the rare instance such a problem occurs.
This “ranbow bar” of different colours should prove usefull to anyone using the 6+ colour printers I mentioned earlier as it covers every colour of cartridge on the market at present. It also demonstrates colour blending similar to the circles mentioned above but in much more detail.
Finally the block of text at the bottom of the page tests the printers ability to print text for an extended period of time. The text used is in a fairly standard font and size so that it represents the kind of printing a typical user will do daily as accurately as possible. Any breaks in the text are best addressed with the printhead cleaning procedures mentioned previously.