There are a lot of print quality test pages available and most laser printers have their own one built in as well. However it is very rare I fine one that adequately shows everything I like when giving a printer a quick check-up. So I created my own for us to use in house here at Refresh and thought I would share it with you and explain what each section is designed to check.
The page can be viewed/printed here or alternatively click the thumbnail to the left before right clicking and clicking “Save Image As”. If you are printing directly from your browser be sure that you are fully zoomed into the image before printing so the horizontal lines run the width of the page.
This section should be used for checking that each of these colours are printing without horizontal bands or other inconsistencies and that each colour is an accurate representation of cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Horizontal bands are generally caused by problems with a drum/photoconductor unit. Some printers have these units as seperate consumables and some have them built into each cartridge. If however the colours do not match those listed below it seems the toner cartridge has either been installed into the incorrect slot or has a serious internal problem.
These two “rainbow” squares are designed to detect any alignment problems with the cartridges. From looking at a combination of both squares it should be relatively easy to detect overlap/gaps between the different colours. If some occur I would recommend running any alignment or calibration cycles available to you in your printers software or from the machine itself. Be sure to check the printers user guide if you are unsure how to access one.
The horizontal bars test the cartridges ability to consistently deliver toner and your printer ability to fuse it to paper across the length of the page. Vertical stripes or blurring would normally indicate either a clumping of toner inside the cartridge on/near the roller or (if your machine has one) and issue with the colours drum unit. These bars are also useful to get a good idea of how well each colour is being distributed and fused so be sure to take a good look along the length of the bar for consistent colour.
It is of course unlikely that you will be constantly printing solid colour with your printer so under each of these horizontal bars is provided a line of standard text. This text gives you printer something a little more delicate to be getting on with and should help identify any small breaks or weak patches.
The advice offered in this article is very generic and only covers the most common causes of print quality problems. If you experiencing an issue that is not covered here please contact your supplier, the manufacturer or start a new topic in our Igloo Forum.
I hope you will find this article useful if however you have any suggestions for additions or amendments to this test page please let us know in the comments below.