Printing Troubleshooting


Printable Disc Issues

When I try to print a printable disc on my Canon printer, I get an error message that the tray door is open.

I've got a Canon printer, but the CD tray doesn't show up among the paper-bin options.

When I print printable CDs or DVDs on my Epson printer, the discs come out with banding or other quality problems, yet they look fine when printing with the software that came with the printer.

When I print directly to CD, the ink doesn't stick - it bubbles up and wipes off easily.


Paper & Miscellaneous Issues

How do I get my printer aligned without using up lots of valuable label paper?

How do I choose the paper type I want to print on?

When I print labels, they don't line up exactly where they're supposed to.

My alignment's all over the place from one printout to the next.

The software doesn't support the make or brand of label paper I own.

Some of my labels print without graphics or other elements of my design.

When I print my labels, they're way too small or way too large, or parts of them are chopped off.

How can I print borders around my labels or print fold lines for them?

How do I print more than one copy of a label at a time?

The software tells me my paper is too small and part of my label will get chopped off.

The software always prints the top label on my label sheet. How do I tell it to print on the bottom label?

How do I print all 3 labels on a 3-up CD label sheet?

Why do some of the paper names say "US" and some say "A4"? And why do some say "Legal"? Can I get arrested for printing on contraband paper?

All my labels get printed in black & white, even though I've got a color printer.

When I print, the print quality is poor or I get odd colors.

When I try to print, I get a message that the printer is offline or unavailable.


How do I get my printer aligned without using up lots of valuable label paper?

Start by running the Printer Calibration Wizard, which you can access from the "File" menu. It prints a calibration test sheet that helps you determine how much alignment adjustment your printer needs.

Another trick we like to use is to set the paper type to your normal label paper, but then insert a sheet of plain paper in the printer instead when you print. Once your label has printed on plain paper, paper-clip it to a sheet of your label paper (put the printed plain sheet behind the label sheet) and hold it up to a light. The label printed on plain paper will usually be visible behind the sheet of label paper, so you can see how closely the printed label matches up to the outlines of the labels on your label sheet. Make sure you've matched up the edges of the two sheets evenly when you do this, of course.

If you determine that you need to adjust your printer's alignment, do so from the Alignment dialog, which you can launch by clicking the "Alignment" button on the Print dialog.


How do I choose the paper type I want to print on?

At the bottom of the label window (the area in Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker where you design your label), you'll find a combo box that lists all the available paper types and printable-disc printers. Choose your paper type from the list that pops up when you click the down-arrow button on the combo box. You can change your paper or printer choice at any time; once you've designed a label, you're not locked into using the paper type you chose at the start of the project. 

You can also change your paper type from the Print dialog. Please note that when you change your paper type via the combo box at the bottom of the label window, the label maker will automatically update the layout to reflect any changes (such as bigger or smaller label holes) and reformat text objects if necessary. This automatic reformatting won't take place when you select a new paper type from the Print dialog, though, until after you've exited the dialog.


When I print labels, they don't line up exactly where they're supposed to.

* Make sure your paper fits snugly in your printer's paper tray. If it has room to slide around, it's likely to line up incorrectly when it goes through the printer. 

* Make sure you've selected the correct paper type. Some companies (Neato, for instance), make a large variety of papers for different kinds of labels and in both letter and A4 sizes, and if you've inadvertently selected the wrong model, the labels won't line up correctly when they print.

* Run the Printer Calibration Wizard (accessible from the "File" menu), which can help you determine whether or not you need to make adjustments to account for your printer's alignment error.

* Check to see whether you've selected any printer settings that will affect your printed label sizes or positions. To do this, click the "Properties" button on the Print dialog. The printer-properties dialog that pops up was designed by your printer manufacturer and will differ depending on what kind of printer you have, so we can't tell you exactly what to look for. But if you have settings such as "shrink to fit page", disable them, and if you have scale settings, make sure they're at 100%. If you've got a setting for fitting multiple pages of output onto a single sheet, make sure it's set to the normal setting, which will usually be 1 page per sheet.


My alignment's all over the place from one printout to the next.

Make sure your paper fits snugly in your printer's paper tray. If it has room to slide around, it's likely to feed through the printer inconsistently from one print job to the next.

If that's not the culprit, it could be that your printer just doesn't align consistently. Try running the Printer Calibration Wizard and printing multiple copies of the alignment test sheet to see if your printer's alignment error is inconsistent. If so, your best bet is to use the "stretch" settings in the Printer Alignment dialog (accessible by clicking the "Alignment" button on the Print dialog) to make your printouts larger than normal to try and compensate for the alignment error.


The software doesn't support the make or brand of label paper I own.

We make every effort to support all the brands of label paper that our customers use. If you've got one we don't support, there's a good chance we just haven't heard of it yet or we can't track down samples of it where we're located. If you send us a sheet or two, we can usually create a template for it.


Some of my labels print without graphics or other elements of my design.

This is often a sign of a shortage of memory or hard drive space. Inkjet printers use your computer's memory and hard drive space to compose pages before they print them. If there's a shortage of either, it could cause your printer to behave in peculiar ways. Try closing unnecessary applications and freeing up hard drive space if you've got unnecessary files hanging about. If you've got a laser printer, which composes each page in its internal memory before printing, the printer itself may need extra memory.

If you try reducing the print quality (by clicking the "Properties" button on the Print dialog) and the problem goes away, the culprit is almost certainly a shortage of memory (either on your computer or laser printer) or disk space.


When I print my labels, they're way too small or way too large, or parts of them are chopped off.

Huge discrepancies in label size are usually due to printer-properties issues. Check to see whether you've selected any printer settings that will affect your printed label sizes or positions. To do this, click the "Properties" button on the Print dialog. The printer-properties dialog that pops up was designed by your printer manufacturer and will differ depending on what kind of printer you have, so we can't tell you exactly what to look for. But if you have settings such as "shrink to fit page", disable them, and if you have scale settings, make sure they're at 100%.

If parts of your labels are chopped off, it's often a result of a shortage of memory or hard drive space. See the previous question for more details. If parts of your label near the edge of the sheet are chopped off, they could be overlapping your printer's unprintable margins. You'll usually receive a warning message if this is the case.


How can I print borders around my labels or print fold lines for them?

On the Print dialog, check the box labeled "Print a border around label" to print a border around your label, and check the box labeled "Print fold lines" to print fold lines. This box will be disabled for labels that don't actually have any foldable bits.

You can adjust the appearance of your fold lines from the "Printing fold lines" page of the "Preferences" dialog (accessible from the "File" menu), including line color, whether to print solid or dashed lines, and whether to print the lines inside or outside the label.


How do I print more than one copy of a label at a time?

Set the number of copies you want to print in the "Copies" control near the top of the Print dialog.


The software tells me my paper is too small and part of my label will get chopped off.

Many printers have unprintable margins -- they can't print all the way to the edge of a sheet. If your label overlaps your printer's unprintable areas, this warning message will appear. If you're printing on plain paper, switching to a larger paper size, such as a legal sheet, will usually fix this. If your printer is really capable of edge-to-edge printing, you may need to adjust printer settings to tell the printer to actually print edge to edge; usually you can do this from your printer properties dialog or by choosing the appropriate paper bin setting.


The software always prints the top label on my label sheet. How do I tell it to print on the bottom label?

On the Print dialog, you'll see a thumbnail representing your label paper. The label that's currently selected to be printed will be displayed on the sheet. If you want to print on a different label on the sheet, just click on it, and it will get selected instead. Note that the arrow beside the thumbnail represents the direction in which you'll feed the paper into the printer, so the edge of the paper thumbnail next to the arrow will usually be the top of the sheet.


How do I print all 3 labels on a 3-up CD label sheet?

You'll have to send the paper through the printer twice. Because the bounding rectangle of the center label overlaps the bounding rectangles of the top and bottom labels on all the 3-up sheets we've seen,  it can't be printed at the same time as the top or bottom labels, or they'll have sections of them whited out.


Why do some of the paper names say "US" and some say "A4"? And why do some say "Legal"? Can I get arrested for printing on contraband paper?

These names represent paper sizes. "US" paper is standard letter paper, 8.5 x 11 inches; "Legal" paper is 8.5 x 14 inches, and "A4" paper is 210 x 297 millimeters. We promise not to tell anyone if you're not printing on Legal paper.


All my labels get printed in black & white, even though I've got a color printer.

It's possible that your color ink cartridge is empty. More likely, though, is that you've got a "print in black & white" setting somewhere in your printer properties dialog, and somehow, someway, it's gotten set. Click the "Properties" button on the Print dialog to launch your printer's properties dialog so you can hunt this down and fix it.


When I print, the print quality is poor or I get odd colors.

Make sure that your printer doesn't have any empty ink cartridges. If color documents printed with other software exhibit the same problem, an empty ink cartridge is probably the culprit.

If not, click the "Properties" button on the Print dialog to launch your printer's properties dialog and check to see if you've checked any settings that will negatively affect print quality -- the print quality setting itself would be a good starting point, although your printer may also have settings to use custom color subsitutions or other schemes that could hurt print quality. If you've got other software that prints correctly, try launching the printer properties dialog in those apps and comparing them to see what settings are different.

When I try to print, I get a message that the printer is offline or unavailable.

This means that your printer is not correctly hooked to your computer or is in a state in which it can't print. Check these items:

* Have you selected the right printer in the label maker's Print dialog? It may sound obvious, but it's worth checking to be sure.

* If you've selected the right printer, is the power on and is it hooked up to your computer? Is there a paper jam, paper outage, or other condition that would cause it to refuse to print? (If the printer is in an unhappy state, there's often an error light blinking on it somewhere.) Check that the cable attaching the printer to your computer is securely attached, and try turning the printer off and on again. 


Printable CD/DVD Issues

When I try to print a printable disc on my Canon printer, I get an error message that the tray door is open.

The label maker attempts to automatically set the paper bin and media type on your Canon printer to prevent this error from occurring. However, there may be something unusual about your Canon model that prevents this from working. If that's the case, here's how to handle the error manually:

1) Bring up the File menu and launch the Preferences dialog, then go to the Miscellaneous page of the dialog and check the "Don't auto-set paper bin or media type" box. Click the OK button on the Preferences dialog to save your changes.

2) Click the Properties button on the Print dialog to launch your Canon's printer-properties dialog, then set the media type to one of the "Printable Disc" options.

3) Once you've clicked "OK" to close the printer-properties dialog, the paper bin on the label maker's Print dialog should be set to the CD-tray option. If it's not, set it to the CD-tray option now.

This should stop the error from occurring. Remember that you'll need to change the media type and paper bin settings back again if you want to print on paper labels or inserts instead of printable discs.


I've got a Canon printer, but the CD tray doesn't show up among the paper-bin options.

The CD tray won't show up among the paper-bin options for a Canon printer until you click on the "Properties" button in the Print dialog to launch Canon's printer properties dialog, and then change the media type to one of the printable-disc choices.

If you bought your Canon printer in the US, though, it probably doesn't support printable-disc printing at all, and the CD tray option won't actually exist. We've been told that patent issues prevent Canon from selling CD-printing versions of their printers in the US, but we haven't seen official confirmation of this.


When I print printable CDs or DVDs on my Epson printer, the discs come out with banding or other quality problems, yet they look fine when printing with the software that came with the printer.

This problem is caused by having non-optimal printer-properties settings. Click the "Properties" button on the Print dialog in Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker to launch the Epson's printer-properties dialog, then check these settings:

1) the print quality setting -- if it's set to less than the highest value, your discs may print with inferior resolution or color quality.

2) the media type -- if it's set to be any of the paper choices instead of being one of the CD/DVD settings, your printed CD may have banding problems.

If fixing these two items don't solve the problem,  launch the printer-properties dialog in both Acoustica CD/DVD Label Maker and  the Epson-bundled software. If there are any differences, adjust Acoustica's settings to match the settings in the Epson software. 


When I print directly to CD, the ink doesn't stick - it bubbles up and wipes off easily.

You can't print directly onto a normal CD; you need to buy printable CDs, which are labeled as such and usually have a white surface. 

You'll also need to know that there are two kinds of printable discs: thermal and inkjet. Make sure you're using the right type for your printer. The vast majority of direct-to-disc printers (and printable discs) are inkjet, so that's probably what you've got. If you try to print on a thermal printable disc in your inkjet printer, the ink won't stick to it; it'll just make a little puddle on your disc. If you try to print on an inkjet disc in a thermal printer, we're not sure what will happen; we haven't tried this yet. It's not likely to be good, though.

If you print outside the printable areas on a printable disc, you'll find that ink will wipe off these areas easily. If this happens, make sure you've got the non-sticky ink wiped off before you insert the CD or DVD into a drive to play it. You might find that after buying a new batch of printable CDs, you're suddenly getting printouts that leave parts of the printable area on the disc unprinted or print onto unprintable areas of the disc. This occurs because different brands and models of printable discs have slightly different printable diameters. To fix this, launch the Edit Paper/Printer Templates dialog (accessible from the "File" menu) to adjust your disc & hole diameter settings to match the printable discs you've got. If you don't have a metric ruler handy (the settings on this dialog are all in millimeters, which are much easier than inches to work with when you're dealing with very small distances), the dialog can print one for you.


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