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Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap

07 Apr 06 - 01:44 AM (#1712392)
Subject: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Bert

I've just received an email response from Epson saying that you can't set the margins on an Epson Photo R300.

So please bear that in mind if you were thinking of buying one.

07 Apr 06 - 03:24 AM (#1712406)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: JohnInKansas

Bert -

Make your picture the size you want for what's printed inside the margins.

Resize the Canvas to the paper size the printer is set for.

That makes the margins part of the picture, so when it goes through the printer the marginless print includes margins of the size you choose.

Of course you have to have a good photo editor to do the resize.

The R300 is intended for printing borderless photos, isn't it?


07 Apr 06 - 09:43 PM (#1712909)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Bert

The print was made using a standard template for business cards. To make it borderless I would have to go in and remake the template. Resizing the canvas would help because the canvas is 3 1/2 inches by 2 inches and there are temn iamges on the template.

Thanks for the suggestion though I can certainly use that method when I'm printing photos

Also the paper skews on it's way through the printer.

That's OK. if you're going to trim a photo, but on perforated card stock it's a major disaster.

The curt response I got from their customer service department didn't help my mood either. I replied to their response but they haven't got back to me again.

07 Apr 06 - 10:00 PM (#1712919)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Malcolm Douglas

Was the template provided by Epson or by somebody else? As a rule, it's best to avoid "photo" printers (mainly intended for printing photos) if you want to print things like business cards from office applications. Horses for courses, really.

08 Apr 06 - 12:39 AM (#1712978)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: JohnInKansas

My opinion on "templates" of any kind is, I'm afraid, not "printable." I've tried using a bunch of them, and haven't had much success.

My method is to scan the blank form page I'm going to print to and save the scan as a full-page-size .jpg.

Open in PhotoShop Elements, and save under a new filename; and add the text/pictures I want. Once the "art work" is in place, I usually remove all the pre-printed stuff that's on the form, since it can use a lot of ink re-printing stuff that's alread on the form.

First print, if there's any question, is to a blank sheet of plain paper just to make sure the centering is right. The "test print" can be laid on top of the real (blank) form to check alignment. Use "resize canvas" to add blank area on the appropriate edge(s) to get the centering right if needed, and then print to the "real" photo/card or other high priced form.

Although I've used the "perf forms" with some success for business cards, I've also just printed a "layout" of multiple cards to a sheet and used a sharp knife to cut them apart and to size. With a little bit of practice, it's maybe easier to cut them after they're printed (cut to match the print result, not the paper) than it is to try to "hit the holes" with the pre-perf forms.


08 Apr 06 - 04:59 PM (#1713334)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Bert

The template is in Paint Shop Pro and has a 3/4 inch margin each side.

Epson gives me just over 7/8 inch on the left and just under 5/8 on the right.

I certainly wouldn't buy Epson again, whoever heard of a printer where you couldn't set the print margins? I used to be able to do that on my old dot matrix over 20 years ago.

Using a template makes sense if you have twenty images on a page, and paint shop pro uses that method. You get a blank template to start with on the print layout page and it is a blank 8 1/2 X 11 sheet. It works work fine on my HP printer. Trouble is that that printer is in Pennsylvania and I'm in Colorado at the moment using Rachael's set up.

Word and Works also use templates.

One would expect to be able to adjust the alignment of one's output on any printer.

You just can't do it with the Epson R300.   I've received one response from Epson which simply states that you cant do it. Then no reply to my further email.

I eventually used John's method and cut them out using the paper knife and ignored the perforations. I'll have to get some plain card stock and save the perforated stuff 'till I get me own printer back.

08 Apr 06 - 06:26 PM (#1713377)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: JohnInKansas

Bert -

What you've got is just a failure to communicate between your template and your printer.

Change the template, so it has a 5/8 margin on one side and 7/8 on the other like the printer thinks it's supposed to be, and things should line up.

Nearly every printer has an "unprintable" margin on each side of the paper. That margin is not adjustable on any printer. When you set a "margin" in your template, you're just telling the printer that there's an additional area where what the printer prints is "blank space." Especially with inkjets, the printer still prints up to the "unprintable" edge, it just doesn't squirt any ink in the white space that you include as "margin" in the template.

Your template has to be created specifically for the printer model you're using and for the program you're using it in; and as you're seeing, usually has to be "fine-tuned" for each individual printer. That's one of the reasons for my low opinion of pre-fab templates. They never work particularly well, they're usually ugly, and they nearly always require more work to "tweak them" to get them right than just making your own from scratch.

Of course, to do it the easy way a decent scanner helps, but you can print to plain paper, lay it over the blank form; and if it doesn't line up, tweak the template. (Note that the plain paper you print to really should be the same size as the form sheet.) If you have trouble seeing through the plain paper, just clip the corners down to what prints, and line up edges of the stuff on the form.

Working with a new printer - your's or someone else's - is always a little frustrating. You have to learn what it takes to make it be friendly.


09 Apr 06 - 02:42 AM (#1713571)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Bert

That's not easy 'cos the template was based on a standard grid and the component images are placed by snapping to the grid.

09 Apr 06 - 04:50 AM (#1713601)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: JohnInKansas

Bert -

It's probably been at least 15 years since I've used Paint Shop Pro, but my recollection is that it did allow you to resize the "image" or resize the "canvas."

You don't want to change the image, which is the grid with the cards in it.

You can think of the "canvas" as the paper the picture is on. If you reduce the size of the "canvas," your "image" - the grid and cards - should stay unchanged but the margins will be reduced. If you then enlarge the canvas, with the added area all on one side, the same intact "grid with cards" should still be there, but off center so that the margin on one side is larger than on the other. Getting the right size margins often takes multiple steps, since you probably can only choose between "even additions both sides" or "all added on one side" at each step.

I can't guarantee that PSP allows you to do this; but I'd be surprised if it didn't. Sorry I can't give much help on where you'll find the adjustment (if it's there) on this program.

As previously stated, I've never met a stock template I could like very much. I'd probably just put a table in Word and set the table cell sizes to the card dimensions, and then twiddle with the margins to get the print to hit the right spot on the paper. My most recent bus cards were done in Word, using a table, printed both sides, on plain 8.5 x 11 "card stock." The front-to-back alignment isn't perfect, but I cut to the side that's "full to the edges" and leave enough margin on each card on the other side so that they don't look uneven.

I've done the same with Excel, leaving a blank column on each side and a blank row top and bottom. Twiddle the row heights and column widths of the blank rows/columns to get things aligned with the form.

Most home or small office printers don't actually do a really good job of sending consecutive sheets on exactly the same path through the machine, so there are practical limits to how accurately you can "hit" a bunch of little boxes on a form. Some printers allow you to choose whether to align the blank sheets to one side, or align them to the center. Often the center feed is intended for envelopes - but there's nothing wrong with having a "large envelope" that just doesn't happen to be folded up and looks like a standard sheet of paper, if it works better.

The large difference you're getting between margins on the two sides suggests that there may be a problem with how the paper is being fed in, although the same result often happens if the "form" you're printing on isn't exactly the standard page size. If the printer centers the image for an 8.5 inch wide page, and your page is only 8.0 inches wide, the image will be off center on the page. This could also result if the paper setting on the printer is for "metric" sheet sizes and the form is US "inch" size, or the other way around.

On some printers, you can tell the printer you're using a "custom sheet size" and within limits you can put any width you want in the settings. As long as the print head doesn't get hung up on the edge of the paper, you can "lie" about how wide the sheet is, and sometimes it will affect the centering of the image on the sheet if the actual sheet width is a bit different than what you told the printer it would be.

If the bus card perf forms are from a major supplier, and if you can find their website, you may be able to download a different template that's specifically for the problem printer, which may give a better alignment(?).

I'm sure speculating about better ways to do it isn't really too helpful for your immediate problem, but it may give you some ideas when you get back to your own printer.


09 Apr 06 - 02:48 PM (#1713912)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: JohnInKansas

Bert -

Additional info on the Epson R300:

The Epson User Manual indicates that this printer is intended to print only photos, printable CDs, and CD box inserts. The only input accepted, that I found, is .jpg or .tif files.

This is a special purpose "photos only" printer, and is not intended for printing from any common office program, so the only way I can see to adjust the position of what's printed is to change the size of the "image" in the image file so that the image includes appropriate blank areas, as already suggested.

At page 75 or so of the manual, there is an adjustment for centering the printing of a CD label onto a printable CD but this apparently works only when printing to a CD, which only prints what's inside a 12 cm diameter circle (with a hole in the middle).

The manual is about 6 MB, .pdf, (124 pages) and would perhaps be worth downloading if your friend doesn't have one. There are some other documents shown at the link, but I didn't find any that - on quick look - indicated any additional help.


09 Apr 06 - 07:15 PM (#1714084)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Bert

The image is 3 1/2 inches by 2 inches and there are ten of them on a sheet. So changing the canvas size isnt going to help. The file is .jpg which has a picture with some text on it.

I think I'll give up on Epson as a real printer and just use this one for CDs. It's a shame because this one has a continuous feed ink system and does a fine job of printing. It's just that it's in the wrong place on the page.

The paper guides don't have any real adjustment. The paper is guided by the right hand guide and the left hand guide gets moved until it touches the paper. I would be nice if you could move them both to align the paper but it doesn't work that way.

10 Apr 06 - 02:17 AM (#1714265)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: JohnInKansas

Bert -

I (finally) found a "settings" page at p. 50 of the R300 user manual that indicates the printer does have a text mode, and should accempt input from a wp program to print normal text documents.

The most commonly available supplier in the US of "perf cards" like what you describe is Avery Office Products.

They supply a style that they call "clean edge" with which the cards separate with a smoother edge, and a standard "perf edge" that may leave small "fuzzbits" on the edges, but the basic layouts are the same for both.

They supply both kinds in a 2 x 4 layout that prints 8 cards per sheet, but the strips in between cards allow you to print to (and overlapping) the edge of the individual cards, with any misalignment spilling onto the separator strip.

They supply both kinds in a 2 x 5 layout that prints 10 cards per sheet, with no separator strips between cards. If you're using this kind, you are expected to leave an empty area near the edge of the card to take care of any minor misalignment of the print.

Templates are available for free download, both with and without predesigned "graphics."

All Avery templates are nothing but a Word document with a table preset on the page. Individual table cells on all the business card templates are 3.5 inches by 2.0 inches. On the "print to edge" layouts, intermediate rows/columns are 0.75 inches. On the standard (10 cards per sheet) layout, there are no separator rows/columns.

(If you have access to a recent version of "Works" the wp program included should be Word 2000 or Word 2002.)


If you have Microsoft Word and can create an image of a single one of your cards, at Avery 10 Card Templates you can download the template for the Avery 10 card form. You should be able to use it if it's close to the layout you have, even if you're using some other suppliers forms.

Save the "picture" of ONE card, preferably as a .jpg file. Open the template in Word, place your cursor in one of the table cells, and choose "Insert | Picture | From File" to put a "card" in that cell. You can then highlight that cell, Ctl-C to copy, and then Ctl-V to paste the card into each of the remaining 9 cells of the table, or you can "Insert Picture" in each of the cells.

Click File | Page Layout in Word, and you should be able to adjust the document margins to get the printer to put the page on the form in the correct location. When you subtract an amount from one margin you probably should add an identical increment to the opposite margin. Left and right margins in the original template are only 0.75 inch each, but that should be enough to let you move where the print hits the paper.


If you have your "Paint Shop Pro" program available, you should be able to save your whole Template as a single .jpg file. Since you have "snap to position" images, the existing file probably has multiple layers, and a multi-layer image can't normally be saved as .jpg, so you may need to "flatten" the image to a single layer. You should then crop it so that the image includes ONLY THE CARDS, with no margins, and save as a .jpg (with a different file name than your original). Open Word, go to File | Page Setup and be sure that the margin settings leave a space at least 7 inches wide x 10 inches tall, and "Insert | Picture | From File" and paste the entire layout in Word. You may need to use the Picture toolbar to make sure that the picture is sized at 100% and wasn't "sized to fit." (Click on the picture, then go to "View | Toolbars | and click on Picture. Click the icon that looks like a paint bucket, and then select the "Size" tab.) You should then be able to use "File | Page Setup" to adjust the margins to align your print with the form.


If you have your Paint Shop Pro program available, the flattened and cropped image of the entire sheet of 10 cards can be edited to change the canvas size and add or change blank spaces on either side to make it print aligned on the form.


Throw the perf forms away (or save them for later use) and print the template to plain white 5 x 8 inch or even 4 x 6 inch index cards. If you select "Text with Pictures" as the print mode for the printer, and tell it what size paper you're using, it should offer the option of whether to "fit to paper" or just crop. Chose the "ignore" when the printer warns that cropping will occur, and you should get a full size image of whatever lands on the card. No matter how the print lines up, there should be at least ONE OR TWO cards you can knife out of each index card to make something usable. Even if you only get a couple per card, they shouldn't be more expensive than using the perf forms.


10 Apr 06 - 02:03 PM (#1714649)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Bert

I don't have Word, I tried using Works but when I create the image at 3 1/2 X 2 inches Works imports it into the Avery temlate much larger and wont let me get to the handles to reduce it. So I gave up and did the whole thing in Paint Shop Pro.

I'm happy with your suggestion of cutting the cards out with a paper cutter.

10 Apr 06 - 02:29 PM (#1714668)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: JohnInKansas

Bert -

For future reference.

Unless it's an olllld version of Works, the wp program in Works should be a "real Word." To resize the picture, you need to click on the picture, then click View from the top toolbar, click toolbars and put a check by the "Picture." If you set the checkmark by the Picture toolbar while an image is selected, the toolbar will disappear when you move to something else, and will "pop up" when you click on the next picture. (If you set the View | Toolbars | Picture while an image is NOT selected, the toolbar will stay up all the time, until you close it.) Use the "paintbucket" to get all the edit features in one Window, and the "Size" tab. Make sure the "Lock Aspect Ratio" box has a check mark in it, and set width to 100% to make the picure the same size as the original.

Perseverence pays off?

I haven't found a paper cutter particularly good for precision trimming, since the paper tends to "suck in" as the blade comes down, but if you've got a good one it's ok. I usually use my pocket knife and a steel ruler, on a cutting mat; but you do need a sharp knife with a straight cutting edge and a sharp point. Most people would resort to an X-Acto, but I always feel the need to sharpen them before they're equal to the one in my pocket.


10 Apr 06 - 02:36 PM (#1714672)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Bert

Thanks for the Works info, I'll give that a try.

Actually it's a cheap paper cutter and I have to hold the paper down quite firmly to stop it moving. It takes a bit of practice but it works.

05 Mar 15 - 06:44 PM (#3691784)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Jon

Old thread. I know...

My own question with printers is "will it work with Linux?". With the Epsons printers we've had, I have been very pleased with the Gutenprint drivers that form part of Linux distributions. Our current Epson which is used for photos and better quality colour (also have a Xerox laser for other printing) is the P50.

For me and the Epsons printers we've had, they just work out of the box fine with no need to install any manufacturers drivers.

05 Mar 15 - 07:18 PM (#3691796)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap

My big gripe with linux Mint, versions 13 to 16, was it's refusal to recognise my almost new OKI printer. After I installed Mint 17 I found on a forum the trick of locating the relevamt '.ppd' file and directing the computer to it. This worked and I can now print. A search of the Linux forums using your printer details may help.

05 Mar 15 - 07:42 PM (#3691801)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Stanron

Last post was from me somehow logged out.

05 Mar 15 - 07:48 PM (#3691802)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Jon

Yep, when stuck like that, there's usually a way if you you take the trouble to search.

The ppd file btw is a plain text file. It basically describes what the printer can do and has some information about which programs to use. When I wrote an Android to CUPS app, one of the tasks I had was to try to write some form of parser for these files. If you look at one, you might see it tries to describe a user interface.

05 Mar 15 - 07:57 PM (#3691803)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Jon

(Well parsing the ppd is the way I chose to go. CUPS is a form of IPP server and IPP also tries to give printer capabilities)

05 Mar 15 - 08:36 PM (#3691812)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Joe Offer

Damn. I just bought an Epson printer because I got sick of HP. Haven't started using it. I sure hope it works well.
I thought Epson wasn't supposed to have the problems that are endemic with HP.

05 Mar 15 - 09:00 PM (#3691815)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Jon

It's an old thread Joe. I've not used an HP printer but my own experience with Epson (with Linux) has been good. I'd not have got the P50 had things been otherwise.

The only thing with them (if my memory serves me correctly was advice I got from Malcolm Douglas years ago in a thread at Mudcat) is to try to ensure they get some pint job every week or so. In our houssehold, the Xerox laser does most of the printing and the use of the Epson tends to sort of go in batches and be more active in the summer when I take picures and want to print some things most often on 4x6 postcard sixe, in the otherwise idle periods, I'm not sure but that may also go for other inkjets.

05 Mar 15 - 09:03 PM (#3691816)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Jon

oppps seem to have lost a bit above. In the otherwise idle periods, I make a point of printing something.

05 Mar 15 - 09:14 PM (#3691818)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Phil

Funny, bought a HP7610 a few months ago after the old Epson died. The main feature for me is a 12" LP, 10" jacket and even some 12" Euro jackets lay flat on the scanner bed. Downside, I don't think Stephen Hawking could figure out the two-sided, mutli-page printer driver. Photo quality is above average, a lot depends on what software you're printing from. Everything I use has a save-template function. I find it less frustrating to just roll my own.

All-in-all, not too bad once you figure out how to silence all the gong noises.

06 Mar 15 - 04:14 AM (#3691847)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Joe Offer

I bought my Epson printer almost a year ago, expecting the HP printer to either die or run out of ink at any moment. I even volunteered to do a 2-ream printing job to use up the ink. But I found another ink cartridge on the shelf, and the HP has kept on printing.
So, go figure...
The Epson is a large-format printer/scanner, so I'd like to start using it to make scanning books easier for lyrics OCR.


06 Mar 15 - 06:46 AM (#3691886)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Jon

Just to bore people further with a ppd. The Gutenprint driver for my P50 gives the following main headings:

Printer Features Common
Printer Features Extra 1
Printer Features Extra 2
Printer Features Extra 3
Printer Features Extra 4
Output Control Common
Output Control Extra 1
Output Control Extra 2
Output Control Extra 4
Output Control Extra 5

If I was to drill down what is in "General", I get.

, etc.

If I was to follow Page Size, I get a long list including,


06 Mar 15 - 10:12 AM (#3691934)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap

Re. the thread title - Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap

Mine has worked for years. I had to use a wee prog (attained from an non-Epson source on the internet) to bypass a complete shutdown once as the manual said I needed the sponge cleaned at a cost of approx. 30. Not surprisingly, my printer has continued to work fine over the last couple of years after the 're-set'.

Another thing. Just what the percentage profit is on replacement cartridges?
Epson cartridge = 16 (+/-)
Generic cartridge = 2+ (+/-)
Dick Turpin lives, I tell you.

06 Mar 15 - 10:27 AM (#3691938)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Stanron

It's a few years since i gave up on inkjet printers. Infrequent use led to ink failing and a new printer was cheaper than replacing the dried up cartridges. I now use a mono laser printer for any document printing and if I want colour printing, and it's very rarely, I go to a shop.

06 Mar 15 - 12:41 PM (#3691980)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Stilly River Sage

You're all talking about ink jet printers, I gather. I haven't used one of those for years. I compared the laser dry toner cartridge size (projected number of pages printed) and the cost and settled on HP. I've done the math a couple of times since then and they always come out on top. HP branded cartridges are pricey, but you can find knockoff brands for about 1/4 of the price. I would never go back to the racket of inkjet printers. Those printer companies aren't in the business of selling printers, they are in the business of selling ink. That's why ink jet printers are so inexpensive.


06 Mar 15 - 03:31 PM (#3692021)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: GUEST,Jon

SRS,, Sometimes I forget Epson also make Lasers and yes I've been mostly thinking of inkjets.

That said, as I think I hinted in an earlier post I've never got "photo quality" out of a laser. I think our current laser is petty good and may do some sort of magazine cover type quality but about it. The xerox toner for our (phaser 6010) laser is quite expensive but like you say, there are pattern ones around.

I've yet to treat our current Epson P50 inkjet to a change of ink.But I have a spare set of cartidges genuine ones this time for it but I'll probably go back to using "knock off" ones.

For some maths. I think this printer was around 120 when we got it. A genuine set of 6 inks is likely to cost you at least 50. You would be able to pick up a copy set of inks for 10.

06 Mar 15 - 04:19 PM (#3692031)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: ripov

The great advantage of laser printers is that the documents don't "run" when you spill beer over them, so you can still see to play from your carefully edited dots. I used to spend hours spraying clear lacquer over inkjet prints to try to waterproof them!

06 Mar 15 - 04:34 PM (#3692036)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Joe Offer

We need a "like" button for posts like the one from ripov....

06 Mar 15 - 04:48 PM (#3692040)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap
From: Stanron

I'm going to have to buy some beer to check out this assertion.

06 Mar 15 - 04:54 PM (#3692041)
Subject: RE: Tech: Epson print drivers a load of crap

I don't know Joe. Comment's like his are just the sort of thing that might make you spit your beer or cooffee out.