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How to Print with Pre-printed Paper

Lindsay Haskell

Lining up your text to print on pre-printed paper can be a frustrating project. We have all composed a document in a word processor and printed it out on a customized letterhead only to discover the text is covering the pre-printed logo and you can't read it. Follow a few guidelines to create a template that will allow you to print successfully on pre-printed paper.

Printing right on pre-printed paper takes patience and practice, but there are some techniques to help.
  1. Measure your pre-printed paper from the top of the sheet to the bottom of the pre-printed text and graphics in inches. Increase the number by a half-inch and write down this measurement; the half-inch will ensure your printing won't bleed into the pre-printed space. If your pre-printed paper contains text or graphics in the footer, take the measurement from the bottom edge of the paper to the topmost edge of the text and graphics. Add a half-inch to this measurement and write it down in inches.

  2. Open the document you would like to print on pre-printed paper. Click the "Format" tab in your word processor and select "Margins" from the drop-down list. Enter the upper and lower margin measurements you wrote down earlier. Click "OK."

  3. Put the pre-printed page into the feeder of your printer. Orient it so that the document will print on the correct side with the right side up. You may want to refer to the instructions that came with your printer or do a test run by making a pen mark on a regular piece of printer paper and seeing what side it comes out on, with which side facing up.

  4. Print the document. Check that it prints correctly; you want it to be right side up, on the right side, with your text fitting between your pre-printed text and graphics. If you measured correctly, it should print fine, but if it does not, go back to your word processor and adjust the size of your margins.