Avoid wasting ticket paperHas this ever happened to you?

I spent a lot of time one day organizing my raffle ticket information.  “Who, what, where, when, and why’s” were written down and ready to be put on the ticket. All the necessary information had been entered into the Raffle Ticket Design Panel. The fonts were changed dozens of times until the desired effect had been achieved.

I found a cute piece of clip art that went really well with my ticket’s theme and I managed to squeeze it in without messing up the text. I even remembered to double-check the spelling.    I even caught a mistake that would have been seriously embarrassing if it had gotten printed.

The stubs were designed just the way I wanted them. I was so proud of myself for figuring out how to make the numbers print in descending order so that the ticket with No. 0001 would come out on the top of the stack.

The job to the printer.  Time to treat myself to a celebratory mocha latte!  I got up grab my keys and as I glanced down at the first couple of pages coming off the printer I came to to a screeching halt. My jaw dropped open in horror as I realized that part of the numbers were being cut off at the left side of the paper!

Oh, No!  Wasted Perforated Paper

I leaped into my chair from the halfway across the room sending the cat scrambling up the drapes in a panic. As I knocked the mouse onto the floor and was fishing it back up by the cord I was frantically searching for the nearly microscopic printer icon in the system tray in a vain effort to cancel the printing job. I finally managed to open the printer control panel and hit “cancel” 40 times in rapid succession.

Time seemed to come to a standstill as page after page kept coming out of the printer. I watched in growing despair as my limited supply of perforated paper was being wasted.  I yanked the remaining paper out of the printer in a final act of desperation.  This caused a hopeless paper jam that was accompanied by the generation of dozens of passive-aggressive messages from the printer.

Slowly I came to the realization that I wouldn’t have enough paper left to print the tickets.  And there wasn’t time to order more. That was the moment that I hung my head in shame for wasting ticket paper.

OK, so this is all a bit melodramatic, but it did happened.  And I’ll admit that it happened to me. Embarrassing as it was I at least walked away a little smarter. I want to share this experience with others so that they may learn from my mistake.

My Words of Wisdom

I learned from this ordeal is to respect my printer’s margins. Every printer is a little different, but most printers are unable to print right up to the edge of the paper.

My words of wisdom to you are:

  1. Read your printer’s documentation.
  2. Experiment before you start printing your tickets so that you know how much space you need to leave around all the sides.  Realize, too, that the margins might be different for each side. It might be 1/4″ on the left and a full 1/2″ on the right. You might need to do a couple of tests to get the tickets centered nicely.
  3. The Printer Adjustment Panel is your friend! It is located in the Ticket/Printer Adjustment menu. The Printer Adjustment Panel has two tabs which allow you to manipulate how the tickets will be placed on the paper. They are the Print Nudge tab and the Print Size tab.  The ‘Print Nudge’ tab allows you to move the tickets up and down and left to right. The ‘Print Size’ tab allows you to scale the tickets from 80% to 104% horizontally and vertically.
  4. Adjustment for PrinterUsing Print Preview scroll through a few pages to make sure your numbers are behaving the way you expect them to.
  5. Print one test sheet before you send the whole job to the printer. It’s easy to do and you don’t even have to change your number setup. All you have to do is go to Print and change the Print Range from “All” to “Page” and type in “1 to 1”.
  6. If everything looks good, you can go to Print again and make the Page Range “2 to … however many pages are in the job.”

I hope my printing misfortunes will at least have one benefit –  saving you from the same sad fate of wasting ticket paper. If not, at least you can’t say you weren’t warned …

Lucinda Rowlands
Lucinda’s Rowlands

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