A Simple Ink Level Test for Your Home Printer

Print this test sheet if color isn't printing properly on your home printer [pinit]


Every time I get a new computer or upgrade my operating system, compatibility with my existing printer becomes an issue. Print settings have to be recreated, cables need to be purchased, networks need to be synced, and the result is one big headache. One thing that happened recently is that I no longer have access to all of the features of my handy Print Utility application. I used to be able to check ink levels at the click of a button, but now it no longer works. Sure, I could spend an hour on the phone with tech support or get lost in print driver change logs, but instead I created my own SUPER simple ink level test sheet. Shouldn't your printer blink or do something to tell you you're out of ink? Yes. Yes it should. But sometimes I AM out of ink and my printer fails to notify me.

My particular printer uses a bajillion ink cartridges, including matte black, photo black, gloss optimizer, cyan, magenta, yellow, orange, and red. MOST home printers only use cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK). If you're like me and can no longer digitally access your printer's ink levels, try printing out this test sheet in PDF format. It will be obvious if any cartridges are running low, and you might just discover why your beautiful DIY project isn't looking how it should.

IF the problem is little to no ink, the colors will appear faint. If the printing is sketchy or you're missing blocks of color here and there, the problem could be dirty print heads or clogged nozzles. In this case you'll have to clean them via a Print Utility command. If you can't do THAT, I'm afraid you'll have to scour the internet further, contact Tech Support, or consider making dinner for your tech savvy friend.

Hope this helps!