Frequently asked questions for self help.

Knowledge base article 53

General printer troubleshooting

Possible problems: Freeze on Print Preview; "Can't connect to printer"; no printer output; garbage/random output.

Background: Printer manufacturers generally release a new driver with every new printer, of which there are many. The driver, understandably, will try to take advantage of all possible performance/functionality that makes up the features of the new printer. The software application (i.e. Ability) expects a standard interface to the printers via Windows itself but the constantly changing and updating of printer drivers can lead to problems. Note that Ability, like the vast majority or Windows applications, makes no attempt to send "printer code" to the printer - this is all managed by Windows and the printer driver itself.

Trouble shooting steps

1. See if the problem is confined to single application - try to repeat using WordPad (select Start/Programs/Accessories/WordPad to start WordPad). If the problem is still present, you can be fairly sure that it is the printer driver.

2. Get the version of the printer driver in use. Select Start/Settings/Printers and right-click over your default printer (it will be marked with a "tick"). The resulting tabbed-dialog will vary from printer to printer but usually, you'll find an About button (often on the Paper page of the dialog) that will give details of the printer driver.

3. Check with the manufacturers web-site to see if an update has been released with a later version number than determined in step 2. If so, download and install.

4. Still got the problem? Try installing a standard Microsoft printer driver. These are the drivers that are shipped with the Windows 95/98/2000/ME CD and tend to be a little more reliable than some manufacturer supplied drivers (see background above). Select Start/Settings/Printers and Add Printer. Usually, you'll have to pick a similarly named driver with an earlier version number than your actual printer - in most cases, you won't notice a difference in output. Right-click over the driver and make it "default". There is no problem in having two (or more) drivers installed - you can choose the driver in the Print Setup dialog for most applications.

5. Still got the problem? Check to see if the problem is apparent on both Print and Print Preview and then detail this and all you can from steps 1 through 4 and send to mailto:support@ability.com