> Paper Output Problems > How to Fix Misalignment of Images
43XC-011

How to Fix Misalignment of Images

If the following troubles often occur, the machine may have alignment problems. Check the procedures below.
The register marks on one side of a printed sheet do not match those on the other side.
The thumb indexes (*) on the printed pages are not aligned.
The image is not printed within the register marks.
NOTE
You may not be able to correct misalignment that is less than 1.0 mm (1/25").
The machine decides the printing start position based on the leading edge of the paper. After the front side of the paper is printed, the paper is reversed and the back side of the paper is printed from the trailing edge. Because of this, the position where printing starts may be slightly different on opposite sides of the paper.

Eliminating the Basic Causes of Misalignment

Find the answers to your questions about how to solve your problems.

Is the machine or paper located in a high humidity environment?

Paper tends to expand when it absorbs moisture from a highly humid environment. If this happens, the images may be printed in the wrong position. For example, the image may be printed in the lower left corner, rather than in the center as expected. Or, images printed on the front and back of the paper may be misaligned.
Image is printed near the edge of the paper because the paper is larger than the set paper size.
Remedy
Keep the machine and paper in a room with a steady temperature and humidity. If the temperature and humidity are unstable, it may cause the paper to expand or shrink, resulting in misalignment of printed images.
For the appropriate temperature and humidity, see the Installation and Operating Environment Guidelines or the Specialty Media Handling Guide.
Before you load paper, place the package of paper near the machine so it can fully acclimatize to the temperature and humidity.
Unwrap the paper immediately before you load the paper into the machine.

Is the paper cut correctly?

If the paper is not uniform in size and shape, the margins around the image may be different on each page. If the paper is not cut square, the images may be skewed when they are printed.
Image is printed near the edge of the paper because the paper size was not set in advance.
Printed image is skewed because the edges of the paper are not square.
Remedy
Use a different batch of paper that has been cut correctly.
If you cut the paper yourself, measure it and confirm it is the correct size.

Did you load paper in the correct position?

If you place the paper guide in the wrong position or do not align the edges of the paper before you load it, the printed images may be misaligned on every page.
* Paper Guide
Position in which image is printed is misaligned because the paper guide is in the wrong position.
Remedy
Align the edges of the paper and load it again.
Make sure that the paper guide is placed in the correct position.

Did you register the paper type correctly?

If you load a different brand of paper, different from the one you have used before, you need to change the settings for the paper in the machine. If you start printing without changing the settings, the machine applies the previous settings to the new paper type, which causes misalignment of the images on every page.
Remedy
Press  → [Preferences] → [Paper Settings] → [Paper Settings] → select the brand of paper that you have loaded.
 "Settings/Registration" > "Preferences" > "Paper Settings" > "Registering the Paper Size and Type for a Paper Source" in the User's Guide

Have the machine got warmed up enough to obtain proper printing results?

If you start printing before the machine gets warmed up enough, such as just after turned ON, the printed images may be misaligned.
Remedy
Before you start a print job, warm up the machine by printing 10 to 30 copies of a test page.

Changing Settings on the Machine According to Paper Characteristics

If Using the Scanner

If the images on the front and back sides are misaligned with each other and you want to adjust easily, you can adjust the alignment of the images by scanning the test pages with the guide sheet.
Guide Sheet
Test Page
(Front Side)
(Back Side)
Before adjustment with the guide sheet
1
Press  → [Preferences] → [Paper Settings] → [Paper Type Management Settings] → Select the paper type that you want to edit from the list → press [Details/Edit] → [Change] for <Adjust Image Position>.
2
Press [Use Scanner].
To Print the Guide Sheet
3
Enter the number of test page to make → press [Next].
NOTE
The larger the number of output test pages, the more accurate the adjustment is.
If specifying multiple output test pages, make sure that all of the test pages are scanned in the order they are output. If the order is changed or the scanning process is not performed successively, the adjustment may not be made correctly.
To obtain a highly precise correction result easily, set the number of output test pages to one, complete the adjustment, and then adjust [Front Side] and [Back Side] of <Lead Edge (e) Align.>. These settings and adjustments allow you to obtain a correction result similar to that obtained by scanning multiple test pages.
To align the position of the front and back surfaces for the user image, press [Do Not Use Scanner] to adjust additionaly the position of the image.
4
Select the paper source that contains the paper type to adjust → press [Start Printing].
The test page is printed.
5
Place the guide sheet on the platen glass with the arrows of the sheet and on the platen glass aligned.
6
Align the mark on the test page for the first scan operation with the mark on the guide sheet.
7
Close the feeder → press [Start Scanning].
NOTE
Open and close the feeder gently. Make sure that the guide sheet remains aligned when closing the feeder.
8
Turn the test page upside down, and then align the mark  on the test page for the second scan operation with the mark on the guide sheet → press [Start Scanning].
9
Turn the test page over, and then align the mark  on the test page for the third scan operation with the mark on the guide sheet → press [Start Scanning].
10
Turn the test page upside down, and then align the mark  on the test page for the fourth scan operation with the mark on the guide sheet → press [Start Scanning].
11
Adjustment is complete.
If you have specified multiple output test pages, repeat steps 6 to 10 for all of the output test pages. In this case, adjustment is complete when all of the test pages have been scanned.
Make sure that the test pages are scanned in the order they are output.

If Not Using the Scanner

If you are not using the scanner, change the settings to meet paper characteristics.
NOTE
You cannot change the settings for a 'standard' type of paper that is indicated with the paper-without-pencil icon () on the screen. In this case, duplicate a 'standard' type of paper to make a 'custom' type of paper that is indicated with the paper- and-pencil icon (), and change the settings for it. After specifying the settings for the custom type of paper you made, press  → [Preferences] → [Paper Settings] → [Paper Settings], and change a type of paper for the paper source to that paper.
Registering the Measured Value of the Paper
If you want to print the image within a specified area, you need to register the correct paper size in advance. Measure the paper size and register the value.
Press  → [Preferences] → [Paper Settings] → [Paper Type Management Settings] → select the brand of paper in which the image is misaligned → press [Details/Edit] → [Change] for <Size> → [Custom Size] → enter the measured value.
 "Paper Type Management" > "Changing the Size" in the User's Guide
Adjusting the Position of the Image
You can adjust the position in which the image is actually printed.
1
Press  → [Preferences] → [Paper Settings] → [Paper Type Management Settings] → select the brand of paper in which the image is misaligned → press [Details/Edit] → [Change] for <Adjust Image Position>.
2
Print a test page.
3
Adjust the position of the image in the sequence shown below.
4
Print another test page and hold it up to a light to see if the  (register marks) are in the same position on both sides of the paper.
5
If the  (register marks) are not aligned, adjust the position of the image again in the sequence shown below.
NOTE
Print about ten copies of the test page, and then measure the final page that is printed. This is done to improve accuracy, because the position of the images that are printed first is inconsistent. If the humidity is high, print about 30 copies of the test page and measure the final page.
If you are adjusting the position of the image on coated paper or heavy paper that is more than 250 g/m2 (92.5 lb Cover), print three to five test pages and use the average value. This is done because the position of the image on heavy or coated paper is inconsistent.
Use the marks for each paper size when checking for misalignment of images. For example, if the test page is A3, use the  register mark to check for misalignment.
If you change the value in [Adj. Secondary Transfer Volt.], be sure to adjust the zoom ratio of the image.
 "Paper Type Management" > "Adjusting the Image Position" in the User's Guide
How to Correct Skew and Parallelogram/Trapezoid Distortion on a Small Test Page

Changing Print Settings on the Printer Driver

If you still have misalignment problems after you follow the procedures in steps 1 and 2, you can adjust the image position by changing the print job settings on the printer driver. The procedure below is for imagePRESS Server.

Printing One Page on One or Each Side of Paper

For example, if the printing results are different from what you expected as shown below, use the following procedure to change the settings. These settings can be changed for each job.
What you wanted to print
Front
Back
What actually was printed
Front
Back
1
Double-click the job in Command WorkStation on the imagePRESS Server.
[Job Properties] is displayed.
2
Click the [FINISHING] tab → select [Image shift] and enter the value in millimeters (inches) to move the image horizontally (X direction) and vertically (Y direction).
In this case, enter the value for each direction as shown below.
[Front] X: 1.00 mm, Y: 2.00 mm [Back] X: 2.00 mm, Y: 3.00 mm
3
Click [Print].
The machine starts printing. Check the printed page and confirm that the misalignment problem is solved, and then start printing.

Printing Multiple Pages on One or Each Side of Paper

For example, if the printing results are different from what you expected as shown below, use the following procedure to change the settings. These settings can be changed for each job.
What you wanted to print
Front
Back
What actually was printed
Front
Back
1
Double-click the job in Command WorkStation on the imagePRESS Server.
[Job Properties] is displayed.
2
Click the [LAYOUT] tab → select [Normal] → <Short edge binding> for [2-sided printing] and <2> for [Pages per Sheet].
NOTE
If you select [Booklet], not [Normal], you cannot select [Image shift] in step 3. If you want to make a booklet, you need to print the job and then saddle stitch it separately.
3
Click the [FINISHING] tab → select [Image shift] and enter the value in millimeters (inches) to move the image horizontally (X direction) and vertically (Y direction).
In this case, enter the value for each direction as shown below.
[Front] X: 1.00 mm, Y: 2.00 mm [Back] X: 2.00 mm, Y: 3.00 mm
4
Click [Print].
The machine starts printing. Check the printed page and confirm that the misalignment problem is solved, and then saddle stitch the booklet separately if you want to make a booklet.
NOTE
You cannot move the image on each page after the imposition of images is completed. The laid out images on the two pages move together as a single image.
If you select [Booklet] in step 2, you can move the image toward the fore-edge or the gutter of the page as shown in the illustration below. For more information, see the following.