General Printing Checklist
Use this checklist first as it applies to many kinds of printing problems.

  • Confirm that you can successfully print a test page. This option is normally located in the printer's Properties.
  • Open the printer's Properties and verify the print job's status is not Paused.
  • Ensure you are using the default in Blackbaud programs.
  • If you are able to print from some Blackbaud parameters, try recreating the parameters for the document(s) that will not print.
  • Select File, Print Setup from the menu bar to verify that the correct Printer, Orientation, and Paper Size is selected. (Example: If Paper size is set to Envelope instead of Letter for a report it could cut the report in half, or if the incorrect printer is selected, it will look as though nothing is printing)
  • Verify the latest printer driver for your operating system and printer model is installed. You can download most current printer drivers from the manufacturers' website. See the Additional Resources Section.
  • Delete and reinstall the current printer driver.
  • Install the generic text or alternate printer driver for your printer. Re-test the printing operation.
  • Verify that at least 50-100 MB of free disk space is available on the local workstation.
  • Delete all temporary (C:\temp, C:\windows\temp) files.
  • For Windows 95/98, select Interactive Troubleshooters from the Windows Help file.

After completing the General Printing Checklist, follow the instructions below if you continue to experience the following problems.

Printer Will Not Print
  • Check the cables and power to the printer. Cables should be no longer than six feet.
  • Attempt to print from WordPad or other Windows applications.
  • If you are able to print from some Blackbaud parameters, try recreating the parameters for the document(s) that will not print.
  • Re-install the Blackbaud application components.
  • Ensure that the correct Printer Code has been selected (Print setup, Properties, Valid Code)
Alignment Problems
  • Verify that other, non-Blackbaud applications print correctly.
  • Change the print spooling format: EMF or RAW (do this in the printer's Properties).
  • In the printer's Properties, check for any and adjust the Unprintable Area.
Print is "Creeping" (Printed text appears lower on each successive page.)
  • In the printer's Properties, change the print spooling format: EMF or RAW.
  • In the printer's Properties, select to print directly to printer.
  • In the printer's Properties, check for any and adjust the Unprintable Area.
  • On the printer, verify the top and bottom margins are zero.
  • On the printer, verify the lines per page are set to 60.
Errors Occur When Printing
  • Verify that other, non-Blackbaud applications print without errors.
  • Attempt to print from another workstation. Does it print successfully?
  • Re-install the Blackbaud application components.
Report Formatting is Lost Between Pages
This problem typically occurs with DOS applications and can be resolved by adjusting the printer timeout settings. To change the time out settings, edit the system.ini or, through the printer's Properties, increase the setting to 300 if possible.

Blank Page Prints Between Pages
  • In the printer's Propertioes, select the Advanced tab, Unmark the box next to 'Enable advanced printing features', Select Apply, and then OK. 

A Note About Printer Drivers

A printer driver is software that is responsible for translating an application's print commands into a readable, printed format. Typically, one or more printer drivers are designed specifically for each printer model. For example, the HP LaserJet 4050 has two drivers (a normal and a PCL driver).

Nine times out of ten, a printing problem can be traced to an inappropriate or malfunctioning printer driver. When troubleshooting printer problems you should always check the driver to make sure the correct and latest driver is installed. If the proper driver is loaded and you still have a printing issue, you may need to experiment with alternate drivers. We have found that some HP LaserJet 4 printers print correctly only when using an HP LaserJet 5 driver.

If using an alternate driver corrects your printing problem, but leaves other print jobs misaligned, we recommend you establish two virtual printers for the same physical printer. Configure each virtual printer with the driver that prints the specific report correctly. You may then select the appropriate printer before printing the specific report or document.

Additional Resources

Printer manufacturers:

Microsoft Support Help: