8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 5, 2013 10:49 AM by Peter Spier

    Printer giving uneven white border ...

    SimonLaughton Level 1

      Hi Guys


      Technically not an Indesign question (although the PDF I am using originated from Indesign), but I am out of ideas!


      Our in house printing services doesn't have the capability to trim down on large quantity jobs, so I am having to design the A5 flyer we require with a white border.  I am designing 4 to an A3 sheet.


      I have allowed a 5mm white border around the edge and a 10mm border in the middle so when trimmed into 4, in theory, each should have a nice 5mm white border all the way around.


      The pdf looks great in terms of the borders being spot on.


      When printed however, we get an uneven white border (the right hand long border is a good few mil narrower than the left and the top one narrower than the bottom).


      We have tried on several printers and the same results.


      The document is double sided and its just occured to me as typing that I havent tried to print just one side.


      Trying that now but any other suggestions?  Its obviously the printer issue if the PDF is fine right?



        • 1. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
          PrintFusion45 Employee Moderator

          Try printing using a generic PPD and not the usual printer's PPD. Generic PPD will be listed in the Print dialog box PPD: Device Independent. With the device independent chosen, try printing the document from your printer and check the output.

          • 2. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            This has nothing at all to do with PPD.


            Most digital printers (as this obviously is) use a low-tolerance method for sheet alignment in the printer. Variations from the "expected" postioining of up to 2 mm in any direction are normal, and it may be worse on the second side of a duplexed sheet, as well as varying from sheet to sheet through a run. The only way to hide it is to design with wider non-imaged margins so the variations don't stand out as much.

            • 3. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
              SimonLaughton Level 1

              Hi Shnath


              Thanks for the quick reply.  I don't think we have this options unfortunately - all our printers are networked.  Printing single sided made no difference.


              I am going to try directly from the indesign document now.  I cant help but think its the printers issue. 



              • 4. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
                SimonLaughton Level 1

                Hi Peter


                Thanks for your reply.


                It's quite unbelievable (to me anyway) that the only way around it is to either design larger white borders as you say or to try to design to balance it out.



                • 5. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
                  Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                  It's a difference with technology. Printing presses have grippers, and registration tables to assure the sheet is properly positioned before it is fed into the rollers. Most digital printers simply have some sort of pick-up roller and a paper sensor that stops the machine if there is an odd length detected, and this is VERY imprecise, especially if the paper guides are not snug or, as is often the case, sheets trimmed to digital sizes are slightly short or slightly long which can happen with changes in humidity as well as just poor cutting . You can check with the manufacturer, but it's a near certainlty that they will tell you that +/- 1mm is well within spec for position on the page.


                  I'm afraid this is just a fact of life. And it wouldn't matter if you were trimming, either. Sheet-to-sheet variation of up to 3 mm overall is not uncommon on desktop printers, and even on commercial copiers, so putting a stack in a guillotine is not a guarantee that all of the imaged areas are aligned.

                  • 6. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
                    SimonLaughton Level 1

                    Thanks again Peter.


                    What type of machinery do printing companies use to trim to size when you provide them with say a flyer with bleed and crop marks?


                    Presumably they do not do it all manually!




                    • 7. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
                      John Mensinger Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Simon, there are paper trimming solutions of all shapes and sizes available, from the finger chopper your grade school teacher had to high-capacity hyrdraulic shears not unlike those used to cut sheetmetal.


                      There are hundreds of $500 - $1000 manual devices suitable for in-house-digital situations like yours. Choosing is a matter of desired sheet and stack size capacity. Google "stack paper cutters"

                      • 8. Re: Printer giving uneven white border ...
                        Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                        What John said.


                        I have a small Dahle stack cutter in my office that woks pretty well, but it requires some strength to pull the lever. Cost about $800 as I recall.