Printing Issues

Recently I had 2 different and ultimately unrelated printing issues. I thought I would detail them here as I had trouble finding information on them.

Drivers

First was a printer driver issue. I have a Brother HL-5340D laser printer. It is new and quite nice model. My local printer / toner shop recommended it as he has sold a few without problems. My only difficulty was that although Cups recognised it it didn’t have a driver for it. I went to the Brother site and found they have good Linux support with lots of downloadable drivers for their printers.

For my printer I had a choice of drivers. First was a ppd file which is the format cups asks for. I thought that would be the easiest way. Just download the driver and point cups to it. Installation was easy but printing was an issue. Most important for me it wouldn’t print envelopes. It couldn’t get the alignment or the orientation correct. I ended up deleting that printer and starting again.

This time I used the lpr file with cupswrapper. Brother provides rpm files for both. After downloading and installing, Brother provides good detailed instructions but it is straightforward, I tried printing again and this time success. It worked as I expected.

The continuous document

At first I wondered if this was a driver issue too. But as it turned out it wasn’t. The problem was I was trying to print, from OpenOffice (LibreOffice has the same issue) multiple copies of a multi-page document double sided but it had an odd number of pages. You may think that isn’t a problem and I would normally agree. However this time the first page of the second copy was on the back of the last page of the first copy.

I could have printed single copies. That was the first suggestion I found when searching. But as I needed a lot of copies I didn’t relish that idea. I kept looking and finally found that there is an option on the Printing dialogue in OO. Under Printing – Options there is “create separate jobs for collated output”. I didn’t know what that meant either but selecting it solved the problem.

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