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Useful Tips > How to Avoid Memory Problems With Large Print Jobs

How to Avoid Memory Problems With Large Print Jobs

Johannes Gutenberg How to Avoid Memory Problems With Large Print JobsIf you’ve ever tried to run an unusually large print job, such as a book or lengthy report or even a long essay for school, you may have encountered memory problems. The primary symptom of not having enough available memory for your project is an unusually slow printing time, though you may also receive error messages informing you, explicitly, of the dearth of memory. This problem is usually more common in Laserjet printers because these machines tend to hold entire pages in memory before printing them, whereas most inkjet printers achieve better performance by receiving individual lines of code from the host computer.

Printers store print jobs in their local memory so that, in case there is an error or other problem with the job, the machine is able to reload and reprint the pages without accessing the file on the host machine. Though there are a few more subtleties involved, this is essentially done to streamline speed and ease of use.

But both types of printers (Laser and inkjet) can run into memory problems, and by far the main culprits are images. Most modern printers can handle fairly complex text-based print jobs, but machines need to use much more memory when storing and then printing images. Before you go out and spend money on some new sticks of RAM (random access memory) for your computer or printer, there are a few simpler solutions to the problem.

The simplest, and usually the most effective, solution for this particular problem is to break up your large print job into smaller chunks. Take a large text document for example; instead of attempting to print the entire text file at once, break the document down into smaller pieces. You could go to your print options and choose a specific page range of, say, ten to twenty pages, and print that section first. Then, go back to your print options and select the next ten to twenty pages, and so on. This helps alleviate memory problems because your printer only needs to hold a much more limited number of pages in memory during the print process.

Another step you can take to try and reduce the memory strain on your machine is to print in draft quality. If the document you are printing does not need to be of professional or presentational quality, you can change the print quality settings to “draft quality”, which will allow the machine to use less memory-intensive fonts and less ink.

If, after trying these steps, you still find yourself running out of memory you may need to upgrade the RAM for your printer, computer, or both. However, the steps outlined above are usually enough to solve most minor memory issues that home users may run into.