How to Configure a Printer Tray

by David Wayne
Close-up of a sheet of paper being printed from a laser printer

Close-up of a sheet of paper being printed from a laser printer

A printer driver specific to your printer controls your computer's global printer settings, although some applications include settings that temporarily override the systemwide preferences. Because printer options depend on your printer's capabilities, Windows doesn't come with a universal printer-configuration applet. Whether you use a removable or bypass tray, use the settings application included with your printer to choose paper size, tray priority and print quality.

Loading Paper and Aligning Guides

How you load the paper tray depends on several factors. Study the owner's manual to understand them. For rear-feed trays, you typically load the paper faceup, and for front-feed trays, facedown. When you print on special media, such as envelopes or nonstandard paper, the paper's orientation in the printer feed is critical for success. The owner's manual usually includes diagrams that describe the paper orientation for landscape and portrait documents in each tray. These diagrams illustrate how the paper feeds through the printer and which side of the page receives the ink.

Choosing Printer Settings

Open the printer settings application to edit the preferences. If your printer has multiple trays, choose a paper source from the Source, Tray or Cassette menu, depending on your printer. The other menus have self-explanatory names, and you can set the correct paper size and orientation from the appropriate menus. The media-type setting for inkjet printers is especially important because it determines how much ink your printer sprays. For example, choosing “Glossy Photo Paper” when printing on plain paper can result in blurred graphics and wrinkled paper.

About the Author

David Wayne has been writing since 2010, with technology columns appearing in several regional newspapers in Texas. Wayne graduated from the University of Houston in 2005, earning a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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