For best quality, I always print on photo paper. My first choice in photo paper is Staples® Photo Supreme Paper (matte). Printables come out amazing on this matte double sided paper. It’s fingerprint resistant too. A must have!
If you’re concerned about cost, the Dollar Tree has excellent semi-gloss photo paper. I buy these inexpensive packs by the dozen. With all the creating/testing that goes on, it’s a must-have supply. If you still print printables on regular paper (or even cardstock), try switching to an inexpensive photo paper. You will be amazed at the difference in your final product! It’s worth the “splurge” for key items that will be highly visible.
THE “WRITE” PEN
Most regular ink pens will not write well on the surface of photo paper. A gel ink pen is perfect because it glides across photo paper like butter! My fave pen is Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Ink (Needle Tip 0.7mm). These pens are like gold in my house, the hubs and I fight over these! So much so, that we had to buy our own separate sets of pens.
Sharpie markers also write well on photo paper and it’s great to have a rainbow of colors for color-coding your activities. The ultra fine point is perfect for writing in small spaces.
Printer settings are key when it comes to perfect-looking printables for two reasons: size and color!
To ensure your items print at the correct size they were designed for, make sure any “shrink to fit” options are disabled and that page scaling is set to 100%.
Some printers are preset to auto-correct colors (aka: color correction or photo fix). With printables, it’s generally a good idea to turn off any auto-correction options. However, in some cases when your printer is printing the colors too light, you might want to turn it ON! For my particular printer, the color fix makes the colors more vibrant/dark.
The default settings on my printer force a white edge/border around print files. I don’t like that! So I make sure to switch the settings to “Borderless” so that the monthly calendars (for example) will print to the very edge of the paper (as they were designed to).
TROUBLESHOOT PDF PRINTING
For optimal performance, the latest version of Adobe Reader is required. The Adobe Reader software is needed to properly print our PDF files. You can download the software for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
MAC USERS: Apple’s default PDF viewer (“Preview”), does not play well with text editable PDF files. If your Mac is set to automatically open PDF files in the default program, do not double-click the files to open. Instead, launch the Adobe Reader application and open your files from within the program.
If you’re already using Adobe Reader and still experience printing problems, please review this troubleshooting guide for Adobe Acrobat Reader.