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How to Align the Print Cartridges

  • PrintPrint


When would you want to align the print cartridges?

  • As a final step in setting up your printer.
  • Whenever you install a new print cartridge.
  • If the colored ink and black ink do not line up on the printed page.
  • If you have deleted and reinstalled the printer driver software.


The following instructions explain how to align the print cartridges in your HP DeskJet printer. If Windows 2000 is not your operating system skip to the Instructions below the Win 2000 segment.

Win 2000

If the print driver from the Add Printer Wizard was installed in Windows 2000 the alignment is done in the printer Properties. Click Start, Settings, and Printers. Right click on the HP DeskJet icon. Select Properties and click on Services. The print cartridges can be aligned by selecting Align the Print Cartridges.


Aligning the print cartridges

You must use the printer software to align the print cartridges. This will ensure that the black and colored inks are aligned when they are used together on the same line of text or within the same picture.
  1. Make sure the printer is turned on and the Power light is lit.
  2. Be sure the printer's IN tray contains plain paper. Do not waste your HP Photo Paper or other specialty papers by using them to align the cartridges.
  3. Double-click the HP Toolbox icon. In Windows 95, 98, or NT 4.0, double-click the HP DeskJet 8xxC Series Toolbox icon on the Windows desktop. In Windows 3.1x, double-click the HP DeskJet 8xxC Series Toolbox icon in the HP DeskJet 8xxC program group.
    Figure 1: HP DeskJet Toolbox icon
  4. Select the Printer Services tab and then click Align the print cartridges.
    Figure 2: HP DeskJet Toolbox
  5. On the Printer Services tab of the Toolbox, click Align the print cartridges. The following screen will appear:
    Figure 3: Align Print Cartridges message
  6. Click Align to begin aligning the cartridges. A page will print that looks like the following example.
    Figure 4: Alignment page 1
  7. Examine the printed page and choose the best-aligned pattern in each of the four sets. The Align Print Cartridges screen will appear on your computer. On the computer, click the number and letter that correspond to the best-aligned pattern in each set that you chose on the printed page.
    Figure 5: Align Print Cartridges screen
  8. Click Continue. Your printer will print a page with two aligned patterns, a square and a cross. The lines in these patterns should be straight.
    Figure 6: Alignment page 2
  9. If the lines are straight, click Done. Otherwise, click Align to repeat the alignment.
    Figure 7: Align Print Cartridges final screen
  10. When you have completed aligning the cartridges, close the HP DeskJet Toolbox.

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