Quick Tips on How to Clear a Paper Jam

Fixing a paper jam on a Sharp copier or printerPaper jams are probably the original battle between man and machine. They usually occur at the most inopportune times, too – like right before a big event or meeting.

As a copier and printer technician for more than 25 years, I’ve seen quite a few paper jams. If you need to get one cleared as fast as possible, try these quick tips. Although I work mainly on Sharp copiers and printers, many of these ideas will work with any brand.

5 Ways to Fix a Paper Jam on a Sharp Printer

  1. Make sure the paper is loaded correctly into the drawers. I know this sounds elementary, but improperly loaded paper has been the cause of many a paper jam.
  2. Try fresh paper. If the paper in the copier hasn’t been used for a while, particularly in the summer, the paper is more likely to get jammed.
  3. Fan the paper before you load it. Paper that’s been separated will run through the machine better. Also, when you open a new ream, run your thumb through it to get rid of any glue from the wrapper.
  4. Check the paper quality. I invite you to read my recent blog post on why paper quality matters, but here are the basics. Poor quality paper is not uniformly cut and contains high amounts of moisture and dust. When you use cheap paper, what you end up with is curled paper, dusty machines and lots of jams. You get what you pay for.
  5. Try a different paper drawer. If you can’t get something to print from the main drawer, use a different one. Don’t forget to change the location in the print dialog box on your computer.

Common Mistakes People Make When Clearing Paper Jams

When paper is jammed way down in the copier, you will need to follow the directions on the display to get it out. Again, I know this is elementary, as all Sharp printers (and most other brands) will walk you through removing a paper jam. However, there are a few things you should not do:

  • Do not open doors and start ripping things out. Paper should always run in a certain direction. If you pull it back, you end up pulling things backwards that are not meant to go backwards. So, always follow the directional arrows on the user-friendly knobs. On a Sharp, they are colored bright green or blue.
  • Do not use sharp objects to remove paper. It can cause further damage. Even jewelry can inadvertently damage a printer.

If you still cannot find the problem, it’s time to call a service tech. Pick-up rollers, feed rollers, clutches and drive mechanisms do wear out, so that may be the case. Businesses and organizations in Canton, Akron, Toledo and other parts of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania can contact us. Our service technicians are happy to help!

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Five Reasons to Add a Content Management System to Active Directory

Active Directory and CMSMany of my clients are familiar with and use Microsoft Windows active directory tools. However, for those who may be wondering what active directory is, I’ll give a quick overview. Then, I’ll provide five reasons why you should incorporate a content management system with active directory for a higher level of document security.

What Is Active Directory?

Essentially, active directory is a directory service that functions as a central clearinghouse for all authentication and authorization transactions by user, computer, printer and/or group. A system administrator can use it to control access to folders, documents, software installation, updates and more based on various security identifiers.

How a CMS and Active Directory Work TogetherThis management tool, when it first came out with Windows NT (remember that?), was cutting edge, and it still is. However, it does have some drawbacks:

  • You can only allow or disallow access to documents.
  • It’s hard to track or audit who is accessing documents and what they are doing with them.
  • People that have “read only” access can still open that document and email/print/save it another version, or convert it to a PDF, before modifying it.
  • Individuals with full control can easily (albeit accidentally or purposely) destroy or delete the document.

Why Use a CMS with Active Directory?

One of the best ways to overcome the active directory drawbacks and improve your document security is by adding a content management system, or CMS, into the process. When the two work in tandem, you get:

  • Much finer granularity in permissions. The CMS offers more than a dozen permissions, as opposed to just read/write within the Windows environment.Content Management System plus Active Directory
  • A detailed audit log for tracking exactly what users are doing to documents (i.e., printing, emailing, modifying, etc.).
  • A system that ties easily into your current active directory environment for easy administration. It allows for “single sign-on” ability, meaning there’s no need for maintenance of users within the system. Individuals just log into a PC and the system knows who they are and what they are permitted to do.
  • The ability to allow/disallow a variety of actions (such as modify, email, print, view, delete and more) down to the individual user level.
  • The option to create a new version of a modified document, so that you never lose your original, no matter what permissions the end user has.

The combination of CMS and active directory are ideal if you do a lot of document scanning and management with your copiers and printers. If your business is located in Canton, Akron, Toledo or elsewhere in Ohio, contact me. I’d be happy to discuss in more detail how these two systems can work together to make your documents safer.

How to Print a Single Envelope from Word using a Sharp Copier

Sometimes you just want simple. Like an “old-fashioned” cell phone that just made calls. Or a remote control with three functions: power, channels and volume. Or Internet dial-up with AOL. (Well, maybe not that last one.)

For example, perhaps you need to print one envelope only, not an entire mail-merged list. If you own a Sharp copier or printer, I’ve got good news for you. This process truly is simple. Here’s how…

On your computer:

  1. Open a new Word document.
  2. If you have an older version of Word (prior to 2007), select “Tools,” then “Letters and Mailings” and then “Envelopes and Labels.” In newer versions of Word, click on the “Mailings” tab and select “Envelopes.”
  3. Type the delivery address and return address in the appropriately labeled boxes.
  4. Click on the “Options” button and go to the “Envelope Options” tab. There you can select the envelope size, as well as bar-coding and fonts.
  5. Now switch to the “Printing Options” tab and under “Feed Method,” select second-to-last icon (envelope image face-down in center of box) and choose “Bypass Tray” under the “Feed From” option.
  6. Click the OK button to process these settings. You’ll be returned to the “Envelopes and Labels” box.
  7. If you want to print just one envelope with these addresses, click “Print.”

However, if you want to print multiple envelopes with the same address and return address, follow steps 1 through 6 and then:

  • Click on “Add to Document” in the “Envelopes and Labels” box and click “No” when the pop-up message appears.
  • In the document, place your cursor on the return address. The cursor should be blinking.
  • Select “File” and then “Print.” Under “Page Range,” select “Current Page,” and under “Copies,” enter the number of copies you want to make. Click “OK” to process these settings.

At the Sharp Multi-function Printer:

  1. Add one or more envelopes in the designated position on the bypass tray.
  2. Touch “Paper Select” on the LCD panel and then the paper type in the button under bypass.
  3. Touch “Envelope,” then “COM-10” and then “OK” twice. The bypass is now set for envelopes.
  4. When you’re finished printing, return the “Paper Select” option to original set-up after printing is complete.

At Copeco, we provide training for our customers on how to use a wide variety of functions and features of Sharp office equipment. If you’d like to learn more, contact us.