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HP Color LaserJet 5550 Series Printer - Image Formation Troubleshooting
The image formation system is the central hub of the printer. During image formation, an image of colored toner is formed and then fused onto the paper. The image formation system consists of the following physical components:
Before beginning image formation troubleshooting, check that the media meets the specifications listed in the HP LaserJet Printer Family Print Media Specifications Guide .
Print quality problems associated with media
Some print quality problems arise from use of inappropriate media.
Overhead transparency defects
Overhead transparencies may display any of the image quality problems that any other type of media will cause, as well as defects specific to printing on transparencies. In addition, because transparencies are pliable while in the print path, they are subject to being marked by the media-handling components.
Allow transparencies to cool at least 30 seconds before handling them.
Print quality problems associated with the environment
Print quality problems associated with jams
Print quality troubleshooting pages
The print quality troubleshooting pages provide information on aspects of the printer that affect print quality.
The messageappears on the display until the printer finishes printing the print quality troubleshooting information. The printer returns to the state after printing the print quality troubleshooting information.
The print quality troubleshooting information includes one page for each color (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), printer statistics related to print quality, instructions on interpreting the information, and procedures to solve print quality problems.
If following the procedures recommended by the print quality troubleshooting pages do not improve print quality, go to http://www.hp.com/support/clj5500 for the HP Color LaserJet 5500 or http://www.hp.com/support/clj5550 for the HP Color LaserJet 5550.
Understanding color variations
The printed output might not match the computer screen, and the colors printed on successive pages might not match. While color variations are inherent in this printing method, they can indicate changes in the printing environment, print media, or printer components.
Print quality troubleshooting tool
The print quality troubleshooting tool is available to users and service personnel to help identify and troubleshoot print quality issues for the HP Color LaserJet 5500 and HP Color LaserJet 5550 printers. The tool is designed to provide intuitive, step-by-step instructions for printing PQ troubleshooting pages. It suggests solutions for eight print quality issues using standard images to ensure that the support agent and the user have a common diagnostic method for isolating the print quality issue.
The print quality troubleshooting tool is available at the following Web sites:
You can also access the print quality troubleshooting tool by going to http://www.hp.com and following these steps.
Common causes of color variation
The following list outlines the major causes of color variations between computers, applications, and output devices.
Color selection process
The user selects the color in the application, but the operating system might convert or modify some characteristics of the color before sending the information to the printer driver. The printer driver might also modify color characteristics depending upon the selected output mode.
Any color characteristics not addressed by the printer driver or applications are set to the printer default. The default color might not match the color the user selected.
The user can match colors using Pantone(R)* color matching systems or swatch book color matching.
PANTONE(R)* color matching
PANTONE(R)* has multiple color matching systems. PANTONE(R)* Matching System is very popular and uses solid inks to generate a wide range of color hues and tints. See http://www.hp.com for details on how to use PANTONE(R)* Matching System with this printer.
Swatch book color matching
The process for matching printer output to preprinted swatch books and standard color references is complex. In general, you can obtain a reasonably good match to a swatch book if the inks used to create the swatch book are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. These are usually referred to as process color swatch books.
Some swatch books are created from spot colors. Spot colors are specially created colorants. Many of these spot colors are outside of the gamut of the printer. Most spot color swatch books have companion process swatch books that provide CMYK approximations to the spot color.
Most process swatch books will have a note on what process standards were used to print the swatch book. In most cases they will be SWOP, EURO, or DIC. To get optimal color matching to the process swatch book, select the corresponding ink emulation from the printer menu. If you cannot identify the process standard, use SWOP ink emulation.
This section includes information on ways to produce the best possible color prints.
HP ImageREt 3600
HP ImageREt 3600 is a technology that provides you with the best color print quality without having to change driver settings or make trade-offs between print quality, performance, and memory. HP ImageREt 3600 produces photorealistic images.
HP ImageREt 3600 provides 3600 dpi color laser-class quality through a multilevel printing process. This process precisely controls color by combining up to four colors within a single dot and by varying the amount of toner in a given area. As a result, ImageREt 3600, together with the 600-by-600 dpi engine resolution, creates millions of smooth colors.
For the best color and image quality, select the appropriate media type from the printer menu or from the front panel.
Standard red-green-blue (sRGB) is a world-wide color standard originally developed by HP and Microsoft as a common color language for monitors, input devices (scanners, digital cameras), and output devices (printers, plotters). It is the default color space used for HP products, Microsoft operating systems, the World Wide Web, and most office software sold today. sRGB is representative of the typical Windows PC monitor today and the convergence standard for high-definition television.
The latest versions of Adobe PhotoShop, CorelDRAW, Microsoft Office, and many other applications use sRGB to communicate color. Most importantly, as the default color space in Microsoft operating systems, sRGB has gained broad adoption as a means to exchange color information between applications and devices using a common definition that assures typical users will experience greatly improved color matching. sRGB improves your ability to match colors between the printer, the PC monitor and other input devices (scanner, digital camera) automatically, without the need to become a color expert.
Color options enable optimal color output automatically for diverse types of documents.
Color options use object tagging, which allows optimal color and halftone settings to be used for different objects (text, graphics, and photos) on a page. The printer driver determines which objects are used on a page and uses halftone and color settings that provide the best print quality for each object. Object tagging, combined with optimized default settings, produces great color out of the box.
In the Windows environment, the Automatic and Manual color options are on the Color tab in the printer driver.
Setting color options to Automatic will typically produce the best possible print quality for color documents. However, there may be cases when you want to print a color document in grayscale (black and white) or wish to change one of the printer’s color options.
Print in Grayscale
Selecting the Print in Grayscale option from the printer driver prints a document in black and white. This option is useful for previewing preliminary copies of slides and hardcopy output, or for printing color documents that will be photocopied or faxed.
Automatic or manual color adjustment
The Automatic color adjustment option optimizes the neutral gray color treatment, halftones, and edge enhancements used for each element in a document. For more information, see your printer driver online Help.
Automatic is the default setting and is recommended for printing all color documents.
The Manual color adjustment option allows you to adjust the neutral gray color treatment, halftones, and edge enhancements for text, graphics and photographs. To access the Manual color options, from the Color tab, select Manual , then Settings .
Manual color options
Manual color adjustment allows you to adjust the Color (or Color Map) and Halftone options individually for text, graphics, and photographs.
Some applications convert text or graphics to raster images. In these cases, the Photographs settings will also control text and graphics.
Halftone options affect the resolution and clarity of your color output. You can select halftone settings for text, graphics, and photographs independently. The two halftone options are Smooth and Detail .
The Neutral Grays setting determines the method used for creating gray colors used in text, graphics, and photographs.
Two values are available for the Neutral Grays setting:
The Edge Control setting determines how edges are rendered. Edge control has two components: adaptive halftoning and trapping. Adaptive halftoning increases edge sharpness. Trapping reduces the effect of incorrect color plane registration by overlapping the edges of adjacent objects slightly.
Four levels of edge control are available:
Two values are available for the RGB Color setting:
Adjusting color balance
This printer features automatic color calibration to provide high-quality color output. In situations that require critical color control, you can manually adjust the density balance of the printer's four toner colors. The available range for each color is from -5 to +5. The default value is 0.
This procedure should only be performed by your network administrator. Performing this procedure changes the color balance of the printer by altering halftones and affects all print jobs.
To adjust color density