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HP Designjet 500 and 800 Series Printers - New Small Margins Feature

New Small Margins feature

A feature has been added to the HP Designjet 500 and 800 printers (including the HP Designjet cc800ps and 815mfp) that allows you to print on technical media using 5 mm (millimeter) margins.

This document explains how to use this new Small Margins feature, and also guides you through this new solution.

HP drivers, printers, and operating systems that support the Small Margins option

HP Drivers:
  • Supported driver - HP Designjet RTL and HP-GL/2 driver

  • Minimum supported version - v5.34 or higher

The following drivers are not supported:
  • HP Designjet PostScript printer drivers
  • Macintosh drivers
  • HP Designjet printer driver for AutoCAD 13/14
Supported printers:
  • HP Designjet 800

  • HP Designjet 800ps

  • HP Designjet 500 + HP-GL/2 card

  • HP Designjet 500ps + HP-GL/2 card

  • HP Designjet cc800ps and 815mfp

Supported operating systems:
  • Windows 95

  • Windows 98

  • Windows Me

  • Windows NT

  • Windows 2000

  • Windows XP

The Small Margins solution can be used to print from AutoCAD 2000 and AutoCAD 2002 through the HP Designjet RTL and HP-GL/2 driver.

Click here to download HP printer drivers at http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Home.jsp?locale=en_US.

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HP Designjet 500 and 800 printer firmware versions supported

The solution is supported as of the firmware version A.02.08. Please make sure that the printer has firmware versions A.02.08 or higher, on the following components.

For the HP Designjet 500 series + HP-GL/2 card:
  • Formatter code image

  • Engine code image

For the HP Designjet 800 series:
  • Hard disk image

  • Formatter code image

  • Engine code image

Click here to download the newest available firmware via the system maintenance tool at http://www.designjet.hp.com/home.html?pageseq=52699280.
  1. Select downloads from the left navigation bar.

  2. Under system maintenance, select the appropriate printer model.

  3. If registration appears, register now or select Skip Registration .

  4. Select the appropriate Operating system and firmware version to download.

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Media formats/types supported

Roll media is supported by the Small Margins feature, and Sheet media is not supported.
NOTE: The HP driver will automatically disable the Small Margins checkbox when the Sheet checkbox is selected.
The following HP Technical Media are supported by the Small Margins feature:
  • Tracing paper

  • Matte film

  • Clear film

  • Bright White paper

  • Coated paper
    NOTE: Other HP or Non-HP media types are not supported with the Small Margins feature. If a non-supported media is loaded into the printer, the printer will automatically adopt the Normal margins, regardless of the driver settings. See also the Limitations section below.

The different Small Margins scenarios

As with all the HP Designjet printers, you can select from the driver a standard size (that is, ISO A4), a custom page size, or oversize.

Here is a reminder about these three modes:
  • If you select standard size (for example ISO A4), the paper size will correspond to the defined standard (in this example ISO A4). This means that the printing area will correspond to the page size minus the margins.

  • If you select custom page size : same as for the standard size. The printing area will correspond to the page size (defined by the customer in this case) minus the margins.

  • If you select oversize (for example Oversize ISO A4): the paper size will correspond to the defined standard plus the margins, and in this mode, the printing area corresponds to the defined page size. See drawing below.

    Figure 1: ISO A4, Oversize ISO A4 example

    NOTE: The Small Margins feature is supported in all three modes. If selected, this feature will reduce the top and bottom margins to 5 millimeters. By default, the driver settings and the printer's settings are set to normal margins.
    Note:
    • The page size can be defined from the front panel or in the software. It may be called Page size, Media size, Paper size, etc., and the options include for example, ISO A3, ANSI Letter, Custom. If your software does not define the page size in the print file, the front-panel setting is used. Otherwise, the software setting overrides the front-panel setting.

    • Inked Area - is the smallest rectangle that contains the entire image.

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How to use small margins

Selecting a Standard or Custom paper size:
  1. Open the HP Designjet RTL and HPGL/2 driver (version 5.34 minimum).

  2. Make sure that roll media is selected (sheet is not supported).

  3. Choose a size (Standard or Custom) from the Basic Setup tab.

    In the example below, ISO A2 has been chosen to take advantage of the whole width of the chosen roll.

    Figure 2: Basic Setup tab

  4. Go to the Advanced tab.

  5. Verify that Maximum performance is chosen under Document processing .

    NOTE: Important: Small Margins will not be available if Avoid out of memory is selected.
  6. Select the Small Margins checkbox.

    Figure 3: Advanced tab

  7. Read the warning and click OK .

  8. Check that the right media type is loaded in the printer.

  9. If all the other settings are correct, click Print .

    As previously mentioned, in this case, the margins will be included within the page size limits, meaning that the Printing Area will correspond to the defined page size minus the margins (5 mm in top, bottom, left, and right margins).

Selecting an Oversize paper size:

Nevertheless, if you would like to make use of the Small Margins feature with the Oversize mode, that is also possible.
  1. Open the HP Designjet RTL and HPGL/2 driver (v 5.34 minimum).

  2. From the Basic Setup tab, choose an oversize page size (for example, OVERSIZE: Custom 410 X 410 mm ).

    Figure 4: Oversize page size example

    NOTE: Once an Oversize paper size is chosen, the Small Margins checkbox is disabled on the Advanced tab, as shown below.

    Figure 5: Small margins disabled

  3. Go to the printer's front panel and select the Paper menu icon, and then press Enter .

    Figure 6: Front panel display

  4. Using the arrow keys, scroll to Page format and press Enter .

  5. Scroll to Small Margins = OFF , and press Enter .

  6. Scroll to ON , and press Enter .

  7. Press the Back key twice to return to the main menu.

  8. Send the print job.

In this mode, the margins will be added to the page size, meaning that the printed document will have a size equal to the "page size reported by the driver" plus the "width of the margins."
NOTE: This method follows the general "oversize" method exactly. More explanation can be found in the driver's Help tab. Search for the keyword "Oversize."

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Limitations and potential issues

  • Minimum size of the image - due to the HP Designjet 500 and 800 hardware design, the image height has to be ISO A4 portrait minimum.

  • Quality deterioration in the first 12 mm of the print - due to poor media handling when the roll does not cover the whole vacuum area, it might be that the quality decreases slightly in the first 12 mm.

  • Variable top/bottom margin - in theory, the top and bottom margins may have a variation in some extremely rare cases of 1.5 millimeters.

  • Paper crashes if the environmental conditions are not met.

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Troubleshooting

On the front panel of the printer, when I go to Paper menu, Page format, I cannot find the Small Margins option.
  • Ensure roll media has been loaded and not a sheet.

  • Ensure a supported media type has been loaded.

  • Ensure the printer's firmware is A.02.08 or higher.

On the print, the bottom margin is much larger than 5 mm.
  • Ensure that the original file does not contain any white space.

I have an HP Designjet 500, and I cannot find the Small Margins checkbox, under the Advanced tab.
  • Ensure the HP-GL/2 card is installed in the HP Designjet 500, and use the HP Designjet 500 + HP-GL/2 card driver.

From the Basic Setup tab, I have chosen "Oversize," but I cannot select the Small Margins checkbox.
  • This is normal. Nevertheless, do not forget to select Small margins=ON through the printer's front panel (Paper menu, Page format).

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