Office Copier Tips

Office Copier Tips

How it works?

First things first. That is, how does a photocopier work? The mechanics or the electronics are simple. It just projects light on the document placed on the glass plate and then the toner is transfer on the drum which then clings to the image area of the paper and reproduces it. Or rather, photocopies it.

Paper Quality

Less expensive paper has less of a structured grain pattern and feels slick to the touch. It is also generally of substandard weight/thickness and won’t be as bright in colour. Also, a copier needs a strong paper which low quality paper lacks. Use only good quality branded paper.

Condition of Paper

Moisture in paper may cause your copier to jam. To eliminate this problem, always reseal the paper package if you don’t use the entire ream.

Proper Paper Handling

Proper paper handling is essential. Settle your paper against a flat surface being careful not do damage the leading edge of the paper. Fan the stack of paper also, this provides a layer of air between each of paper and therefore limits the possibility of mis-feeding or double feeding. Fill the cassette a maximum 3/4 Full.


Use the A4 tray or the by-pass tray. When there is no A4 tray make sure there is paper (no more than 20/30 sheets) in the by-pass tray (this is a pull down tray and is situated to the right hand side of most photocopying machines.)

If the copier you are using does have an A4 tray, select A4 on the paper source display, if it does not, and you have loaded the by-pass tray with paper, you’ll need to select it. This is usually illustrated on the display panel by an arrow and 2 lines.

Having calculated (using the size panel on the left-hand side of the copier glass) what size your current document is, you will then need to choose the correct zoom reduction percentage. For example if your current document is A3 and you wish to reduce it to A4 then you’ll need to select A3>A4 reduction. When this is chosen, you should have 71% in the display panel.

Use the Green button to copy. 


To make an enlargement from an A4 to A3, first select A3 paper in the paper source display.

Select the correct zoom enlargement; in this case A4>A3. You should now have 141% in the display panel.

Place you A4 original on the copier, against the A4 mark on the size panel (left hand side of the copier glass top.)

Use the Green button to copy.


Prevent paper jams/ misfeeds:

Sometimes paper jams on photocopiers can’t be avoided due to one reason or another. However you can prevent them from occurring as often by following a few rules.

Do not photocopy with the lid up. This can cause paper jams, plus it isn’t very good for your eyes/head.

Place your original right up against the left-hand side of the glass top.

Paper that hasn’t been ‘fanned’ properly and not placed correctly within the paper tray is more likely to jam.

Finally, when the photocopier does jam, please do not try to fix it yourself. Unless one of your staff has been trained in the correct procedure, costly damage can occur to the inside of the copier that could put the copier out of order. Until it can be fixed, one less copier – longer wait to use one.


Sometimes you may find your copies will need to be adjusted in tone. To do this you will need to use the Lighter/Darker control on the display panel.

Clean your glass copy area frequently.

Don’t allow staples, paper clips, or anything else that could scratch your glass copy area near it! Scratches create permanent lines on your copies.

Install a high-grade surge protector and use a dedicated outlet for your copier. Lightning and power surges can blow out sensitive electronic circuits.

Press the Reset Button. This simple step will solve many copier problems.

Shake all toner cartridges before installing in copier.

Clean up any toner spills immediately. Loose toner can find its way around the inside of the machine causing bad copy quality and the possibility of shorting electrical circuits.

Clean scan glass with a wax/anti-static cleaner.

Properly ground your copier for the best operation.

Do not place copier near a window with a lot of sunlight.

Keep all staples and paper clips away from your copier to avoid drum damage.

Please assist us by having any relevant information at hand, such as error codes, advising us where a paper jam may have occurred, etc.

Office hassles are bad enough without adding photocopying problems to them. With regular maintenance and care, your photocopier should give you trouble free performance.