Frequently Asked Questions: Printing

This FAQ is for common questions that we get regarding how best to print the templates out. Please read this FAQ page in conjunction with your printer manual for the best results.

  1. I can't open these PDF files. What gives?

    Please make sure you are using Adobe Acrobat 6.0 or above. It should work fine with Apple Preview, xPDF and various other viewers, but these have not been thoroughly tested.

  2. Which paper should I choose for best results?

    We recommend a 'Bright White' inkjet paper (this type of paper works in laser printers and photocopies too.). The templates generally look best when printed on paper that has a brightness of 90+ and a weight of 24 lb (90 gsm). For the covers, try a good quality varnished or coated (shiny) card stock of 100lb (270 gsm) weight or higher.

  3. ...and card for the Hipster?

    You should certainly use coated (or otherwise hi-res) card stock. If not, you will experience some muddiness and bleeding of ink, making it difficult to read the small fonts. For example, we find 110lb (280-300 gsm) bright white card stock is absolutely perfect on one side (the one with the best coating), and very good on the other. However, the generic index (record) cards we picked up at the local department store result in small type that is almost illegible.

  4. What is the minimum printer resolution you recommend?

    Because of the small fonts and subtle greys you should use a fairly high resolution when printing, at least 600 dpi. However it is equally important to bear in mind the quality of coating on the paper. Too high a dpi can be as bad as too low.

  5. Should I print the Hipster cards as single-side or double-sided pages?

    This is certainly up to you. Personally, we like to use both sides since we don't like to waste space, especially in a small pack with thick cards. Certain cards also make more sense double-sided, like the 'flip-it' version of the monthly calendar. You can also mix and match. For example, you can print the *Project* template on one side and a *Notes* grid on the other.

  6. When I print cards double-sided, they don't line up exactly. What am I doing wrong?

    Chances are, you're doing nothing wrong. Most consumer printers are imprecise and will often slip up to 1/8th of an inch (3mm). One rarely notices this with a full, regular size page. But since the Hipster PDA Edition is so exact with regard to spacing and margins you may notice that the templates are a tiny bit off (and, on the 4-up, you'll see a few grey outlines overlapping onto regular card space). This is difficult to avoid unless you have a professional or high-end printer.

  7. Why do solid lines disappear or appear broken when I print the forms?

    The cause of your problem is probably low printer resolution (generally under 600dpi for a Laser, or 1200dpi for an inkjet) or a dirty head/fuser unit. It should be noted that because most black inks are carbon-based (not dye-based) some inkjets use a lower resolution (720-750dpi) jet plate on the black head. When the printer is set to 'Forced Greyscale' the colour set is disabled and only black is used. You save on colour ink but lose on gradients and fine lines. Missing lines could also mean you are running out of ink, or that your heads might need cleaning.

  8. Help! My templates are too light/dark!

    Your problem is because of a wide range of tonal varieties in printers. For example, we've noticed that some templates are a little dark on an HP laser printer, but rather light on a Canon inkjet. When possible, the designer has tried to come to a compromise. Make sure your printer is set to 'plain paper' ('Normal' on some printers), as a setting for higher-quality or coated paper may be overloading the paper with ink. If it continues to be a big problem, we suggest going into your printer settings and looking for a way to lighten or darken the prints. D*I*Y Planner 3.0 contains a printer calibration form (the FrankenForm) to help with this task.

  9. Why do my hPDA cards print so murky?

    You may be using a printer with a low resolution (under 600dpi) or you might be using uncoated card stock (or both). A good test of printing is the *Getting Things Done Quick Reference Card*. Print it on both sides of your card; a coated stock should show very crisp text, and the colours (or grey-tones) and blacks shouldn't bleed. You may also wish to try printing using the 'Plain Paper' setting, as this often lays down less ink and does not saturate porous card stock.

  10. Why do my templates have a purple/green tint in some lighting conditions?

    Glad you asked. The effect known as 'metamerism' is well known in the professional printing industry, and the most likely cause is interferometric attenuation of the CMY ink/toner set. If you don't understand this, just nod your head knowingly, and set your printer to use the 'forced greyscale' setting.

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