printing on 3x5 cards

How does anyone print onto a 3x5 card? I have a pack of Oxford white index cards that are 3 to a page in 8.5x11 format but they were pricey and there is a lot of waste of card stock along the sides once you punch them out. Does anyone actually print directly onto 3x5 cards? What kind of printer are you using? Any printers that couldn't do it? Any printer that can? Before I go playing around with various printers I thought I would search the collective wisdom here. Thanks.

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Canon Pixma MP-780

I have a Canon all-in-one kind of inkjet photo-printer that does a great job.

Are you looking to buy a printer ? If so, I'd suggest one capable of doing photos 'cause it should be able to handle the smaller paper sizes.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

photo printer

I never thought of using the photo printer. I have one that I regularly use to print 3x5 photos. It never occurred to me to run index cards through it. Talk about stuck in a rut...

watch the minimum printable stats

My photo printer only goes down to 3.5" by 5" ... so I either have to hand feed them or switch to 4x6. I opted for just hand writing everything on them... and only hand-fed the few that I really wanted (like the GTD flowchart). :)

The websites for the various manufacturers do a pretty decent job of giving all the stats for each model. Just watch the minimums :D
my artwork


I have an Epson All-in-One type printer (CX4700 maybe?)and if you look at the specs and print options it only prints down to 3.5x5 as well. BUT, you can put a stack of 3x5s in the feeder and it pulls them through and prints on them fine. The hipster templates print left-justified by default, so it wouldn't be printing on the 1/2" that isn't there anyway. It never even knows I fooled it!

Gotta be smarter than you printer :-)



My paper guides don't get close enough... so I always end up with them feeding through crooked if I don't guide them myself. :(

my artwork

gang them up

You could always gang up several 3X5 cards on one larger sheet and then cut them.


Probably any Canon Pixma

I've got two Canon Pixma printers-- an iP3000 and an MP 170. Both can print on 3x5s and even business cards! I bought my 3000 back in 2005 when my ancient Epson ink cost more than that printer. ;-) It does duplex, tiny cards, and does a great job at it all--and it comes with four separate carts for ink! Canon stopped making them, but if you can find one used on eBay for a good price (I would say $50 or maybe $70 or less), it would be a good choice. What's funny is that I bought mine as a "throw-away" to use for the few remaining monts we were in the States, and then leave it behind, but I love it so much, I packed it and brought it back overseas with us!

The MP 170 is also a fine multi-function, and while it prints on 3x5 cards, it tends to cut off margins, but otherwise, it handles them just fine.

And from all I've read, just about all Pixmas deal with them, and can even print onto business cards--but check the specs before you put down the cash.

Oh, and I eventually found the following on Merlin Mann's 43 Folders:

Turns out he loves the iP3000 too! ;-)


Canon Pixma IP 3000

I too bought the Pixma IP 3000, and on the Merlin Mann review/recommendation, and it's functioned flawlessly for 2 years on the 3x5s. Yes, Canon no longer makes it, but if I were looking now I would look at Pixma inkjets first.

Media Size


If you are considering buying a printer, go online and read its manual before you buy it. In the manual they will list the sizes and weights of papers they can print to. Many of them won't go as small as 3x5. Some stop at 3.5x5.

I have an HP laserjet 1200 that will accept 3x5 cards in the paper tray but not the manual feed. It will, however, accept 4.25x5.5 paper in the manual feed.

My Konica Minolta Magicolor 2400W won't do 3x5 cards at all.


Hi Shris I too have a

Hi Shris
I too have a laserjet 1200 and am desperate to print to 6x4 cards. The problem I am having is that the HP does not seem to understand that the cards are in the middle of the feeder and seems to assume everything is on the left of the feeder. This means prints are cut off. I've also found that I cannot print to cards using the HP driver but have to set it to a generic postscript. I am using a Mac+Word by the way.

I'd be very grateful if you could share your settings for getting it to work on an HP.


Custom paper size


You have to create a custom paper size. Go into the printing preferences, click the "Paper" tab, and click the "Custom" button. Give the size a name, set the dimensions, and click Save.

My laserjet always assumes the paper is centered, but you have to use the correct paper size when you're setting up your print job. If it thinks you're using a letter size sheet, it will print your image at the top left, rather than in the middle.

So when you're in OOo or Word or Excel or whatever you use, you have to use Page Setup to define the page as your custom size, and when you go to print, you have to set the custom size again. Then it will come out right for you.


That worked for me too. What

That worked for me too. What I did for 3x5 cards was to define the custom page as 8.5" wide by 5" tall, and then set the left margin to 2.75" which centers the 3x5 area. For different size cards, of course use the appropriate measure (e.g., for 4x6 portrait the left margin would be 2.25").


printing on index cards

YOU HAVE SAVED MY SANITY!! I have a Brother HL-2040 and an Photosmart printer and was trying to print on 4x6 cards....I thought both printers were BROKEN for, even though I figured out how to get them to feed the cards, nothing printed on them.
I scheduled a 'house-call' from my Mac guru (@$125 an hour), but before he got here I decided to try to 'google' the problem... and lo and behold this forum showed up...
and it was a SIMPLE matter of formatting the regular letter size page!
I had set the paper size as 4x6 card-stock in 'Page Setup'.... instead, thanks to you, I learned I had to set the paper size as 8 1/2 x 11 and then adjust margins...
You not only saved my sanity, but some $$$$$$$$$ also!!

Hi, I've had success with

Hi, I've had success with this problem, not with a Mac but with a PC. I just use a full page in my word processing program and set the margins in until the only available area is the same as my little card. You have to adjust the top margin to nearly zero and make sure to bring the bottom margin up a LOT so you won't run off the end of the card with your text or graphic. Then set your font, bold, etc. and go! The printer then accommodates the centering feature of your paper guides. It works the same for greeting cards with blank insides, Christmas cards, off-size envelopes, everything! Hope this helps.

Printer Driver Issue

In my experience, if the printer/printer-driver has a custom paper size feature, then printing onto index cards is no problem.
When you have equipment that was not meant to print on cards and you try a work-around, that is when things get ... interesting.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

I've had some limited

I've had some limited success with my HP LaserJet 2100M. Some templates print OK, some print too far to the left. Also, I have to manual feed one card at a time. Any more than that and the printer sucks in a stack of 10 or so and they get (big surprise) all jammed up inside.

Canon Pixma ip1600

I got a Canon Pixma 1600 for $17.95 at Fry's when they were selling them out to make room for the 1700. It works great on index cards, and I got one for my office and one for home so I can print these puppies wherever I am!

cool i have one at home

cool i have one at home

Epson R220 works like a champ

After some experimentation, I was able to get any of the templates to print on a 3x5 card without clipping. I haven't been able to get true edge-to-edge even with borderless printing enabled, but by resizing the templates to 96% in Photoshop, they print perfectly!

Also, the smallest size that the printer dialog says I can go is 3.5 x 5, but I selected 4x6 and ran the cards through anyway. The printer doesn't know what size paper you have, and these only print in the "top left corner" of a full sheet anyway, so you could select 8.5 x 11 if you wanted and it wouldn't matter.

Index card feeder guide

I made a feeder guide for my 3x5 cards once since I didn't like the idea of hand feeding them to my Epson C65. Worked like a charm! :)

Constructing a feeder?

I had wondered if there was a way to extend or build up the right "wall" (for lack of a better term) of my printer tray so the cards would feed through properly, with no margin. I think I could come up with some sort of removeable wall extension for the tray but I have no idea how to keep the cards stable through the feeding process. When I hand feed them I have to hold them until I sense that the feeder has grabbed them tightly enough.

Did you have that problem and if so how does the feeder you constructed fix that?

HP LaserJet 6L

I also have an HP A516 photo printer. The smallest size it will do is 3.5x5 and I can't fake it out; this printer is smart enough to know when the paper is too small. I can print 3x5 pages on 4x6 index cards, though. The print quality is not so great. This printer was meant to print on photo paper, and the ink bleeds a bit on plain old index cards. It's slow, too. It will do in a crisis, but I prefer to use it to print spiffy covers (like the hPDA iPhone cover that Rollafool made!).

I also have an HP LaserJet 6L printer with maxed-out memory (9mb). It has run like a champ from day 1, and I've lugged it all over the country to print in unfriendly terrain. It will print 3x5 index cards; I load them in the envelope feeder, easy peasy. I'd be using it right now except my sister has "borrowed" that printer and left her Lexmark 6200 in its place.

Booo! The 6200 was a bear to set up, and it doesn't feed paper (even letter size) correctly. When I've exhausted these inkjet cartridges I'm going to buy a new inkjet printer. I like the way inkjet ink soaks into the paper. The toner from my 6L sits on top of the paper, and the toner will actually scrape off or rub off in extreme circumstances. Plus, I like the idea of printing in color! :-)

I'm thinking of replacing the Lexmark with another printer/scanner combo when it's time to buy new ink. The Canon Pixmas look very interesting. The cheap price and rave reviews make them sound like a smart choice.


The Canon Pixmas look very interesting. The cheap price and rave reviews make them sound like a smart choice.

While there is no such thing as a perfect printer, IMO, the Pixma series gets as close as you can. ;-) I have an iP3000 and an MP170, and love them both! In fact, my coworker was so impressed with how mine worked when he saw them in action, that he bought one, and has been more satisfied with it than any other printer he's owned--and he's had a bunch. ;-)

I remember when I bought my IP3000. I had gone to Office Max to get carts for my ancient Epson. Before I bought the carts, I looked at printers. Paid for my carts ($75) and while driving home, realized that the Pixma had cost a mere $79. Turned around, went back, got my money back, and went home with the Pixma, fully intending to use it for the few months I was in the States, and leave it behind when we came back to Poland. In the end, though, I sacrificed some clothes and other essential items to bring that printer back with me, I love it so much!

I can't imagine my ever doing that for another printer!


Brother + Canon

I have a Brother HL-1435 b&w laser that does 3x5s just fine. I do have to hand feed them, but otherwise it's easy. Depending on the template, I sometimes fiddle with the margins to make them come out as large as possible. Mostly I just use the 'fit to margins' option.

I also have a little portable i80 printer from Canon that does a great job of color 3x5s (it's an inkjet printer). The biggest problem is that, since it's a portable, the carts are really really small and therefore a tad costly. Still nice for the occasional indulgence in a color index card.

Samsung ML-1710

I use a Samsung ML-1710 b&w laser printer. It has a front feeder with a centering slider that goes down to envelope size, so I can feed single 3x5s and 4x6s through there. The tray also has sliders for when I need to print a whole stack of cards.

You can pop the back open so that the cards come out before going through the last 180-degree turn, which gives them less of a curl.

I think these are probably pretty standard features for mid-range laser printers, so you should shop around.


Printing on a Lexmark X-85

I print on 3x5 cards now a lot even though I was scared to try it. I still feed them in one at a time to avoid any jamming. I have a Lexmark X-85. Hope that helps!

"To fly, we must have resistance."

Printing 3x5

I am using an HP PhotoSmart 4280 "all in one" with good success. The cards print almost borderless and align easily on the right hand guide. I may have had to set up a custom form, but it was not a big deal. I bought this dude for around $59 at Staples.

I used excel to build the template and it worked quite nicely.

Happy day


Did you have to feed them

Did you have to feed them one at a time?

Bro MFC-8460 does it but...

I've been disappointed by the lack durability of laser printer ink from my machine. I've had to hand-draw some of the cards I use the most for longer utility.

Printing Directly onto 3 x 5 Cards

I've been doing this for years using the cannon BJC-85 which can be purchased used through Ebay for around $90. New it was $300. It works great.

Kodak AIO

My Kodak printer is also really versatile as far as custom pages. It also has a seperate photo tray that works beautifully and will print 3x5.

Plus the ink is REALLY cheap ($27.99 for a package of both black & color cartridges - less than I spent for ONE black cartridge for my old Lexmark)and it prints better than any printer I've had before.

I did have one problem with the printer head, but apparently it was a widespread problem, and they sent me a new one plus black and color cartridges free of charge (not even shipping). Since they replaced the head for me, it's working better than ever. I love it.

(I swear I'm not plugging here, but I use my printer A LOT and I'm extremely happy with it.)

Which model Kodak printer, please ?

Always love an honest product endorsement
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

All In One Easy Share 5100

It's one of the less expensive models, and as I said before, it's the best printer I've ever had.


I just use a basic, cheap HP printer. It only cost me $40 at Wal*Mart and I've never had a problem with it. I have printed on 3x5 cards, 4x6 card, 5.5x8 paper. I am even able to set it to print onto completely custom paper size, like 5x6 (for 3x5 card booklets :)

3*5 cards

I would like to know how to print recipies on 3*5 index cards??

As it was said before


You would input your recipes into a word processor like Open Office Writer or Microsoft Word then you format the page size to 5X3 (landscape) print to your index card.
You might want to format the page size before you start typing.