How to print on card

A reader wrote to PC Advisor to ask how they could print on card using their home printer. Here's how we fixed their problem. Also see: what's the best printer

Q "I’m trying to print a set of wedding place name cards on thin card, but am having trouble getting the card to pass through the printer. Sometimes it works, at others it doesn’t. I know the obvious answer is to use thinner card, but I have already purchased all my card. My printer is an HP DeskJet 2050. Do you have any thoughts?"

The first thing to check is that the weight of card stock you are using is within the specified limit of the printer. Sometimes printers have more than one paper tray and the maximum thickness of card supported can be different for individual trays, so even if your printer supports the thickness you have selected, you may not be able to just put it in your main paper tray like you would a stack of A4 sheets.

If you have a manual feed option, this is often the most tolerant of thicker stock as it requires less bending of the card and often allows a flat, ‘straight through’ path rather than following a U-shaped curve through the printer. Also see: what's the best budget printer

Printers are often able to automatically detect the type of paper you’re using and configure the printer accordingly, especially if you’re using official papers supplied by the printer manufacturer. In other cases, you may need to take a few steps to set it up yourself.

When printing, look for options that allow you to select the media type. If no card options are available, try looking for an envelope mode. Combining the thickest available media type selection with using the manual feed tray is your best chance of printing on your thick card.

Also check out our best mono laser printers and best multifunction printers.