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I have an HP Photosmart A646 printer that I bought in the hopes of printing to 5x7 card stock. We have pre-printed card stock that we use for gift certificates and we need to be able to feed the card stock through this printer for printing the name, address and gift certificate amount on the card stock. I have tried every all 4 types of 5x7 paper choices available to me in the print dialog box, HP Advanced Photo, HP Premium Photo, Other Plain, Other Photo. In all attempts, the printer just spits out the card stock and displays an error saying that the "page size or paper type is incorrect." The printer prints as expected to 4x6 photo paper and plain paper cut to 4x6 size. 5x7 has also printed as expected on plain paper cut to 5x7 but will not print to the 5x7 card stock. It's not really excessively thick card stock either... about the same as a 3x5 index card or "thick" photo paper. This is so frustrating because this printer was the answer to myneeds. I needed a compact printer that would print to 5x7 card stock so we can print our gift certificates easily when we travel. I'm assuming there must be some sort of sensor inside the printer that is making the determination that it doesn't like the card stock for some reason. Any ideas how to get this working for me? I've checked for driver updates; there are none. In fact, there is no driver even available for download as the driver is installed by the printer when hooked via USB to my MacBook with 10.6.6. I've got v1.1.0 of the driver installed. I've tried printing from various applications and browsers with the same result. It just won't print to my 5x7 card stock. I had a lengthy talk with an HP support tech but no solution was obtained. Somehow the printer is sensing the card stock and refusing to print to it. I guess I'm looking for a way to defeat the sensor or somehow trick the printer into accepting this card stock. HELP

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  • Michael Erb
    Michael Erb Mar 19, 2011

    The advice in this reply to my problem does not even apply to the printer I have. This is generic advice that may apply to some printers but not to the HP Photosmart A646.

    Please read my question carefully. There are only 4 paper types available. They are stated in my original question.

  • Michael Erb
    Michael Erb Mar 19, 2011

    Interesting concept that did not work.

    An interesting thing that I just discovered is that the card stock we use is dark colored one one side. When I flipped the stock around so that white side was going in the printer, the printer would print on it. So it's not the thickness that is the factor here, it is the color of the card stock. I then turned the card stock so that the dark color was going into the printer and in addition taped a one inch piece of white paper flush to the bottom and extending up the fron of the card stock about 1 " (the edge going into the printer). It printed this time just fine. So obviously there is an optical sensor of some sort in the printer that is the culprit. thank you for trying but I have stumbled upon the cause of the problem myself.


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This is a generic issue with all the card stocks specially if they are rough at one side and plain on the other side. By plain and rough I mean one side normal paper type and on the other side plastic quoted or very fine smooth paper. My advise is to try print on both the side and first time select normal paper and give a print out on smooth side then select card stock and try to print on smooth side only. and same way try to do for the other side also.

Posted on Mar 19, 2011

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Thanks for visiting FixYa!

Depending on the program you are using to print your gift certificates, try this-

1) Open the program and open the file you use for your gift certificate.
2) Click on 'Layout' then 'Page Set Up' (probably found in the top menu bar by the right side of, FILE.)
3) Select 'Landscape' and then select, 'Custom'.
4) Enter 5x7 for height and width.
5) Enter the information you need in the data field, (ie, name address, etc.)
6) Select, Print.
7) When the 'Print Manager' box opens, click on, 'Properties'.
8) Click on, 'Type' and choose, "Envelope'.
9) Click on, 'Size' and choose 5x7. - and click, OK.

Your printer should have a slide where the paper is inserted. Place one of the 5x7 cards in the slot just as you would an envelope and slide the slider until it is 'close' to the card but not directly against the card.

Click, 'Print'. The printer should recognize the card (due to its thickness) as an envelope and print it.

Posted on Mar 19, 2011

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Yes, sometimes you can trick the printer and sometimes not.

Set the printer to 5x7 paper size.

Then print multiple different copies (difference name and addresses), the first 1 use a plain paper and the succeeding use all the 5x7 card stock. Sometimes it work that feeds the 1st paper and it will continues through out.

Posted on Mar 19, 2011

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