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How do I print on envelopes?

Envelope printing is just a fairly simple everyday office task, right? Wrong. Envelope printing repeatedly causes problems for laser and inkjet printers, and here’s why…

As machines, printers struggle to understand the format of envelopes. From a printer’s perspective, an envelope appears to be a piece of paper with a flap that’s folded up a couple of times. This confuses the printer’s sensors, and often leads to mis-feeds and paper jams. Not good.

All this is, as you can appreciate, very frustrating. Who knew that trying to print on envelopes could be so problematic?!

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to prevent such issues.

As a general rule, you should always look to buy laser-approved envelopes made from 90gsm paper. Try to avoid envelopes with side seams, self-stick adhesive stripes, adhesives with ‘peelable’ strips, and of course, windows.

And you need to make sure that the size of envelope you are using is supported by your printer. When you’re choosing your printer, make sure that you thoroughly check all of this idea. If you first buy a small handful of envelopes before committing to a bulk amount, then you can do a couple of trial runs. That way, you won’t waste an unnecessary amount of money on envelopes.

With all of this taken into account, Hewlett Packard have launched an accessory envelope feeder which fits into the bypass tray of some of their printers, taking up to 75 envelopes (Laserjet M601 Envelope Feeder). Unfortunately, this item does come at a cost, and it’s not the cheapest, either. However, if you regularly print on envelopes, then this could be a worthwhile investment.

For more on printing, make sure you check out our YouTube channel where you’ll find loads of cool videos!

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