print is offset every other line by 3 mm

Charles Curley charlescurley at
Sat Apr 28 18:40:05 MDT 2007

On Fri, Apr 27, 2007 at 09:45:12AM -0600, Jeff Schroeder wrote:
> > What might cause printing to a DeskJet 500 (ancient device, I know)
> > to offset every other line by about 3 millimeters? It's as if
> > something is making every other line indent.
> If I remember my DeskJet 500 from 30 years ago (or so it seems, heh) it 
> printed bidirectionally-- it would print a line from left to right, and 
> then the next line from right to left.  I would guess what's happening 
> in your case is when the second line is being printed, the head is 
> slightly off at the start (right edge) and by the time it gets back to 
> the left edge it's still off.  Then somehow it resets itself before 
> printing the next (left-to-right) line.
> Just a guess, of course.  I'm not sure what you can do about it, though.  
> A printer that old is probably best replaced by a new $70 laser printer 
> or something. :)

If it works, don't fix it.

I remember this problem

There is a command in HP's PCL ("Printer Control Language??) to tell a
Deskjet to print monodirectionally. You may also be able to set it
from the control panel.

There may also be a way to specify the offset between the two
directions of travel. If so, I would prefer this solution, as it
minimizes wear.


Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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