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Printers and Troubleshooting Printing
Printers and Troubleshooting Printing

Help with PrintNode client, scaling, barcode quality, and more.

Updated over a week ago

Whether you can't get remote printing to work, nothing is printing, or if documents are printing off-page, perpendicular, or of poor quality, all of these issues are easily resolved by following these steps in order.

Step 1a. Disable "Skip Printer Prompt"

Always start by disabling the option to automatically skip printer selection. Manually selecting printers when debugging is important and required by all further steps.

  1. Click on Printing, then the Settings tab at the top to visit your Printing settings page.

  2. Look under the User Printers section and to disable the "skip printer prompt" toggle on the right for every user with printing issues.

  3. Click Save all changes at the top.

Step 1b. Verify that you are selecting the correct printer profile from the dropdown.

If your computer has "copy" profiles of a printer, you may be attempting to select the incorrect printer. When you are asked to choose a printer for a document, make sure you look through the dropdown list and are selecting the correct one.

Step 2. Does the PDF preview look correct?

Confirm that the "Local View/Print PDF" print option works for you. This option is made available when Skip printer prompt selection is disabled per user in the Printing settings page.

Does the "View Local PDF" preview appear blank?

This should be reported as your core issue. Send a copy of the URL to the team and let us take a look at the blank PDF as well as how to recreate the problem. Try to get the same PDF from another source (Seller Central / EasyPost / etc) for the same order. Send a copy of that PDF as well.

Does the "View Local PDF" preview appear correct before printing?

If not, you may have a template configuration issue.

Does the "View Local PDF" preview appear correctly oriented and correctly sized before printing?

If not, please correct the settings including unchecking "allow app to override these settings" if you're in Microsoft Edge.

After printing, does the orientation and size still appear correct as in the preview? If not, your printer's paper size is misconfigured and can be corrected with the solutions below.

Step 3. Verify that the SKULabs Print and Scale Client is installed correctly

The SKULabs Print and Scale client allows any device using SKULabs to send a link to a PDF / ZPL file directly to your computer. The client then uses your system default printer settings to print that file directly on your computer.

Make sure the SKULabs Print & Scale client is running on your device.

(Windows users only) Verify you did not install as a service

Do you remember if the SKULabs Print & Scale client was installed as a service? If you think it was installed as a service and you're not comfortable using the windows registry to change your printer settings (advanced IT staff only), you should uninstall then re-install the client as a standalone app.

Step 4a. If your print client is installed and you're having "computer offline" issues, make sure you're signed in to the SKULabs Print and Scale Client.

Log in using the username and password you see under Settings -> Printers

DO NOT use your SKULabs password here!

Step 4b. If your print client is installed and you're having double-printing issues, see our double-printing article.

Step 5. Ensure your systems default paper size and printing preferences are correct.

For most users, you can install and start printing out of the box. Occasionally, your printer may require additional time and configuration to get up and running, but once configured it is rare to have to revisit these settings.

Incorrectly configured system default paper size is the most common cause for print quality and size issues.

Ask yourself "Have I verified my operating system and SKULabs print and scale client have the correct paper size configured for the type of paper I have in my printer?"

If not, you must ensure system's default printer settings and paper size is configured within your operating system for SKULabs to work properly with your printer. See the instructions below:

Paper size configuration for Windows

You need to configure your Windows default printer settings. The SKULabs Print and Scale Client uses your system default printer settings for each printer. By default, Windows may not properly select the correct paper type for most label printers even if you install their drivers. Additional Windows Zebra and Dymo configuration options are available that control page margin and print quality. Creating a custom paper size may help solve the issue.​

Paper size configuration for Mac

For Mac, you need to configure SKULabs Print Client and your Zebra or Dymo system printer settings. Similar options should be available for other printer types. We use these system settings when printing using your printer.

On Mac, in the Printers tab of the SKULabs Print Client, ensure you've typed in the correct page dimensions...

Additional Page Size / Cut off printing troubleshooting:

If you have configured your systems page size settings, as well as the Zebra or Dymo configurations and are still noticing issues with page size or cut off print jobs, it is likely the result of calibration. Try the following:

For Zebra Printers:

  1. With the printer powered on, press and hold the feed button.

  2. Continue holding the button until the status light shows a "two flash" sequence. The light will first flash one time, then again two times.

  3. After the second flash of the status light, release the feed button.

For Dymo Printers:

Make sure you are using DYMO-branded labels. The perforated holes between the labels made by other manufacturers are frequently not detectable by DYMO printers. When the perforations are not detected, the labels will not feed correctly.

Perform a Dymo Printer Self-Test:

  1. With a roll of labels in the printer, press and hold the form-feed button on the front of the printer for five to ten seconds.

  2. The printer begins printing vertical lines along the width of the printer. The test pattern automatically changes every 3/4 inch (19 mm).

  3. Once the self-test begins, release the form-feed button. To stop the self-test, press and release the form-feed button.

  4. Reach out to Dymo support with the results.

The self-test will help make sure the printing mechanism and printing head is working as intended.

Print sequence and direction

If you're having issues with the sequence or direction of printed pages, the best place to look is in your device's print settings. SKULabs does not control the order in which pages print. That is handled by the computer's default printer settings. Here are a couple of articles you may find helpful: Mac and Windows.

Reverse printing preference

Printing in reverse order is handled by your devices default settings. See our article on Reverse Printing Order.

Print Quality

Dithering (pixelated unscannable barcodes)

Ensure dithering is disabled in your label printer settings. This can make barcodes appear pixelated when they are provided to us in raster format.

Printer DPI (pixelated unscannable barcodes)

Ensure you've set the correct DPI for your label printer. By default, it's 203 DPI for most label printers but check with your label printer manufacturer.​

Step 6. Re-select your printers on the printer settings page.

The more you switch your printer around, the harder it will become to identify the correct copy in the printer selection list.

If you rename your printers, you must re-select the printer in the printer drop down. The same applies when you switch USB ports or add a USB hub which can automatically rename the printer e.g. "Zebra ZP400 (3)".

Step 7. Rule out any potential hardware issues

Rule out potential physical issues with your device before.

  1. 100% confirm you are using the correct thermal paper type.

  2. 100% confirm all cables are connected snugly.

  3. 100% confirm you are using the correctly rated power supply for your printer. This has been known to produce poor print quality.

Step 8. Try signing out of SKULabs and rebooting your computer.

For optimal performance, the printer list displayed day to day will be locally cached on your device up to 60 minutes. Sign out of SKULabs or visit your printer settings page in SKULabs to force a refresh of your device's local copy of the printer list.

If you have more than 225 printers you will receive a warning indicating a requirement to contact SKULabs to support more than 250 printers. Alternatively, you can delete duplicate deactivated printers from your machine's device manager.

Step 9. (Windows) Restart your print spooler in Windows 10

1. Click the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard.

2. Begin typing the word "services"

3. When the Services option appears in the results, press enter or select it.

4. Find Print Spooler in the list of services, right click > Restart.

Step 10. (Mac) Debug/Troubleshoot your CUPS print driver

If you're still having trouble printing on Mac after configuration, here are some additional steps to debug your "CUPS print driver".

This has been used to resolve issues with page size and double-sided or 2 sided printing on macs.

Step 11. Try changing the client's Default printing backend setting

If your printing quality does not improve, or if you see logs for errors such as worker exited with return code xxxxxxxxxx, switch the Print & Scale Client's printing backend to an earlier version and try again. You should likely see options "Engine4" or "Engine5", try these.

Step 12. Make sure your printer is supported.

Review our supported printers. Printers outside of this list should still work.

Step 13. Check the PrintNode FAQs

Check the PrintNode FAQ for more hints and tips

Step 14. Workarounds

Losing access to your printers remotely doesn't have to halt your fulfillment operation.

Try printing locally temporarily

Print locally using your web browser's print dialog one print job at a time. This is always an option in the short term. For the best and quickest experience with local printing, you can set your printer defaults to "local view/print PDF" and even bypass the default printer selection prompt by enabling "kiosk printing" and "silent printing" for Chrome.

No Pick + Bulk Ship

You can also print multiple orders at a time using the bulk shipment process. Clear sections of orders at a time then follow through with the bulk shipment process, avoiding the overhead of printing each label manually.

Normal pick + Bulk Ship

You can manage multiple orders by navigating to your processing orders page to print multiple packing slips at a time, then processing those orders individually, and finally navigating to your shipments page to print labels for many orders at a time using one PDF.

Step 14. Try a fresh start

We recommend the above steps before resorting to removal and reinstallation of devices or software, but it's possible that a corrupted profile or anomalous OS errors may be the root cause. Reinstallation is a possible solution to issues like printers not receiving print jobs or errors connecting.

If possible, remove and reinstall the printer's profile on your device, then:

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