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The Secret Language of Printers and How to Accurately Assess Your Printing Needs

Posted by XMC Inc on Feb 28, 2019 9:37:30 AM

It probably goes without saying that every modern office needs equally up-to-date printing services. Even as paperless technology continues to grow in popularity, there are still far too many regular business requirements that can only be met by high-quality office printers to ignore their importance.

Still, despite how commonplace they are, many people don’t actually understand what their office’s printing needs are. Even if they did, they may still struggle to meet them as this industry – like so many – has its own unique terminology.

Fortunately, understanding it shouldn’t prove too difficult. Once you know this “secret language”, it will also be much easier to pick the best business printers and related services for your company’s unique needs.

A3 vs. A4 Paper

It might not seem like it could get any more basic than the paper you need to print, but it’s just a little more complex than that.

Depending on what your company does, your office printers probably only ever need to handle one or two different sizes of paper.

However, there are actually a large range of paper sizes out there. This spectrum covers an equally diverse range of needs as every industry tends to have their own requirements down to the unique dimensions that are often required by the envelopes they use.

Therefore, knowing what sizes of paper you need is vital. If you order a large quantity of the wrong kind, you could be stuck with a lot of paper you can never use – a costly mistake.

Two very common paper sizes are known as A3 and A4. Despite what their names may lead you to believe, though, they’re actually very different from one another.

A3 paper is 11.7 x 16.5 inches and commonly referred to as "tabloid", "ledger", or "11x17" paper. A4 is just 8.3 x 11.7 and commonly refered to as "letter" or "8.5x11".  

Of the two, A4 is the more popular. It’s the kind you’ll generally find being used at most offices that don’t otherwise have special requirements they need to meet on a regular basis. As such, you can usually take for granted that most office printers are able to process A4 paper.

Because of its size, A3 paper is usually used for drawings, programs, booklets, magazine, catalog, or poster mockups. This paper gives plenty of room to show off every detail of an image for close inspection before being committed to bulk printing. For this reason, this paper may also be used for presentations. A3 paper is commonly used for ledgers and other accounting documents, as well.

Finally, given the difference in size between A3 and A4 paper, it follows that the office printers that process them would differ in size, as well.  A3 devices will print on A3 paper, and sometimes larger.  A4 devices will print on paper up to Legal size, 8.5x14.  When considering equipment it is important to know this distinction- when A3 paper is used you need a device capable of handling that size of paper, when it is not used an A4 device may meet your needs, often for a lower cost. So, if you need A3 printers and are only used to the kind that print A4 paper, just know that you’ll probably need to find more room to accommodate your new machine. 

What to Buy for High-Volume Printing

All offices also have different printing needs when it comes to the volume they need to produce every single day.

For example, you may need high-volume office printers if your office regularly needs large amounts of documents printed. If you simply choose a conventional multifunction printer because it meets all of your other needs, you may soon be tempted to buy another in order to reach the volume you require, as well.

This is a costly mistake, though. There are plenty of multifunction office printers that can reach incredibly high volumes, meaning you wouldn’t need nearly as many to reach your daily targeted amount.

What Hardware Will Best Handle the Job You Need to Do?

In that case, it’s important that you understand that “high-volume printing” doesn’t really refer to the amount of prints you need to make on a regular basis. It’s not as though there are office printers that can only do so many jobs in a given day before they have to quit.

Instead, the best business printers for companies that deal in high volumes are those that supper equally high PPMs (Pages Per Minute). If your office regularly needs to print thousands of documents every single day, then you’re definitely in need of a higher PPM from your printers.

Lucky for you, that won’t be a problem. You can easily find a Xerox printer or multi-function printer – that can meet those needs.  

Trust the Experts When Choosing Your Office Printers

While the above information should help you feel more confident when considering office printers and the related services your company needs, we’re always here if you need assistance.

Choosing the best business printers is far too important a decision to make unless you’re 100% sure.

So, if we can help you feel better informed or answer any questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our expertise is at your service.

Topics: printers, office equipment

The XMC blog provides insights about office technology solutions for small businesses, enterprises, and large institutions.

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