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Chapter 15

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Check Printer setup

The smaller size of checks makes the setup special. This situation is further complicated by the choice of layouts. XE "Check printer setup"

The printer driver, paper feed (format,) and the check style must each be set up correctly.  These are the first things to verify in solving any check printing problems.

(Auto-detect) directs the software involved to determine the style of paper feed in use.  This is usually defined by the printer in use (as identified by whatever driver is set up).

Continuous paper feed is the tractor style used on most dot-matrix printers. 

Page oriented checks are designed for laser and ink-jet printers, and come three on a letter-sized sheet.

Standard checks XE "Standard checks"  XE "checks:standard"  are 3.5 inches high, and 8.5 inches wide, and the form includes nothing but checks.

Voucher checks XE "Voucher checks"  XE "checks:voucher"  have one or two vouchers below the check.  The voucher (or skirt, or remittance advice XE "remittance advice" ) is a mostly blank form for stating the purpose of the check.  Continuous (tractor) feed voucher checks have one voucher below the check.  Laser voucher checks have two vouchers below the check.     QuickBooks will not accommodate check blanks with one voucher above the check.

Wallet checks are smaller, and print with a stub on the left side. The content of the stub includes the name of the account on which the check is drawn, and cannot be changed. Wallet checks are rarely used in business.

Laser checks, for  XE "checks, laser"  XE "laser checks" page oriented printers, including most inkjets, come in sheets.  Standard laser checks are three on a sheet, with an 0.5 inch waste strip at the bottom. Laser voucher checks come as one check and two vouchers on a sheet. The lower voucher is four inches high. 

The Partial Page Printing Style recognizes that the checks are expensive.  Some printers will accept a short sheet of one or two checks in the usual (portrait) alignment.  Others need landscape alignment, in which there is a choice of centered or left-aligned.  This depends on the envelope feed mechanism of the printer. This box will be faded with a selection of either voucher checks or continuous feed, or both.

Continuous (tractor) checks are in fan-fold format.  Voucher checks have one voucher. The total height of a check and voucher is 7 inches.

Intuit sells checks.  QuickBooks prints onto the check formats XE "check formats"  of Intuits checks. The voucher(s) is/are below the check. Formats with a voucher above the check cannot be used.  Checks XE "Checks:other sources"  may be obtained from some other sources, but be sure that the vendor guarantees the checks to work with QuickBooks.  Some banks have also cautioned that lower priced checks may have magnetic ink characters that do not read well.  This should not be a problem if the vendor is reputable and backs up the product. 

To verify layout of checks from other sources, they can be laid on top of the sample checks included with the QuickBooks package. Folding them vertically or folding them horizontally, the positions of the areas for printing can be compared. The printing positions of the various fields on checks is fixed and cannot be changed .  The check blanks must be printed to match.  The preprinted spaces for the fields must be where QuickBooks prints the data.   

Some reports have indicated a reluctance of Tech Support to assist if non-Intuit checks are used.  If the layout does not match the Intuit preprinted checks, nothing can be done. The matter is different when the checks are guaranteed to work and the positions match exactly.  If support is withheld when any and all third-party checks are used, one must wonder about laws regarding restraint of trade. When you state who printed your checks, you are probably not testifying under oath or pain of perjury.

Two collating sequences  XE "checks, collating" are available for laser (page oriented) checks:  lowest number in front, or lowest number behind.  Which do you need?  Open the paper feed tray, or put in blank paper where checks will be loaded, and put a pencil mark on the top sheet of paper.  Now print a check onto the blank paper.  If you do not use voucher checks, you may want to print three checks. If the pencil mark is on the face of the check, you want checks collated lowest number in front, and load them face up. If the mark is on the back, you need checks reverse collated, with the lowest number on the back of the stack, and load them face down.  (For now, tell QuickBooks the first check did not print correctly.)

Wallet checks XE "wallet checks"  XE "checks,wallet"  have a stub, as shown in the Intuit Supplies Catalog.  The content of the stub cannot be controlled.  This check was designed for Quicken as a tractor feed check.  The height is about 2.80 inches, with the page oriented format containing three checks to a page.  The catalog mentions possible problems with inkjet printers, in attempting to print one or two checks remaining on a sheet.  Few businesses use wallet checks.

 

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Last modified: May 21, 2004