DHL Shipping Labels, Adobe Reader and HP Printers

Printers. They suck since I started using them. But often, drivers are the real culprit. The task was simple: Print DHL shipping labels on one paper tray, and A4 stuff on the other tray. The printer in question is a HP P3015 with one additional tray. A4 sits in tray 3, the A5 shipping labels in tray 2. However, this isn’t as simple as it may sound.

Adobe Reader has an option to automatically select the paper tray based on paper size. Initially I thought: “Well, that’s pretty much what I want”. But after some testing, I encountered those symptoms:

  • When printing A4 paper, often the printer would decide that I have to feed him from Tray 1 (manual feed) instead of the A4 paper sitting in tray 3.
  • When printing A5 shipping labels, the printer requires the user to confirm each page on the menu for Tray 2.
  • The printer driver often ignores the tray setting and tries to print from tray 1, regardless of the selected paper format or available paper

One major issue with that setup is that DHL supplies DIN A5 labels, but their PDF is in some envelope format – that’s why Adobe Reader most likely can’t choose the correct paper tray. And even if it did, the HP driver seems to have some major bugs regarding paper tray selection.

After fiddling around with the drivers for 2 hours, I decided to do the following setup:

  • 2 Printer Drivers for the same printer (in my case, HP P3015 DIN A4 and HP P3015 DIN A5)
  • Each printer has set the other paper trays to be not available
  • Removal of “Automatically select paper size” in Adobe Reader

This setup works now, but it isn’t optimal, as the user needs to switch between the two printer drivers – but at least this works now.

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