WD97: How Bin Selection Works on the HP LaserJet 4

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 196950 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q196950
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SUMMARY

This article explains how bin selection is handled when using the Hewlett- Packard (HP) LaserJet 4 with Word for Windows. If the bins of the printer are not correctly configured using the front control panel on the printer, several problems may occur, including the following:
  • Each time you print an envelope to the manual feed bin, rather than automatically pulling the envelope from the manual feed bin, the printer goes offline, and you must press the Continue button on the printer to force it to pull the envelope.

  • When you print an envelope, the printer pulls the envelope from a different tray than you want it to.

  • When you print a custom paper size, the printer pulls paper from the letter cassette rather than the manual feed bin.

  • When you print a custom paper size, rather than automatically pulling the paper from the manual feed bin, the printer goes offline, and you must press the Continue button on the front panel of the printer to continue.

  • When you print legal size paper, the printer either goes offline or pulls paper from a different tray than you want it to.

MORE INFORMATION

BIN TERMINOLOGY

Paper Cassette

The LaserJet 4 has a slot for a paper tray near the base of the front of the printer. You can insert a letter tray that holds letter-size paper, or you can insert a legal tray that holds legal-size paper. There is also an optional universal tray, which uses an adjusting knob to set the paper size available. Because the physical size of these trays differs, the printer has internal sensors that can detect what type of tray it is (letter or legal) and therefore know what type of paper is being loaded into this slot. With the optional universal tray, the paper size is detected through the position of the paper-size adjusting knob. This is called "auto- detecting" the paper size.

The Multipurpose (or MP) Tray

The MP tray is a door that drops down on the front of the printer above the paper cassette. The door can drop down a level and has sliders so that you can put different sizes of paper in it. It looks like a manual-feed tray; however, unlike a manual-feed tray, with the MP tray, you can load a small stack of paper (100 sheets) instead of only one sheet at a time.

Because you can load 100 sheets of paper, you can use the MP tray as a second paper source. This is why HP calls it a multipurpose tray rather than a manual-feed tray.

NOTE: Because you can put any size paper in the MP tray, you must configure it to correctly match the paper you are using. (This is done on the control panel on the printer.)

Optional Envelope Feeder

This is an optional box that is hooked into the front of the printer. It holds envelopes only.

NOTE: Many people think they have an envelope feeder, when, in fact, they are using an MP tray. Finding out whether you have a true envelope feeder or are using the MP tray to load envelopes is very important--this determines whether you have two or three possible paper sources.

The printer can detect when an optional envelope feeder is installed because this device hooks into a special spot on the front of the printer.

Although the printer can tell an envelope feeder is installed, it cannot tell what size envelope is loaded in the feeder. The envelope size also must be configured using the front control panel of the printer.

Once the feeder is installed, you have 15 seconds to change the envelope size; otherwise, the printer selects the default value (COM 10).

Optional Lower Cassette

This is an optional tray that the printer sits on top of. It holds up to 500 sheets of paper. There are two types of lower cassettes available: standard, which supports letter, A4, and executive; and universal, which supports letter, legal, A4, and executive.

HOW DOES THE HP LASERJET 4 DETERMINE WHICH BIN TO PRINT FROM?

This section explains how the HP LaserJet 4 determines which bin to use when you print from Word under a variety of configurations and scenarios.

Configuration: No Optional Envelope Feeder or Lower Cassette Installed

If your printer does not have an optional envelope feeder or lower cassette installed, the two possible paper sources are the MP tray and the paper cassette:
   MP Tray              You tell the printer what size paper is loaded
                        using the Paper Size button on the control panel on
                        the front of the printer.

   Paper Cassette       Tells the printer what size paper it contains
                        (letter or legal).
				

Scenario 1: Print Envelope from Word

Printer Configuration: Printer contains letter paper cassette, and the MP tray is configured for legal size paper.

Problem:

When you print a COM 10 size envelope from Word, the printer displays the following message: [MP LOAD COM 10]. This error occurs because the printer does not contain a COM 10 paper source. The printer cannot pull from the paper cassette because it tells the printer it contains letter size paper. Further, it cannot pull from the MP tray because you configured that tray for legal size paper. The printer goes offline and requests the correct size paper.

Resolution:

Load up to ten envelopes in the MP tray and press the Continue button to begin printing. If you want to print more than ten envelopes without pressing the Continue button, reconfigure the MP tray for envelopes. This resolves the conflict between the requested and available paper sizes.

Scenario 2: Print Envelope from Word

Printer Configuration: Printer contains the letter cassette and the MP tray is configured for COM 10 size envelopes.

NOTE: With this configuration, when you send a COM 10 envelope from Word, the printer pulls an envelope from the MP tray without going offline or displaying any error message. In other words, everything works correctly.

Problem:

If you print a legal size page from Word and select MP Tray for the Paper Source setting, the printer goes offline and displays the [MP FEED LEGAL] error. The printer assumes the MP tray contains envelopes, so it prompts you to remove the envelopes and add legal paper to the tray. Similarly, if you print a legal size page from Word and select Upper Cassette, Lower Cassette, or Auto Select for the Paper Source setting, the printer goes offline and displays the [PC LOAD LEGAL] error. The printer assumes you want to print from the legal paper cassette, so it prompts you to remove the letter paper cassette and insert the legal paper cassette.

Resolution:

Either place a legal size sheet in the MP tray or switch to the legal paper cassette and then press the Continue button. To avoid the error message altogether, either configure the MP tray for legal size paper or insert the legal cassette before you print.

Configuration: Envelope Feeder Installed, No Lower Cassette Installed

The three possible paper sources are the MP tray, paper cassette, and the optional envelope feeder:
   MP Tray              You tell the printer what size paper is loaded
                        using the Paper Size button on the control panel on
                        the front of the printer.

   Paper Cassette       Tells the printer what size paper it contains
                        (letter or legal).

   Envelope Feeder      You tell the printer what size envelopes are
                        loaded using the Paper Size button on the
                        printer.
				

Scenario 1: Print Legal Paper

Printer Configuration: Printer contains the letter paper cassette, the MP tray is configured for legal size paper, and the envelope feeder is configured for COM 10 size envelopes.

NOTE: With this configuration, when you print a COM 10 envelope to the envelope feeder, the printer pulls an envelope from the envelope feeder without going offline or displaying any error message. In other words, everything works correctly.

Problem:

If you print a COM 10 envelope with the Paper Source set to Manual Feed, the printer goes offline and displays the [ME FEED COM 10] error, even though the envelope feeder contains the correct size envelope. To continue, remove the legal paper from the MP tray, place a COM 10 envelope in the MP tray, and press the Online button to print.

Similarly, if you print a Monarch size envelope from Word with the Paper Source set to Envelope Feeder, the printer goes offline and displays the [EE LOAD MONARCH] error to prompt you to put a Monarch size envelope in the envelope feeder. Word does not pull an envelope from the envelope feeder because it is set for COM 10 size envelopes, not Monarch. If you place a Monarch envelope in the feeder, the printer resumes printing automatically. (You do not have to press the Continue button.)

Resolution:

You can either put a Monarch size envelope in the feeder, or you can put the envelope in the MP tray and press the Continue button on the printer. If you want to avoid the error message, reconfigure your envelope feeder for Monarch size envelopes.

BIN SELECTION FLOWCHART

Below is a flow chart that provides a visual representation of the bin selection process on the HP LaserJet 4. Remember that when you select Paper Source and Paper settings in Word, the printer complies with that request only if you configured the printer for the requested paper size and source as well. In other words, the printer configuration must match the Word settings to print without displaying an error. This behavior is consistent with the bin-selection functionality of all HP multibin printers.

IMPORTANT: If you change the MP Tray setting from CASS to FIRST using the menu on the control panel of the printer, the printer first checks the MP tray for the correct paper size instead of first checking the lower trays.

                       Word Sends a
                       Paper Size to
                       the Printer.
                              |
                              |
                              |
                       Does Print Job
                       Paper Size Equal
                       Size Set for the
                         Lower Trays?

                             /                             /              

          NO  /     \  YES
                          /                                /              

                 /                                  /                      
            /                                 Does Print        Print Job
                  Job Paper           to the
                  Size Equal        Lower Trays.
                  Size in MP
                    Tray?

                     /                     /                  NO  /     \ 
YES
                  /                        /                         /    

                    /                        Go Offline      Print Job to
           and Ask for      MP Tray.
           Paper Size.

				

GLOSSARY OF PRINTER PANEL [FEED...] MESSAGES

The errors on the printer usually display the paper size it is trying to print and the bin it is trying to print from. Below is a list of the printer error messages, along with the causes and troubleshooting methods you can use for each.

EE LOAD <Envelope Size>

Meaning:

The printer received a request for an envelope that is not loaded in the optional envelope feeder.

Troubleshooting Tips:

The printer has an envelope feeder, but it is configured for an envelope size that does not match the Paper Size setting in Word.

Resolution:

Place the envelope in the MP tray and press the Continue button or reconfigure the envelope feeder to match the envelope size you want to print.

MF FEED <Paper Size>

NOTE: Possible <paper size> settings are Letter, Legal, Exec, and A4.

Meaning: Word requested manual feed bin as the paper source.

Troubleshooting Tips:
  • If the error occurs even though the MP tray contains the correct size paper, you need to change the Paper Source setting in Word from Manual Feed to MP Tray (this assumes your MP tray is configured for the requested paper size). Alternatively, you can place the paper in the MP tray and press the Online button (in other words, feed the paper manually).

  • If you are using a standard Page Size setting and then adjusting the margin settings to print on a custom paper size, you need to configure your MP tray for the requested paper size. In addition, make sure the Page Size setting in Word matches the MP tray paper size setting.

ME FEED <Envelope Size>

NOTE: Possible <envelope size> settings are COM 10, Monarch, DL, C5, and B5.

Meaning:

The printer prompts you to place an envelope in the MP tray, even though the envelope feeder contains the correct size envelope.

Troubleshooting Tip:

The Paper Source setting in Word is Manual Feed, so the printer does not automatically pull the correct size envelope from the envelope feeder.

Resolutions:
  • Place the envelope in the MP tray and press the Online button.
    -or-
  • Change the Paper Source setting in Word to MP Tray and configure the MP tray for the correct envelope size.
    -or-
  • Change the Paper Source setting in Word to Envelope Feeder and configure the envelope feeder for the correct envelope size. To use this method in Word 2.x, you must also select the Envelope Feeder Has Been Installed option under the Print category in the Options dialog box. (To access this dialog box, choose Options from the Tools menu.)

<xx> LOAD <Envelope or Paper Size>

NOTE: The following are the possible settings for the variables in the above error message:

  • <xx> can be MP (multipurpose tray), PC (paper cassette), or LC (optional lower cassette)

  • <Paper size> can be Letter, Legal, Exec, or A4

  • <Envelope size> can be COM 10, Monarch, DL, C5, or B5
Meaning:

The printer received a request for a paper or envelope size that is not available in the printer.

Troubleshooting Tip:

The error message indicates the paper size and source Word requested. This size should match the page size of your document, except when you are creating a custom page size using a standard Page Size setting and adjusted margins. If the printer tray contains the correct paper size, that tray is probably not correctly configured.

Resolution:

Load the correct paper into the MP tray and press the Continue button, or configure the MP tray for the paper size it contains.

HOW TO CONFIGURE THE MP TRAY

NOTE: This procedure also appears on page 3-25 of the "LaserJet 4 User's Guide."

  1. On the front panel of the printer, press the Online button to switch the printer offline.
  2. Press the Menu button five times so [CONFIG MENU] appears in the LCD display.
  3. Press the Item button once so [MP TRAY= ] appears in the LCD display.
  4. Press the +/- button until [MP TRAY=CASS] appears.
  5. Press the Enter button so [MP TRAY = CASS*] appears. This enters your choice.
  6. Press the Online button to switch the printer online.
  7. Press the Online button to reset the printer and switch it offline.
  8. Press the Shift+Reset buttons to reset the printer to factory default settings.
  9. Press Online to switch the printer online.
  10. Press the Paper Size button. [MP TRAY = ...] appears in the LCD display.
  11. Press the +/- button until the paper size you have loaded in the MP tray appears.
  12. Press the Enter button to lock your choice.
  13. Press the Online button to switch the printer online.

HOW TO CONFIGURE THE OPTIONAL ENVELOPE FEEDER

When the optional envelope feeder is installed, the printer briefly displays [EE TRAY = COM 10] when you turn on the printer. After about 15 seconds, the display changes to [00 READY]. To reconfigure the envelope feeder, you must make the changes before the display changes to [00 READY]. If the display changes to [00 READY] before you reconfigure the envelope feeder, turn off the printer then turn it on again (or remove the envelopes from the feeder and then replace them) to display the [EE TRAY = COM 10] message again.

  1. Make sure the envelope feeder is properly installed.
  2. Restart the printer by turning it off and then on.
    -or-
    Reset the envelope feeder by removing the envelopes from the envelope feeder and then putting them back.

    The printer displays [EE TRAY = COM10] (or another envelope size).
  3. On the front panel of the printer, press the +/- button until your envelope size displays. The possible choices are COM 10, Monarch, C5, DL, and B5.
  4. When your envelope size is displayed, press the Enter key to lock your choice.
  5. Press the Online button.

SAMPLE PRINTING SCENARIOS

This section describes the results of a wide variety of printing configurations. All the scenarios use version 1.27 of the HP LaserJet 4/4M driver and Word 6.0 for Windows. In all cases, a COM 10 size envelope is printed from the Envelopes And Labels dialog box. (To open this dialog box, choose Envelopes And Labels from the Tools menu.) All modifications to Paper Source settings are done by choosing the Options button in the Envelopes And Labels dialog box and then selecting the Printing Options tab.

No Optional Envelope Feeder Installed

Scenario 1

Configuration:

  • Letter tray is installed

  • MP tray paper size is configured for COM 10 size envelopes

  • Printer driver Paper Source is set for Auto Select


  1. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Manual Feed

    Results:
    • Printer goes offline and displays [ME FEED COM 10] error.


    1. Load an envelope in the MP tray.
    2. Press online to print the envelope from the MP tray.
  2. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Paper Cassette

    Results:

    (With the MP tray empty)

    • Printer goes offline and displays [MP LOAD COM 10] error.


    1. Load an envelope in the MP tray.
    2. Printer automatically pulls envelope from the MP tray.
    (With an envelope loaded in the MP tray) - Printer automatically pulls envelope from the MP tray without going offline.
  3. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Lower Cassette

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 1B above)
  4. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to MP Tray

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 1B above)
  5. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Envelope Feeder

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 1B above)
  6. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Auto Select

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 1B above)
  7. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Default Tray

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 1B above)

Scenario 2

Configuration:

  • Letter tray is installed

  • MP tray is configured for letter size paper

  • Printer driver Paper Source set to Auto Select


  1. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Manual

    Results:
    • Printer goes offline and displays [ME FEED COM 10] error.


    1. Load an envelope in the MP tray.
    2. Press online to print the envelope from the MP tray.
  2. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Paper Cassette

    Results:
    • Printer goes offline and displays [MP LOAD COM 10] error.


    1. Load an envelope in the MP tray.
    2. Press the Shift+Continue buttons to print the envelope from the MP tray.
  3. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Lower Cassette

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 2B above)
  4. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to MP Tray

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 2B above)
  5. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Envelope Feeder

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 2B above)
  6. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Auto Select

    Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 2B above)
  7. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Default Tray Results: Same as Paper Cassette (Scenario 2B above)

Optional Envelope Feeder Installed

Scenario 1

Configuration:
  • Envelope feeder is configured for COM 10 size envelopes

  • Letter tray is installed

  • MP tray is configured for letter size paper

  • Printer driver Paper Source set to Auto Select


  1. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Manual

    Results:
    • Printer goes offline and displays [ME FEED COM 10] error.


    1. Load an envelope in the MP tray.
    2. Press online to print the envelope from the MP tray.
  2. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Paper Cassette

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  3. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Lower Cassette

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  4. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to MP Tray

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  5. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Envelope Feeder

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  6. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to AutoSelect

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  7. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Default Tray Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder

Scenario 2

Configuration:

  • Envelope feeder is configured for COM 10 size envelopes

  • Letter tray is installed

  • MP Tray is configured for COM 10 size envelopes

  • Printer driver Paper Source is set to Auto Select


  1. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Manual

    Results:
    • Printer goes offline and displays [ME FEED COM 10] error.


    1. Load an envelope in the MP tray.
    2. Press online to print the envelope from the MP tray.
  2. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Paper Cassette

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  3. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Lower Cassette

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  4. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to MP Tray Results:
    • Envelope automatically prints from the MP tray if it contains paper.

    • Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder if the MP tray is empty.


  5. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Envelope Feeder

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  6. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Auto Select

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder
  7. Printing an envelope with the Paper Source set to Default Tray

    Result: Envelope automatically prints from the envelope feeder

PRINTING CUSTOM PAPER SIZES

Word generally creates custom paper sizes by internally selecting the closest paper size supported by the printer and increasing the margins so that the text prints in the correct location on the supported paper size.

The following steps describe what usually happens when you print a custom paper size from Word:

  1. Word formats the document for letter size paper and increases the margin settings to create the correct print area on the custom size paper.

    The printer does not know that you want to print on custom size paper; it knows only that Word requested letter size paper.
  2. The printer looks for letter size paper.
  3. If the MP tray is configured for letter size paper, the printer automatically prints from the MP tray. (Frequently, your MP tray already contains letter size paper, so the document prints correctly and no printer error occurs.)

    On the other hand, if your MP tray is configured for a different size paper, the printer searches the other paper sources and prints from there if it finds the correct size paper. This usually prints the document in the wrong position on the page.
Resolution: Configure your MP tray for letter size paper.

HINTS FOR TROUBLESHOOTING BIN SELECTION PROBLEMS

  1. Make sure the printer is reset by pressing the SHIFT+MENU buttons on the printer.
  2. Make sure the Paper Source setting in the printer driver is set to Auto Select.
  3. For envelopes, make sure Paper Source setting is correct; for example, do not select Envelope Feeder if your printer does not have an optional envelope feeder.
  4. Whenever you want to print from the MP tray, make sure the MP tray is configured to match the paper size you want to print.
  5. Note the error message on the printer. This usually indicates the paper size Word is requesting for the print job. Configure the MP tray for this paper size.
  6. Make sure you have a current version of your printer driver.

REFERENCES

"LaserJet 4 User's Guide," page 3-25

"LaserJet 4 Envelope Feeder User's Guide"

Properties

Article ID: 196950 - Last Review: January 23, 2007 - Revision: 1.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbinfo KB196950
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com