Black ink will copy but not print - other colors print

Joined
Nov 9, 2020
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1
hi everyone! My 7-yr-old printer - I don't print much so the ink cartridges weren't printing very well. Replaced with all new cartridges - the color ones now print perfectly - the black ink not at all. When I copy a page, black works fine. Any ideas? Thanks!!!
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
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I'm terribly sorry for posting here but I have the same issue as you do now, I'm wondering if you managed to resolve it
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
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It would help if a make & model was listed. :rolleyes:

If there are there are two 'blacks' (one dye, the other pigment) one part of the printhead is probably clogged.
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
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Okay... Quick primer...

When you print directly from a file like a word processor, PDF with defined text, etc... the printer will use pigment black to do the printing as it has the text encoded separately and can use the clear/crisp properties of pigment inks to your advantage. When you print an image and something web pages (although I haven't checked if that's still the case) it treats the text as part of the image and doesn't differentiate or use the pigment black specifically for text. Instead it uses all the other dye ink colours to create that "black".

When you copy the printer acts in the same way as an image, as that's what it's copying. It doesn't distinguish the text from the rest of the scanned image so again it'll use all the colours to create the "black" as part of the image.

So, a very long way of saying that the printers Pigment ink cartridge is not feeding ink.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
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Ok, since ypu mentioned it, how about a pattern of 4 vertical strips, one of each primary color and one of balck.
Since this isn't a 'scan' or a photo, how does one know which black is being used?
Would one have to assume it would be pigmented??
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
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Ok, since ypu mentioned it, how about a pattern of 4 vertical strips, one of each primary color and one of balck.
Since this isn't a 'scan' or a photo, how does one know which black is being used?
Would one have to assume it would be pigmented??
Depends largely on the printer driver as to how it decides to use the ink but you can tell what the printer is doing if you don't mind destroying your image.

Wait until the paper is mostly dry and then wash it under the tap... All the dye inks will run while the pigment black (if used) will stay on the (soggy) paper without running at all. If the black is running then the printer is using the CMY to overlay each other and create the black that way.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
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It would be much easier if the original poster would enlighten us as to the exact model of the printer, so we can avoid guessing if it's an issue of photo-black vs regular black.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
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hi everyone! My 7-yr-old printer - I don't print much so the ink cartridges weren't printing very well. Replaced with all new cartridges - the color ones now print perfectly - the black ink not at all. When I copy a page, black works fine. Any ideas? Thanks!!!
I have an Epson xp7100 series printer. There is ink in both the "photo black" and the larger black cartridge. However, when I'm printing black text, how do I know which of the cartridges is being used? I'm printing pdf journal articles, for example.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
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71
The short answer is that the driver should only use photo black when printing on glossy or semi-gloss papers. The reality is that this may or may not happen and there is no way to tell what ink the Epson driver uses.

The purpose for photo black is to have a black ink that works on glossy paper. The formulation of many pigment black inks cause a lack of gloss wherever there is a black dot. This causes odd effects when you look at the photo off axis that gives the photo odd iridescent effect and changes the photo depending on what angle you look at it from. Photo black is a different, usually dye-based, formulation that doesn't cause this effect on glossy paper.

As mentioned, and as originally written, drivers are really only supposed to use photo black when you tell the driver that you are printing on glossy media. That's the whole purpose of telling the driver what kind of photo media you are printing on. However, Epson isn't in the business to sell printers. They are in the business of giving away printers and selling ink. They learned that they could tell the user that a "feature" of the printer was to use the "photo" black in combination with the regular black for deeper, darker blacks when printing on normal paper. They do this because it more quickly depletes the more expensive photo black and makes people buy more ink.

When they first started this, many people recognized it as the questionable practice that it was, and so by popular demand drivers had a way of turning this off. Epson wanted you to believe that turning it off reduced the quality of black, so they labelled the setting "high quality black". Most people who learned about it still turned it off though. Epson didn't like how much it was turned off so they have done a couple things depending on the printer and driver you have. Some drivers have removed the setting altogether, and the driver just always mixes the two inks and there is sometimes nothing you can do about it. On printers and drivers that still have the ability to turn it off, to "encourage" (read "strong-arm") people into leaving this setting on, when you turn it off the driver also reduces the amount of regular black that is dropped on the page. This has the effect of actually making the black look a little crappier when you turn off high-quality black.

So, comb through your printer driver settings, including all the advanced settings, and look for "high quality black" or something labelled similarly. If you see it you can turn it off and hopefully the driver won't deplete your photo black cartridge. On some printers, you can actually physically remove the photo black cartridge and the printer will still print. Don't do this for too too long, though, because you can dry out the ink feed.
 

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