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Put paper in the copier right side up

I was at a client’s yesterday where I happen to be in the vicinity of a copier machine. As Murphy has taught us to expect, the machine was not functioning properly while someone was in an hurry to print/copy a whole bunch of documents.

In a couple of minutes, I witnessed about a dozen different paper jams!

I got involved but were not able to solve anything except than to help remove the paper jams and suggest that the quality of the paper might not be appropriate. I had had a similar problem a couple of months ago, changed paper and my problem was solved.

The receptionist came by and noticed we (by now I was fully assimilated) had a problem with the copier. She started a conversation with the operator of the machine who said : “I put a whole new stack of paper in there, but I am not sure I did it right. How am I supposed to follow the arrow?”. The receptionist pulled a new ream of paper and demonstrated that the arrow must be up and that’s how the copier trays has to be filled in. They put the paper back in the right side up and presto! There goes the machine, fully happy now and delivering.

I thanked them both for teaching me something new.

Picture by Dorothy Oger

So, here is the proper way to fill copier trays, as borrowed from, where you can find many tips for using office paper and reducing waste:

“Fill Copier Trays Correctly. Yes, there is a right way to put paper into the copier.

  1. Before filling a copier paper tray, check the label on one end of the paper ream package.
  2. Look for an arrow pointing up and the words “copy this side first.”
  3. Put the paper in the copier so that this side is facing up.

This will reduce jams.  Note that when a paper ream does not have a label with arrows, you can perform a simple test to see which way the paper should be inserted. Hold the stack of paper at each end and note how it flops down. Turn the paper over and note again how it flops down. The side that has the greatest flop, or curve, faces upward in the paper tray.“

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