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My printer can't print pictures (jpg), but can print .txt, .doc. Does anyone have any idea why is it doing this ? My color cartridge is empty, but my black one is full. So I disabled the color printing. Tryied all kind of solutions, it won't print.

It's a Canon MP220 Printer.

LE: Also, neither .pdf formats aren't working. And when I say pictures, I'm referring to .jpg.. like scanned books, etc

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You're leaving out the important part. What is your printer? –  random Sep 22 '09 at 10:01
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... and what happens when you try to print pictures. –  Jon Skeet Sep 22 '09 at 10:04
    
Nothing. The paper comes out blank. It's a Canon MP220 Printer. –  ChristianM Sep 22 '09 at 10:15
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Have you tried reinstalling the drivers? –  Ivo Flipse Sep 22 '09 at 10:19
    
I assume it once did print images? –  Arjan Sep 22 '09 at 11:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Many inkjet printers actually even use (and thus: require) colour when printing in greyscale. If the colour cartridge is empty, such printers might refuse to print in greyscale, and thus will not print images. (And those might even not print black text when selecting greyscale.)

When you don't need colour, get a black and white printer instead.

Odd things have been reported. Like for some brands printing in black and white using best quality avoids using the colour cartridge, while selecting some economy mode would actually use colour:

Is there a driver setting [..] to print photos using the black cartridges for the printer?
[..]
Until the iP4500, it was enough to check "Grayscale" and select "plain paper" and "high quality".

And, things might be much more complicated, like for the Canon MP760 and the iP4000, which use a large BCI-3e pigment black cartridge, and smaller BCI-6 dye inks including yet another black (and yellow, cyan and magenta):

The truth is that the black pigment ink is [almost] always used on plain paper--never on photo paper and the dye black ink is always used on photo paper--[almost] never on plain paper.
[..]
The exception is when doing borderless printing which is not recommended on plain paper, but if you do it, the printer will use the dye black ink instead of the pigment black ink.

Pretty simple, but there is a complication involving duplex printing. When doing duplex printing, the black pigment ink is cut to about one half of the intensity that it would normally print. Then, to make up for this decrease, the magenta and cyan inks are printed in the same area as the pigment black. The yellow and dye black are never added to the pigment black to make up the difference. NOTE: Recent tests have shown that this last statement is only true for 100% black. In fact, yellow, along with magenta and cyan, is blended for some shades of grey. Also, it doesn't matter whether the duplex printing is done automatically or manually, or whether you are doing booklet printing. And, in all cases, we are talking about duplex printing on plain paper.

(As a side note: some laser printers are known to count colour usage even when printing in black and white.)

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+1 Much better answer! –  Ivo Flipse Sep 22 '09 at 12:11

I assume you haven't tried putting in another color cartridge?

The problem is that if you don't try it, we can't exclude if your printer driver simply doesn't know how to cope with disabling color printing or if it's a physical problem. Though because you mention you can print words, I suspect a driver issue.

Someone on allexperts mentioned:

Please try to do an internal test print. If the printer prints color there then either your cable or the driver is the culprit. Contact me if this is so. You will need adobe acrobat to view the manual. I couldn't find it and it varies from model to model. Typically the procedure is to press the control buttons on the printer at the same time or such. If you can make it print this test from the buttons then you will eliminate the PC and it's connection as the problem.

If the test page doesn't print color, then the printer itself must be at fault. This issue would most likely be electronic in nature. Nothing physical can block it if you've tested it with more than one cartridge. The DeskJet series has no printhead to reside in the printer to cause the issue; the printhead is on the cartridge. Due to this I would suggest you purchase a new printer. You can get a better model fro less than $100 these days. Many models come as cheap as $40. Sorry I couldn't solve the issue.

Actually I find that buying a new printer when your color cardridge runs out is almost a cheaper solution than buying a new cardridge.

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Think of the landfill! Aaargh! –  random Sep 22 '09 at 10:25
    
He could go off and buy such a set and manually fill up his old cardridge, hoeray for recycling! –  Ivo Flipse Sep 22 '09 at 10:27
    
It is cheaper. They sell the printers for the lowest price possible and then they charge extra for the cartridges recouping their loss. That's how it works! –  alex Sep 22 '09 at 10:29
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Often the cartridges that come with a printer are actually smaller (or: contain less ink) than replacement cartridges. –  Arjan Sep 22 '09 at 11:22

Problem solved ! The problem was the printing software of Windows 7. Printing with Picasa works. Thanks guys

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