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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    We recently bought a Dell 2145cn Color Laser printer. The rated print speed is up to 24 pages per minute for color.

    We have a (front and back) brochure that requires a mail merge of about 850 names. The data is in an excel spreadsheet.

    In the past with other printers I had to print one side of the brochure at a time. This new machine does duplexing automatically. (This is part of why we bought the machine).

    We always run a few names as a test before trying to merge that many names. Turns out when printing in duplex mode this printer is taking 1 minute 25 seconds per sheet to print. At that rate our run will take over 20 hours to print. We will be calling Dell Tech Support shortly to see if they have a solution. I am prepared for them to tell me the problem is with Publisher and how it handles mail merges. I have tried some creative ways to test the speed and frankly I don't think the problem is Publisher.

    Anyone else experiencing extremely slow printing with Publisher or with a Dell 2145cn Printer?


    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    Larry P

  2. #2
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    To eliminate Publisher as the specific problem, print the merge to an Acrobat file and see how long that takes. Then print the Acrobat file double sided on your new printer.

    Another thing that can slow a printer is downloading data. If you sent multiple copies of the same page then the download speed can be eliminated from the printer speed equation. So you can test the printer speed by sending about 10 copies of the same page - start your timer when the first page comes out and stop it when the last one does.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Thank you Mr. Lockton for the reply.

    This morning I spent a good deal of time "chatting" with a Dell rep. Turns out the rated speed for this printer is based on multiple copies of a single copy with little or no graphics. He didn't seem surprised that printing would take that long if I were printing a brochure with mail merged name and address data.

    At first he told me the problem was my paper. It was too thick.

    I told him I'd tested with "regular" paper.

    Then he said that printing graphics would take longer.

    Really? Wow, I had no idea. (insert best Homer Simpson d'oh here). The rated speed is 24 pages per minute. This machine is taking 30 times longer to print.

    Next he told me I needed a higher end model for the work I was doing. I was "taxing" this low end machine.

    Really? The printer manual and their own website rate the machine at 65,000 pages per month. We have never done more than 5,000.

    Then he told me I was trying to print files that were too large and I should only print small files with text and few or zero graphics.

    You get the idea. It was about that time I decided I had wasted enough time with that silly BS.

    Turns out the problem is not Publisher, or the OS or my computer. The problem is the sales department at Dell got hold of the specifications and decided they needed to look better than they really do in the real world.

    Oh well, lesson learned.

    Larry P

    PS: To the moderator. Now that I know more than I did this morning, it seems this thread might better belong in the hardware category.

  4. #4
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    Yep, it looks like it is a hardware problem. I can see that they say it can do "up to 21 pages per minute in colour" which greatly surprises me since that is also the black only rated speed - this is unusual for a printer. Normally I would expect a colour speed to be less than the black only speed since a full colour print will require 4 colour images to be imposed onto the page instead of just one. Perhaps they are being liberal with the truth and quoting the speed for a page with only cyan on it. When spending a lot of money on a workgroup printer, you should always do a speed/quality test on typical files you expect to print. All good suppliers will allow you to do this before you buy.

    I had a look at their website and noticed the only comment on this page was less than flattering - titled "Utterly useless"
    http://www.dell.com/us/en/enterprise...n&cs=555&s=biz

    Now, to make the best of a bad situation, (assuming you can't get your money back) have you tried doing a speed test on an Acrobat file. Since Acrobat is already a Postscript format, the printer itself shouldn't have to do a time consuming RIP (Raster Image Processing) operation on the spooled file. In my experience this can speed the total output time.

    Another thing you could try is each of the printer drivers that the printer can use - PostScript 3, PCL5c and PCL 6. Do you get the same slow speed with all of them?

    Next, IF printing single sided is faster. Does your brochure include the merge information on every page? If only one side varies the content and the other side is always the same you can do this as two separate prints (and not use the duplexing feature you paid for). If you print all the merged information on one page then reload the prints for the second side print then the SECOND side will print at the advertised 21ppm speed (if it doesn't then you have grounds for forcing Dell to take their printer back and issue a refund).
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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