Knowledge Base

10856: Unusual or Strange Characters Printing

Printing Generally

Unusual characters appear on my return when I print it, but not when I view it.

When forms are misaligned, miscellaneous or strange characters appear on the forms, or the whole form does not fit on the page, it may be necessary to download soft fonts. This tool sends the printer the fonts necessary to print the tax forms correctly.

If you are having issues with text not appearing on some forms, such as the 1040-V or PA forms, see Related Links below. 

Download Soft Fonts

  1. Select Tools > Install Fonts. The Download Soft Fonts dialog box opens.
  2. Click Download PCL Fonts. The Download Soft Fonts print dialog opens.
  3. Select the Printer from the list provided.
  4. Click Download. The downloaded soft fonts and their status will appear in the Font Download Status panel of the dialog.
  5. Click Exit to close the Download Soft Fonts dialog and return to the main screen.

Download Soft Fonts Automatically

  1. The program can be set to download fonts automatically.  
  2. Select Setup > Printing > Printer Setup.
  3. Select the (F7) Options tab.  
  4. From the PCL Soft Font Option list, select Download at Startup or Include with each print job.  
  5. Click Save to save changes, exit the Printer Setup options dialog, and return to the main screen.

Printing Setup Options

If your printer is printing strange characters instead of what you see in View/Print mode, try these steps:

Starting in Drake17: 

  1. Go to Setup > Printing > Printer Setup.  
  2. Select the F8 tab, Edit Printer Settings.
  3. Select your printer from the drop list under Printer Type.
    1. If your printer is a Laserjet, you may need to check the box Use PCL when printing tax forms.
    2. If this does not work, try un-checking and printing again. 
  4. Click Update.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Try printing again from view/print mode. 

In Drake16 and prior: 

  1. Go to Setup > Printing > Printer Setup.  
  2. Select the F8 tab, Edit Printer Settings.
  3. Select your printer from the drop list under Printer Type.
  4. Toggle the Preferred Print Method (PCL) and Alternate Print Method (GDI) buttons, choosing the one that is not already selected.
  5. Click Update.
  6. Click Save.

If you still cannot achieve the desired printed results, please contact Drake Software Support at (828) 524-8020.

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