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Printer Adjustments for Thick Papers - Platen Gap

Most printers have a software based control to move the print head up or down to adjust for paper thickness.

The ability to raise the print head comes in handy if you've seen these problems:

  • Pronounced lines in an image
  • Scuff marks
  • Ink splotches - particularly on the edges of paper

Review the screenshots below and refer to your printer's manual for more help on the topic.

Quick Links

Epson SureColor Series

Epson has removed the Platen Gap and Paper Thickness controls from the SureColor series drivers. You can now find the Thick Paper setting on the printer control panel. From the printer panel, go to Menu > General Settings > Printer Settings.

Epson Pro / Wide Format - Windows

Open your printer's Printing Preferences dialog. Locate and click on the Paper Config button.

Paper Config as seen in Windows:

Epson Pro / Wide Format - Mac

On Mac computers the controls are found on the Advanced Media Configuration menu in the Print dialog:

Settings for thick and heavy papers:


The PLATEN GAP controls the distance from the print head to your paper. Begin changing platen gap for papers that are over 11mil thick. Choose Wide (Wider if available) when you make this adjustment.


If your paper is between 12 - 15 mil thick, set Paper Thickness to 4. For papers 16 mil and thicker set Paper Thickness to 5. Consult the paper's handling guide if available for specific advice.

Epson Desktop Printers - Windows

Epson desktop printers have a Thick Paper or Envelope setting.

1. Locate the Maintenance Tab in the printer preferences

2. Click on the Printer and Optional Information button.

3. Check the Thick Paper or Envelopes checkbox.

For the Epson R2000 and P400, the feature name and location are quirky to say the least. Go to the printer properties and click on the Utility tab.

Epson Desktop Printers - Mac

On a Mac you will look for an EXTENSIONS SETTINGS menu in the Print dialog.

Depending on your printer and version of OSX, this setting may not be available.

Canon Desktop - Windows

Canon desktop printers have a Prevent Paper Abrasion to minimize head strikes with thick paper.

On a Windows computer, go to the printer preferences.

1. Locate the Maintenance Tab

2. Locate and click the CUSTOM SETTINGS button

3. On the next menu click the PREVENT PAPER ABRASION check box.

When the Prevent Paper Abrasion setting is checked you may see a warning before each print job begins.

Canon Desktop - Mac

On a Mac you'll need to begin by going to SYSTEM PREFERENCES

Once in System Preferences, locate and click on PRINTERS & SCANNERS

Locate your printer, single click it to highlight, then click on Options and Supplies.

Click the Utility menu and then click Open Printer Utility.

Click the PREVENT PAPER ABRASION check box and click apply.
Note: Your printer will need to be turned on and connected.

Canon Wide Format Printers

Canon wide format printers have a setting called Head Height. It must be set from the printer's control panel.

The process is illustrated below:

HP Printers

As far as we can tell, HP printers do not have a thick paper or platen gap setting available to the user.