Troubleshooting MICR Font & Components
The solutions provided below may solve MICR E-13B read errors and
check processing problems reported by banking
institutions. The solutions listed below have solved print problems
in MICR based products, which include
Check Design and Printing Software,
MICR E-13B Fonts,
.NET Windows Forms
Verify the correct horizontal and vertical placement of the
MICR E13B font symbols and their fields:
Compare the MICR font
output to IDAutomation MICR font placement guidelines document (which
is only available if the MICR font is purchased from IDAutomation),
obtain the MICR Printed Image Specifications from the
American Bankers Association or
a check printing gauge from a banking institution. The alignment
process is simplified if the check stock contains a transit alignment
symbol as a watermark near the bottom; align the first bank routing
or transit symbol in the box. Not all check stock contains the transit
alignment symbol. Most of the
stock available from IDAutomation affiliates contains this symbol.
Verify the quality of MICR toner:
Some banks now use
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to read the MICR font line on
checks and regular laser toner is somewhat magnetic. However,
toner must be used to conform to ISO, ANSI and
ABA standards. Be sure the toner is from a reputable source, such
MICR images may print wider or narrower on some printers, paper
and under certain humidity conditions. MICR should be printed as
close to 8 characters per inch (CPI) as possible. Use the following
procedure to test the spacing:
- Print the following string in MICR:
- Measure the distance between the middle of the “1” characters.
The distance should be as close to 4 inches (10.16 CM) as possible.
Using this calibration method, the allowable tolerance is +/-
1/8 of an inch (.32 CM); which is between 3 7/8" and 4 1/8"
(9.84 CM and 10.48 CM).
- If the character spacing is outside of the tolerances, do
one of the following:
- When using IDAutomation
components, adjust the character spacing or width property.
- When using IDAutomation
try the narrow or wide version fonts or adjust the point
size (for example 12.25 points for wider printing).
- When using
fonts, character spacing can be adjusted by setting
the HMI for the printer whenever the MICR font is selected.
- Have the printer's horizontal and vertical size calibrated.
- Design the printing software so the MICR fields, such
as the transit number and account number, print independently
instead of one long string of characters.
Irregular character, stroke width or other read errors:
Try increasing or decreasing the print intensity, which is a property
in IDAutomation MICR components. When using fonts, try using the
bold or light versions of the
instead of the normal version. When reported, this type of issue
was the result of strict MICR test equipment reports, although this
did not cause a MICR read error with bank reading equipment. Adjusting
the print intensity on the printer or in the print driver may also
resolve the problem.
Printer, paper, toner and drum quality:
in the printer, paper, toner or drum may also cause irregular character,
stroke width or other read errors. Use only check stock made from
virgin pulp and new high quality MICR toner cartridges instead of
recycled cartridges. Do not use recycled paper, because certain
particles embedded in the paper can cause rejects.
When creating custom check forms with Peachtree Complete
Accounting, the MICR font cannot be selected
Accounting version 8 or greater is required to use the TrueType
MICR font in reports and custom forms. Please contact Peachtree
tech support or refer to the application's documentation for problems
with custom forms.
Print Driver Issues:
Ensure the printer driver is up
to date and test changing the print settings for the highest dpi
allowed. Additionally, changing the print method to print TrueType
as graphics and various raster options have been known to solve
MICR print issues.
If the recommendations above do not solve the problem, use a
process of elimination to find the issue. For example:
- Try another printer model or brand to isolate the problem
to the printer.
- Try printing to the same printer from another PC that is
a different architecture. For example, if you are using a 32
bit PC, try printing from a 64 bit PC. Differences may indicate
a printer driver problem.
For general font issues, please refer to IDAutomation's
font support site.
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