Precautions for printing
OMR sheets can be printed with regular inkjet or laser printers. Other than this, digital copiers, rezographs, and photocopiers can also be used for printing. Whatever be the method you adopt for printing OMR sheets, you have to take the necessary precautions. This is because OMR sheets are technical documents and should be printed perfectly to receive accurate results. Let us take a look at some of the precautions that you ought to take while printing OMR sheets.
Paper size: The paper size set in the printer should be same as the paper you are using. Most printers have default setting as Letter (size 8.5"x11"). However, if you are using A4 size paper, you should change the setting in the printer to this size. This is important to make sure that the index points and other important elements of the OMR sheets are printed properly on the paper.
Quality: The quality of the sheets is extremely crucial if you want the OMR software to read and evaluate the sheets correctly. For this, you should use good quality printers and papers. You may be using a laser printer but this cannot guarantee good quality printing if you have been using overused or refilled cartridges. Ensure that the index points are solid black in color. Moreover, in case you are using a photocopier for printing the OMR sheets, make sure that there is no dust or black lines on the OMR sheets, as this can hamper the reading process.
Bubble thickness: The thickness of the bubbles should not be altered under any circumstances. In case you are using a poor cartridge, the outlines of the bubbles may not be very clear. However, you do not need to increase the size of the outlines just for the sake of beauty as the design created by the software is quite sufficient. The best thing you can do is use a good printer.
Image scaling: The size of the OMR sheets should be kept the same while printing. In other words, the design should not be altered to fit the paper or page size. This is usually automatically done by the printers. However, in case of OMR sheets, this has to be avoided for accurate reading and evaluation although the OMR software has the ability to accommodate variations for printing and scanning.
If you are using offset printers for OMR sheet printing, decide the size of the paper before starting the printing process. Sometimes, the offset printers may alter the design of the sheet to accommodate it in the paper. This should not be done as the size and dimensions of the OMR sheet are very important for accurate reading and evaluation of the sheets.
The precautions for printing OMR sheets would help you to design and print perfect OMR sheets that can be scanned and read easily.
If you want colored OMR sheets, you have to use colored laser or inkjet printer. You need to use two colors for this printing, one of which has to be black. The other can be pink, red or golden yellow. However, the color of the index points has to be black. If both colors are used for the index points, the black index point should overlap the other exactly (zero to zero registration).