A Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Photocopier

Using a photocopying machine is not rocket science. It only requires a little bit of basic knowledge on how to operate any electronic gadget. Apart from the operating manual, there are some other tips you have to follow when operating a photocopying machine. It’s surprising the number of people who don’t even have a clue on how to operate a copier.

A photocopying machine is one of the most critical pieces of equipment in an office setting. Therefore, as an employee, you may sometimes be required to make great copies using the copying machine.

It’s estimated that 5 out of 10 people have never even handled a photocopying machine; a statistic that is even more worrying. Many employees view a photocopying machine as a much-confiscated piece of technology. Here is photocopierguide.co.uk step-by-step guide on how to use a photocopying machine:

  1. Turn on the Photocopier

The first step before anything else is to make sure the power cable of the copier is properly plugged into the power source. Then switch on the machine by pressing the power button. Most copiers have the power button located on the face of the device, but others on the side. Make sure you are pushing the correct button to avoid putting the machine into sleep mode.

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Before going onto the next step, it is important to make sure that the paper tray has enough papers in it. The paper tray is located at the bottom of most machines, so make sure you correctly identify one. If the paper tray has no papers, fill the plate with papers by carefully placing them onto the tray. If the paper tray has enough papers, then move on to the next step. Please note that most copiers have delicate paper trays, it is therefore recommended to handle them with a lot of care and precision.

  1. 2. Place the Document on the Photocopier

The next phase is the easy part; place your document on the copier. Most copiers have manual instructions printed on the printer. Please read the instructions first before placing the papers. You will notice a glass-like platform covered by a hinged door. Place your document there. Once you have placed your paper on the glass, close the hinged cover. Be careful not to break the glass platform by banging the cover.

  1. Go to the Instructions Menu

An instructional menu is a type of list where you select the number of copies you want to print from the original document. Most copiers ask the user how many copies they wish to print; with others requiring you to manually input the number of copies. Once you have selected the number of copies, move on to the next step.

  1. Color adjustments

Not all copiers have an option for color preference. But there are some which ask you whether you want your copies colored or in black and white. To go to the color preference option, click the menu button, and then go to settings, click color preference; select the colors icon then click ‘Save’.

  1. Choose the Paper Size

After choosing your preferred color, you will as well need to select the paper size. Different trays have different paper size. Though, the A4 size 8.5 inches is the most preferred one. In case, you need to print envelopes or any pieces of papers with varied paper sizes; then you have to readjust on the settings menu button. Advanced photocopiers have individual trays known as by-pass trays, located on the sides of the copier. The by-pass paper tray has unique features, which you can learn more about on the user’s manual.

  1. Activate the copying process

The active copying process is the last step where the user is required to command the copier to make copies by pressing the ‘Copy’ button. Most photocopying machines have the copying button on the top of the device. Once the copy button is activated, the photocopier will start printing the copies from the tray. However, since the machine is prone to malfunctioning errors, it is advisable to stand in front of the printer, just to clear off any errors.

Safety guidelines

Something you need to be aware of when it comes to photocopiers is that they operate on command by users. Consequently, copiers should be placed under safe conditions and care. Here are a few tips on how to maintain a photocopying machine:

  • Always make sure the copier is situated in well-ventilated conditions in the office.
  • Still, make sure to read the manual well before operating a new photocopier.
  • Avoid unnecessary movement of the device within the office.
  • Have a qualified technician fix the machine for you in case of a breakdown.
  • Clean the glass cover of the copier with a clean piece of clothing.
  • Place the computer in serene environments to avoid exposure to dust.
  • Always be careful with the settings button not to inconvenience other users of the same device in the office.
  • Still, use the correct paper size when loading an empty tray with printing papers.


Even though photocopying machines are meant to make work easier for office users, they do have some risks as well. For instance, daily usage of a photocopying machine has some serious health repercussions. The elements found inside a photocopier are very harmful. Copier devices such as toners, metal halide, and the fluorescent light; are the main primary health risks.

It has been documented that prolonged use of photocopying machines can be harmful. Many people, who continuously expose themselves to photocopying machines, are advised to take keen precautions when handling them. It is reported that respiratory diseases such as coughing, sneezing and throat infections; are associated with individuals who expose themselves to copiers on a daily basis.

Despite the health risks, there are somebenefits to using photocopiers in your business. Some of these photocopier benefits include the ability to print in bulk, optimizes workflows, they are easy to operate, saves labor and time, digital capability and manage workflows.

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