Receiving faxes on legal size paper

I can’t get my fax machine to print correctly on legal-size paper. I load the tray with legal paper, but when the fax I’m expecting comes through, it just shrinks the text down so it would have fit on standard 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper and prints it that way. What am I doing wrong?

Here are some ideas for troubleshooting the problem of a fax not printing on legal-size paper the way you need it to:

First, rule out the basics by making sure you have placed the paper in the tray correctly. If it’s not in there securely, the machine may not take it in correctly, and thus could read it as a mis-feed. If your fax machine has two trays (one for letter size and one for legal size), make sure the tray configured to use legal-size paper is loaded with legal-size paper.

It’s likely that your fax machine requires you to actively “tell it” that you want to receive faxes on legal-size paper. Try pressing the Menu or Set button and then scroll up or down using the arrows to select paper size. If you have two or more trays, you should be able to configure each one separately in the Control Panel. Try making Tray 1 the tray assigned to legal paper. Consult the machine’s user’s manual if you have it, or the manufacturer’s web site.

If your faxes are coming through on legal paper OK, but the text has been shrunk, try going into the machine’s Control Panel and disabling the automatic reduction or “shrink to fit” option. That may force the fax to solve its own problem.

If the machine stops printing partway through, or reads “paper jam,” this is also likely something you need to fix in the Control Panel by selecting the legal paper option. The machine is probably “expecting” the sheet to end at the 11-inch point, and when it doesn’t, the fax sensor detects what it “thinks” is another sheet coming thorough and calls it a paper jam.

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