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W-2 print test to check and adjust preprinted forms alignment

The print test will help you in making sure that the text on your W-2 form will align correctly with the boxes on a preprinted form. When you perform a print test, you use a blank paper so you avoid wasting preprinted forms.



Assumption: You are in the Print W-2 and W-3 Forms window in QuickBooks Desktop.

Note: Your adjustments remain in effect until you change them, so be sure to check alignment when you are ready to print a different type of form.

  1. Load your printer with blank paper.
  2. In the Print W-2 and W-3 Forms window, click Print Test. This will print the text on your W-2 forms only.
  3. Put the printout above your preprinted form or vice versa (whichever has thinner sheet). Hold them up to the light and check the alignment.
    • If the text aligns with the boxes on preprinted forms, you can now print the form using the actual preprinted forms.
    • If the text does not align with the boxes on preprinted forms, proceed to the next step.
  4. In the Print W-2 and W-3 Forms window, click Align.
  5. In the Preprinted forms alignment window, adjust the alignment of the text. Use only positive numbers. Enter 0 (zero) if the horizontal alignment is correct.
    • Horizontal alignment: Select Left or Right to indicate direction, and then enter the distance (Inches) you want the text to move.
    • Vertical alignment: Select Up or Down to indicate direction, and then enter the distance (Inches) you want the text to move.
  6. Click Print Test to see the result of your adjustment.
  7. Repeat step 1 to step 6 until you are satisfied that the form will print correctly on the preprinted form.
  8. Click OK to close the Preprinted forms alignment window.
  9. You can now print your W-2s using preprinted forms.


If the W-2s still will not align:

Option 1: Print on Blank / Perforated Paper

Option 2: Purchase W-2 paper from Intuit. Look for the vendor code from your W-2 purchase. The code should be 0000/1030D if purchase was made from Intuit.

  1. Access the Print W-2 and W-3 forms window.
  2. Choose Employees > Payroll Tax Forms and W-2s > Process Payroll Forms.
  3. Select the W-2 Form from the list of forms.

    In the File Forms section, select Annual Form W-2/W-3 - Wage and Tax Statement/Transmittal and click the Create Form button.

  4. In the Process W-2s for options, select All Employees or select Employee's Last Name (choose From and To) to file by batch.
  5. In the SELECT FILING PERIOD section, in the Year field, enter the year of the form you are printing and click OK.
  6. In the Select Employees for Form W-2/W-3 window, select the employees you are printing for. You can also click Mark All to select all employees displayed.
    If you have not yet reviewed all W-2 forms (as indicated by missing checkmarks in the Reviewed column), click Review/Edit. After reviewing, click Submit Form to continue printing.
  7. Click Print/E-file.  This will open the Print W-2 and W-3 Forms window

Option 3: Have your IT person check the compatibility of your printer driver.

  1. Check your printer manufacturer's website to download and re-install the latest print driver.
  2. Open Devices and Printers and check which printer is installed.
  3. If the driver of your printer is PCL6 print driver, install the PCL5 print driver.
  4. If the PCL5 print driver doesn't work, try downloading and installing a Post Script print driver.

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