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How to Fix Shadow Letters on a Brother MFC-685 Printer


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Shadow letters, as well as blurred text, result from the print alignment coming out of adjustment on the Brother MFC-685 printer. The printer uses a print head to deliver the ink from the different cartridges installed inside the printer, spraying tiny droplets of the ink to form text and graphics. When you move the printer, the print head can come out of alignment. Adjusting the print alignment takes less than 10 minutes and does not require you to open the printer.

  • Turn on the MFC-685 and wait for it to become silent, indicating it is done warming up. Place paper in the printer’s input tray, if some paper is not already present.
  • Press the “Ink” button on the printer’s control panel. Use the arrow buttons on the control panel until you highlight “Test Print” on the printer’s display screen, and then press the “OK” button on the control panel.
  • Use the arrow keys on the control panel to highlight “Alignment” on the printer’s display, and press the “OK” button. Press either the “Black Start” or “Color Start” button to begin printing the alignment page.
  • Examine the printout to see if section 5 matches section 0 the best in both the 600 and 1,200 dpi sections. Press the “1” button on the printer’s control panel if section 5 does match section 0 the best in both the 600 and 1,200 dots per inch sections.
  • Press the “2” button if another section matched section 0 better. Press the number of the section in the 600 dpi section of the printout that matches section 0 the best, and then press the number that matches the best out of the 1,200 dpi section of the printout. Press the “Stop/Exit” button on the printer’s control panel to finish checking and adjusting the printer’s alignment.
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