How to Use a Copy Machine the Right Way

Picture it: it’s your first day at a new job. The H.R. department has asked you to make a copy of your driver’s license. “The copy machine is right over there,” they say. 

Sounds easy enough, right? The only problem is it’s been years since you used an office copy machine. Maybe it’s even your first time. 

Not to worry. Read our quick how-to guide to learn how to use a copy machine. You’ll learn about types of copy machines, how to use them, and even some easy troubleshooting tips. 

Types of Copy Machines

When it comes to office equipment, copy machines are a staple (no pun intended). There are many different types of copy machines

Black and White Copy Machines

The most basic kind of copy machine is a black and white copier. This kind of copier only copies and prints in black and white. These copy machines require only black ink. 

Color Copy Machines

A color copy machine copies and prints in both black and white plus color. These copy machines require three different colors of ink to operate: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. 


These machines copy, print, and scan. 

Printer/Scanner/Fax Machines

This type of machine does it all. It copies, prints, scans, and faxes. 

How to Use a Copy Machine

Since they come in different models, using a copy machine can be confusing. Here are a few features that you can expect most models to have, and how to use each one.

Copying From the Document Feeder

Most copy machines have a document feeder. This allows you to feed paper into the machine to make your copy. It’s a quick copying method and best if your document has multiple pages. 

Here is how to use a document feeder:

  • Remove any staples, paper clips, or other binders from your document
  • Smooth your papers out to ensure proper machine feeding
  • Place your document into the document feeder. You will either place it face-up or face down. Face-up is most common
  • Hit the start button

Copying From an Original

Copy machines have a glass platen. Using this method is best if you have a single paper. It is also what you’ll use for copying anything smaller than a 8.5” x 11” document. (Like a driver’s license.)

Here is how to copy from an original document:

  • Place your paper or document on the glass platen, face-down
  • Close the copy machine’s lid
  • Hit the start button

Copy Machine Troubleshooting

To cut down on frustration if your copier malfunctions, consider leasing your copy machine from a reputable company. They can help you troubleshoot almost all copy machine problems. The folks at Supreme Office Technology are our pick. 

If you don’t have a team of professionals to help, here are some common copy machine problems. Your owner’s manual will give you instructions on how to handle each issue. 

Common Copy Machine Problems

  • Paper jam
  • Out of ink or toner
  • Out of paper
  • Not plugged in
  • Not turned on

How Do I Choose the Best Copy Machine?

The best type of copy machine is the one that will meet all your needs. Decide what you need your copier to do and go from there. Contacting a copy machine leasing company can help make your decision easier. They can help you choose the perfect copier

They can also show you how to use a copy machine. With professionals in your corner, you will be using your copy machine faster than you can say, “copy, print, scan!”