CheckJet® Express Client
Most CheckJet® Express users will start by using the CheckJet Central application to design their check and then publish the check design for use by CheckJet Express. If you received a CheckJet Express check design from TypeHaus or a TypeHaus partner, you probably do not need to use the CheckJet Central application. If you still need to design your check, click here for the CheckJet Central tutorial.
Once you have a published check design for CheckJet Express, you'll need to attach it to a QuickBooks account using CheckJet Express Manager. This step tells CheckJet Express Client which check design to use when you print checks from a QuickBooks account. If you still need to attach a check design to a QuickBooks account, click here for the CheckJet Express Manager tutorial.
You normally only use CheckJet Central and CheckJet Express Manager when initially preparing a new check design to use during printing, or to make changes to a check design. Most of the time you will use CheckJet Express Client to perform the actual check printing. As you will see in this tutorial, CheckJet Express Central was designed to look and feel very much like QuickBook's internal check printing capability. The difference is CheckJet Express lets you print checks from all your accounts using a single common supply of blank check paper. CheckJet Express frees you from constantly swapping different stacks of pre-printed checks into your printer for each account.
To start using CheckJet Express Client, launch it using its icon on your Windows desktop or in the Windows Start Menu under TypeHaus. If the future you may want to add a shortcut to CheckJet Express Client to your Windows Startup folder so Windows automatically launches CheckJet Express Client whenever you start your system. CheckJet Express Client was designed to sit out of the way in the notifications (aka system tray) portion of your taskbar until you need it.
The main form shows the "About" information for the application along with buttons to select one of the CheckJet Express Client main functions. The very first time you start CheckJet Express Client, it displays this form. In the future, whenever you start CheckJet Express Client it will resume in the same state when you last shut it down. If you had this form open when you shut it down, this form will be displayed again. If you had CheckJet Express Client minimized to the notification area of your taskbar, it will return to this minimized state.
When CheckJet Express Client is minimized to the notification area, all its features remaining quickly available. You can quickly reopen this main form by simply double-clicking on the CheckJet Express Client icon in the notification area. You can also right-click on the icon and a pop-up menu will appear with all the main features found on the main form.
To start printing checks, first make sure you have checks in QuickBooks ready to print. You may want to experiment using one of the sample company files Intuit makes available for use with QuickBooks. It's important to remember that CheckJet Express Client can only print checks from an account in a company file that has an associated check design. The CheckJet Express Manager application performs the associating. If you want to use one of the QuickBooks sample companies for experimenting, be sure you had the sample company file open when you were using CheckJet Express Manager to associated check designs with accounts.
To start printing checks, click "Print checks...".
At this point, CheckJet Express Manager will contact QuickBooks and ask it for the list of your company bank accounts and any checks ready to print in those accounts. Normally this step will complete within a few seconds. If nothing appears to be happening, confirm that QuickBooks does not have any dialog boxes open. QuickBooks has a limitation that it cannot communicate with other applications while it has any dialog boxes open. If any QuickBooks dialog boxes are open, CheckJet Express Client will sit there waiting for QuickBooks to respond.
If this is the first time this version of CheckJet Express Client has contacted QuickBooks, QuickBooks will present its own form (not shown here). This QuickBooks form asks you to confirm whether to permit CheckJet Express Client to communicate with QuickBooks. QuickBooks asks you to select one of four options:
- Yes, prompt each time
- Yes, whenever this QuickBooks company file is open
- Yes, always; allow access even if QuickBooks is not running
QuickBooks also provides the following check box:
- Allow this application to access personal data such as Social Security Numbers and customer credit card information.
From the list of options, only "Yes, prompt each time" or "Yes, whenever this QuickBooks company file is open" are necessary for CheckJet Express Client to work. "Yes, whenever this QuickBooks company file is open" will be the most user friendly since QuickBooks will not ask you again in the future for this version of CheckJet Express Client. QuickBooks always asks again for each new version of an application. If you want QuickBooks to ask every time you use CheckJet Express Client, select "Yes, prompt each time."
The check box "Allow this application to access personal data..." should be left not checked. CheckJet Express Client does not need to access any personal data.
Once you have told QuickBooks to communicate with CheckJet Express Client, QuickBooks will return the list of check information and CheckJet Express Client will proceed to the next step.
The drop-down list box at the top of the form allows you to select the account from which you want to print checks. The lower list shows all the checks within the selected account that are ready for printing. Due to limitations in QuickBooks, CheckJet Express Client displays only the manually created checks, the bill payment checks, and the sales tax payment checks. These represent the vast majority of checks printed by most companies. Payroll checks and payroll tax checks are not displayed.
Initially CheckJet Express Client automatically selects all checks for printing. The check marks in the left column indicate the checks selected for printing. To select or deselect a check, click on the check in the list. To deselect all checks click "Select None". To select all checks click "Select All". The "Refresh" button instructs CheckJet Express Client to go ask QuickBooks for the complete list of checks again.
In this tutorial we don't want to print all the checks available, so we start by clicking on "Select None". You may wish to do the same just when experimenting if you have a lot of checks pending to print.
The above picture shows that all the check marks have been cleared, indicating that we have no checks selected to print. The message right above the check list also confirms this. Next we'll select just the first five checks for printing by clicking on each of the checks in the list.
Once you have the desired checks selected, click "OK" to move on and select the printer.
Use the drop-down list to select the appropriate check printing printer. Remember that to print real official checks, the printer must be loaded with MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) toner and proper blank check paper. For the purposes of printing test checks you intend to shred, none of that is important. Using standard toner and normal blank copier paper works just fine for testing (only!).
After selecting the check printer from the drop-down list, click "Options...".
The "Printer configuration..." button leads to the normal Windows printer configuration settings. For printers that can print on both sides of the paper (using a duplexer), any setting for double-sided printing will be ignored by CheckJet Express Client. CheckJet Express Client always forces the printer to single-sided printing when printing checks.
When printing checks, it is also very important to disable any "toner saver" settings that cause the printer to print using less toner. This is only important when printing checks since it reduces the amount of MICR toner the printer will use when printing the MICR numbers at the bottom of your checks. This degrades the quality of the MICR numbers, making them unreliable for bank check sorting equipment to read, and can lead to complaints from your bank.
The "MICR line alignment..." button leads to settings that allow you to finely adjust the positioning of the MICR numbers being printed at the bottom of your checks. Click the button to explore these settings.
Printers are mechanical devices. Two different printers, even of the exact same manufacturer and model, can have some small variation in the placement of text relative to the edges of the paper. For normal document printing, the small variation doesn't matter. However banks have some pretty specific rules about the positioning of the MICR numbers at the bottom of your checks. MICR line alignment allows you to precisely correct for these small variations in order to make sure the MICR numbers are printed at their optimal position.
The alignment process is fairly simple and straight-forward. Start by clicking the "Print test MICR line" button and CheckJet Express Client will print a special test page to help with the alignment. The page includes the instructions. You will only need a ruler, however it should be a reasonably accurate ruler.
If you discover you need to change the alignment settings to compensate for your printer (most people find it necessary), be sure to print a new test page to confirm the new alignment is correct. Once your alignment settings are correct, click "OK".
You will be returned to the Printer Configuration form. Once you have the printer configuration settings and MICR line alignment settings as desired, click "OK" and CheckJet Express Client will remember all the settings so long as you do not change the selected printer. Changing the selected printer causes CheckJet Express Client to forget all the old settings so it can start remembering the settings for the new printer.
The Print Checks form also contains a box for entering the number of the next check to print. CheckJet Express Client will automatically remember the next number based on the last check it printed last time. However, it is important to remember that CheckJet Exrpess Client and QuickBooks do not share a common "next check number" setting. This makes it easier if a user wants to continue using pre-printed checks for some check printing from the same account. In that case, the easiest thing to do is keep different check number ranges for the CheckJet Express printed checks and the pre-printed checks.
To start the actual check printing, click "Print". As CheckJet Express Client prints each check it instructs QuickBooks to assign the check its number in the account, exactly like QuickBooks itself does when printing pre-printed checks.
Just like QuickBooks, upon completion of check printing CheckJet Express Client gives you the change to select any checks that failed to print correctly. Simply click on any checks that need reprinting and a check mark in the left column will indicate has been selected. The "Select All" and "Select None" buttons provide a quick way to select all the checks for reprinting or clear all check selections.
For the purposes of this tutorial, we only wanted to perform a test printing of the checks. We use the "Select All" button to select all the checks for reprinting in the future. After clicking "OK", CheckJet Express Client will instruct QuickBooks to return any checks marked in the list to "To Print" status so they will be available for printing again.
Since we told CheckJet Express Client we had checks needing reprinting, CheckJet Express Client assumed we wanted to reprint those checks now. CheckJet Express Client automatically asked QuickBooks for an updated list of the checks needing printing, and returned us to the check selection form. If we had not indicated any checks needed reprinting, CheckJet Express Client would have returned us either to the main form or minimized to the notification area -- depending upon how we first started the printing process.
Since we don't actually want to reprint the checks, selecting "Cancel" gets us back to the main form. If we had started the check printing process by right-clicking the CheckJet Express Client in the notification area, CheckJet Express Client would automatically minimize itself back to the notification area.
You may find it desirable at times to print blank checks. One reason might be so the check can be filled out by hand. For example, taking a check with you to a store or vendor. Another reason is for printing those few checks CheckJet Express Client cannot print directly because of limitations in QuickBooks. In that situation, you can print a series of blank checks then place those blank checks back into the printer for printing by QuickBooks. The approach is very much like creating your own small batch of pre-printed checks.
To print blank checks, click on the "Print blank checks..." button.
CheckJet Express Client starts by asking QuickBooks for the list of active bank accounts, then continues on to the Select Blank Checks to Print form.
Use the drop-down list box at the top to select the bank account for which to print the blank checks. This tells CheckJet Express Client which check design to use.
Next use the number boxes to specify the check number range to print. Changing the last check number will automatically change the number of checks. Changing the number of checks will automatically change the last check number.
If the check design associated with the bank account includes one or two signatures, one or two check boxes will appear to allow you to specify whether you want either or both signature to print on the blank checks. For normaly blank checks, normally no signature would be pre-printed. However for blank checks to be reinserted into the printer for printing by QuickBooks, you may find it useful to have either or both signatures pre-printed.
Since the check design being used for the tutorial has only one signature, we are presented with only the one check box for selecting that signature. When a check design includes both an upper and lower signature, CheckJet Express Client will display separate check boxes for each.
After making all the desired selections, click "OK" to specify the check printer.
This is the same printer selection form used during normal check printing. Any changes made to the selected printer or its configuration settings will apply to future check printing as well. To start printing the blank checks, click "OK".
After it finishes printing all the blank checks, CheckJet Express Client asks whether you want to change the next check to be used for any future check printing. The "next check number" setting for both normal check printing and blank check printing are the same. You might wish to change the next check number if one or more blank checks failed to print correctly and you want to re-use the numbers on those checks.
Click "OK" to complete blank check printing.
CheckJet Express Client will return to either the main form or minimize itself to the notification area, depending upon how the blank check printing process was started. With the main form displaying, click "Standby" to minimize CheckJet Express Client to the notification area. Click "Close application" to close CheckJet Express Client completely.