Copier functions excerpeted from Buying a Copier? How to get what you're paying for.


Reducing the size of the copy compared with the original. Most models come with preset reductions for standard business-sized paper. A zoom feature allows you to choose a reduction in one percent increments.


Magnifying the size of the copy compared with the original. As with the reduction feature, preset and zoom controls allow varied enlargement settings.

Variable magnification and reduction

Magnifying or reducing by one percent increments. Instead of offering you only preset percentages, this feature allows you to indicate the exact percent of magnification or reduction that you need, within ranges provided.


Automatically selecting the appropriate reduction or magnification ratio. A copier with the auto-magnification feature senses the size of the original and selects the appropriate ratio that will produce a copy on the size of copy paper the operator selects.


Automatically selecting the appropriate size of copy paper. With this feature the copier senses the size of the original and selects the appropriate size of paper for each original. If the operator has to input the size of the original or of the copy paper before copying, the machine does not have the auto-paper-selection feature. Machines that have an auto-paper-selection feature that works only with an optional document feeder should be indicated by the notation "Optional with feeder" included as part of the auto-paper-selection description.

Book copy

Copying separate pages of an open book. With the book copy feature, the operator places an open book on the machine. Without repositioning of the book, the copier scans each page of the book separately and automatically produces single copies of any two facing pages.

Image shift

Margin adjustments from the original to the copy. Copiers with an image shift feature can provide larger or smaller margins on the copy without physically moving the original. This feature is useful in preventing image areas from being lost when hole-punched paper is used for the copy paper.


Two-sided copying. There are three ways to produce two-sided copies: manual, semiautomatic 1:2, and automatic 2:2. The simplest-and slowest-way is to manually reinsert the copied sheet in the paper tray and copy the second side of the original on the copy. The semiautomatic duplexing feature (1:2) reduces operator time by copying single-sided originals on both sides of the page. To copy a two-sided original, however, the operator must manually re-feed the second side of each original.

The 2:2 feature can produce duplexed copies from two-sided originals without operator intervention. If you have to reload the paper tray or re-feed the originals, the machine does not have an automatic 2:2 feature. The simplex 2:1 feature allows the operator to copy from two-sided originals to one-sided copies.

The size of paper that you need to accommodate the automatic duplexing feature as well as your requirements for paper capacity of the duplexing tray are important numbers you should determine before you prepare your request for proposal. Most duplex trays hold 50 standard-sized sheets, although a few are available that hold 100.


Electronic manipulation of the copy image. Types of editing include masking, trimming, centering, transferring and positive/negative copying. The operator may use a keyboard, an editing board with an electronic stylus or a mouse device to access editing commands available on the copier.


Able to copy jobs into the copier's memory. A programmable copier contains a memory chip or magnetic card that stores copy job parameters. This feature "remembers" requirements for a given number of copying jobs that have been entered using commands from the control panel.

Border erase

Eliminating border shadows. When copying books, magazines or other heavy materials, unwanted border shadows or three-hole punch marks may occur at the edges of the copy frame. The border erase feature deletes these unsightly marks.

Image overlay

Capability of automatically superimposing two originals onto one copy.

Photo mode

A feature that enhances detail and resolution when copying photographs or other half-tone illustrations.

Automatic exposure

Automatic scanning of the original to determine the correct exposure setting. All copiers with this feature allow the operator to manually override the automatic exposure setting.


A feature that allows a job to be interrupted before it is completed. The pause/interrupt feature lets the operator stop the copying process to run another copying job without having to reprogram the original job.


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