PC Load Letter

What Does PC Load Letter Mean?

The phrase “PC load letter” is a printer error message on some mostly obsolete types of HP laserjet printers. Here, “PC” stands for “paper cassette” and the error indicates that no letter-sized paper is available for a print job with a letter size. The error message is instructing the user to load a letter-sized paper into the printer.


Techopedia Explains PC Load Letter

After its common use in the 1999 film “Office Space”, the phrase “PC load letter” became somewhat of a meme when talking about frustrating, vague or confusing error messages and technological malfunctions.

“PC load letter?” says David Herman’s character Michael Bolton, struggling with an office printer. “What the [expletive] does that mean?” A scene later in the film reveals the hapless office worker and his two friends performing a kind of mafia-style mock execution on the printer in question. As the film became a cult classic, “PC load letter” became a kind of shorthand not only for frustrations with technology, but also for the ensuing aggression and rage that can result.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…