We report on comprehensive characterization of piezoelectric shear mode inkjet actuators micromachined into bulk Pb(Zr0.53Ti0.47)O3 (PZT) ceramics. The paper starts with an overview of different inkjet technologies such as continuous jet and drop-on-demand systems, whereat main attention is turned on piezoelectric systems particularly Xaar-type shear mode inkjet color printheads. They are an example of complex microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and comprise a ferroelectric array of 128 active ink channels (75νm wide and 360νm deep). Detailed information about manufacturing and principles of operation are given. Several techniques to control manufacturing processes and to characterize properties of the piezoelectric material are described: dielectric spectroscopy to measure dielectric permittivity ε and loss tanσ; ferroelectric hysteresis P-E loop tracing to get remnant polarization P r and coercive field E c , and a novel pulsed technique to quantify functional properties of the PZT actuator such as acoustic resonant frequencies and electromechanical coupling factor. Stroboscope technique has been employed to find correlation between the degradation of ink-jet performance and heat/high voltage treatment resulting in ferroelectric fatigue.