The following is based on HP printers and Windows and Mac OS X. If you are using a different brand of printer, follow its instructions.
A fast way to check ink levels is to use Windows' Control Panel/System Preferences. To do so, simply click Start, and then click on Devices and Printers. If you are using a Mac OS X, open your Application folder and select "System Preferences." Then you want to Select "Print & Fax."
Look at the list and find your printer. Double-click on its icon which opens its profile. For the Mac OS X, you simply locate your printer in the column to the left of the window. When you find it, click the "Options & Supplies" button.
Now, go to and select the "Options" menu tab. Once inside, just click "Ink Levels." Mac OS X users will select the "Supply Levels" tab. You will be able to see the printer ink level as represented on a nifty little graph.
To check the printer ink level using your printer software, you simply do the following:
Find your printer software folder and open it. If the software has not been installed yet, you will need to do so by inserting the disc that came with your printer. Follow install instructions.
After opening the printer software folder, select "File," then "Print" from the top menu bar. Once you have done this, a new dialog box will open up. At this point, click the "Properties" button that you find inside the dialog box. Now, select the "Services" tab (normally at the top) and choose the button that says "Service This Device".
You should see a tab that says "Estimated Ink Levels". Click this tab to see how much printer ink there is remaining in your printer ink cartridges. Once finished, close all tabs and boxes.
If your printer ink cartridge level is below 25 percent, consider installing a fresh one if you are about to do a large print job. Remember, running out of printer ink is a pain and is well worth the few minutes it may take to avoid that problem.
When you change out a printer ink cartridge, make it a habit to immediately check your current inventory of cartridges. If you need to, now is the time to order printer ink cartridges or toner cartridges as the thought is fresh in your mind. Jot down the appropriate reordering information to make your online purchase fast and hassle free.
About the Author: Andrew Yeung is president of CompAndSave, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including remanufactured and compatible printer ink cartridges. With deals every month and a 1-year guarantee of quality, CompandSave provides an easy way for people and businesses to purchase printer ink and accessories.