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Each printer has different features that can impact how much ink or toner you use. Take a look at the tips below specific to your type of printer.
- Draft mode: The majority of inkjet printers give you the option to use a "draft mode", which prints in one pass (versus multiple passes in "normal" mode). The result is text and imagery that is less bold and often in grayscale, but may be acceptable for what you need to print. If you need to print a document of higher quality, it’s easy enough to switch back to normal mode.
- Lower resolution: Your laser printer may be on a high DPI setting, which may be applying more ink to an area than necessary. While you may get better quality with higher DPI settings, you may not need it for your specific purposes. For regular everyday printing, a setting below 300 DPI should be adequate. Your printer may even run faster.
- Toner Save: Many laser printers have a feature called Toner Save that tells the printer to use less toner when enabled. Check your printer for a button to turn the feature on or look for it in your printer driver settings.
- Be mindful of size: Printer cartridges come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them are smaller for those who do not print very often. Others, which may be larger, are good for those who print more frequently. If you don't print very often, but purchase larger cartridges to save money, it could be costing you. Manufacturers recommend to use or replace cartridges within six months of opening, as ink tends to dry out.
- Clean your cartridges: With cartridges being so easy to insert and remove from your printer, cleaning them should not be a problem. By wiping away buildup or dried ink, you can save yourself from costly reprints or damage to the printer.
- Using black: Sometimes images and text appear black on a screen, but in actuality are several colors combined together to look black. In addition, some graphics software display "rich black" as a combination of other colors. In printing, when colors are added to the black bolder and more saturated, this is called “overprinting.” Check your black preferences in your document's color settings to make sure you aren't using color where it isn't needed. The surefire way to test it is to remove your color cartridges completely and see how it prints without them.
- Fonts: Many fonts are much wider or bolder than their counterparts. Use lavish, bold fonts only when necessary to avoid exhausting your ink and toner. You can even reduce the size of a font on your typical documents will help in the long term.
- Simplistic design: When designing your pieces, consider using a simple, minimalist design. Large, colorful images are often overused and can create unnecessary clutter. Furthermore, they can overshadow what you're trying to communicate to begin with. Think about how much you could save without the chaos and go with less.
- Printing without graphics: If you print a lot of pages from the web, they can be littered with banners and in-content images that you don't really need. Your printing properties should allow you to "print only text" or "remove backgrounds and images". This will cut back on your ink and toner usage.
- Print preview: This might seem like a no-brainer, but people often print out draft versions when they could simply see how a document will look on screen. Lesson the amount of drafts being print not only will save ink but it will also cut down on your paper expenses.
- Recycle: Many office stores offer store credit when you turn in your recycled cartridges. This is money you can reinvest into new cartridges.