Tips for Saving Printer Ink and Paper

Printer ink is not cheap and even copy paper can get costly if you use a lot of it on a regular basis. Although modern computer printers for home use have come a long way and prices have become more affordable replacing the ink cartridges can still be a bit expensive unless you practice a few ink saving tricks.

To save ink on a working document it is always best to choose “draft copy” or “quick print.” This method of printing uses less ink and can be accessed in the print dialogue box by clicking on the preferences button. Another way to save ink is to print in black and white with a black ink cartridge. If your printer has to use its color cartridge to create a black printed page, you will run out of ink sooner.

Often times people will print out a draft to check the layout of text or graphics in a document. This not only uses a lot of ink, it wastes paper. To save on both learn to use the rulers, tool bars and page zoom to check your document and reserve printing the page until you have the final draft ready.

While paper doesn’t present the same monetary expense as ink, it should be used only as needed as the milling of paper uses up a lot of energy and resources. One way to save paper is to use both sides of it when printing multi-page documents. When you print on the backs of the pages you will use half as many sheets of paper, which not only saves paper and money, it cuts down on waste as your document will more than likely eventually end up being discarded.

To print on both sides of the paper, first mark a blank sheet with an arrow to determine whether your printer feeds face up or face down and then make a test print. This will also help you to determine if the paper feeds header end first or not. Place blank pages in the printer one at a time and turn them over and re-feed them through in the proper position.

You can also save on paper by using your computer’s print preview setting. The print preview shows the full document at a reduced size which will allow you to check the orientation of text and graphics before printing. If what you are printing only requires a portion of the page consider cutting the paper prior to printing and changing the printer and page settings to reflect the custom size.

When printing from the internet you can save ink by selecting to view the printer friendly version of the web document, or if that is not an option, try using your cursor and mouse button to highlight the text sections of the document and when the printer dialog box appears choose “print selection.” (Note: using the ctrl+p keyboard shortcut to print will negate this option.)

Using the print selection option is especially helpful when printing information from a web page that uses frames. Some printers may allow you to also select which frames you want to print. Alternatively, if you do not need an actual hard copy but want to save the information you are viewing online you can choose “print to file.”

Be sure to save all drafts and printing mistakes to use as scratch paper and recycle them by printing on the blank sides whenever possible. These steps will help to save money, ink and paper and shrink your footprint just a tad in the process.