Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tips to Save Money on Printer Ink

Everyone knows printer ink is expensive. How expensive? Well, on a per gallon basis, printer ink costs over 1200x more than gas! These days, when everyone is thinking about how to save money by cutting back on fuel costs, it is time to also think about how to save money by making printer ink last.

Write Using a Smaller Font, or Use an Eco-Font

Smaller fonts use slightly less ink per letter than larger fonts, which is fairly self-evident. Similarly, chucky fonts or bolded text should be avoided. Large, chunky or bold fonts use more ink per letter than is strictly necessary.

Eco-fonts are a bit more complicated, but not by much. The most well-known eco-font has tiny, barely perceptible holes in the letters, which allows the letters to be printed with less ink. This saves on resources used, including the plastic used in the ink cartridges, which is why it is called “eco-font”. If you prefer to use a font readily available on Microsoft Word, Garamond is very eco-friendly.

Check Over the Document Before Printing

Proofing and double-checking text and images is just good practice when it comes to creating documents, but when trying to conserve ink, it makes so much sense. If someone prints a document, then sees a mistake, they will have to fix the mistake and re-print the document. That means the first print was a waste of time, paper and, of course, ink.

Print Low-Quality Images

Lower-quality images don’t have as much detail in them as higher-quality images do. A detailed background can become a soft grey smudge, which doesn’t use as much ink. Making sure the images you print are of a lower quality can be done in several ways:
• You can set your printer options to “Draft,” which will produce lower-quality images.
• You can sometimes lower the dpi, or dots per inch, that your printer uses. You can usually find the option to lower dpi in Advanced Settings. Change the dpi to 300, which should be enough to make images show up pretty well.
• In the actual document, go to the print preferences section. Change the Quality preference from "Normal" or "High" to "Lower."

Keep Printing Until the Ink Actually Does Run Out

You may have noticed that when the message saying the printer is out of ink pops up, you can still squeeze out a fair few prints. PC World put that to the test and found that cartridges that claimed to be out of ink still had between 8% to 45% of the ink left in the cartridge, depending on the make of the ink cartridge. They also found that third-party printer cartridges tended to have more ink left in them than branded cartridges, and of the branded cartridges, Epson’s tended to have the least amount of ink left.

Print Only What You Need

This tip must seem blindingly obvious, but it does require you to ask yourself "Do I really, really need to print this?" Sometimes printing a document might seem like the easiest way to deal with it, like when you are proofing it, but most things that can be done on a print-out can also be done on a digital copy, including making notes and marking the changes that need to be done.

And if you do really need to print out a document, ask yourself if there are any elements that you don’t need to print. Does it have images that you don’t need, or are there only a few paragraphs that you need? You can copy and paste the things you need into a new document, or you could use one of the several programs that allow you to select very specifically the things you want to include in your print. GreenPrint is one such program, and it also analyses what you select to print and points out potentially wasteful elements before you print.

Keep Cartridges and the Printer Clean

Keeping machines cleaned and maintained is one of the best ways to make sure they work more efficiently for longer, and printers and their cartridges are no exception. Check your user’s manual to see how to best clean the printer, since each model will be slightly different.

Cleaning a cartridge is often as simple as pulling it out and wiping off the bottom, where the nozzle is usually located. This basically prevents the nozzle from clogging. It can also help a cartridge that isn’t working anymore to resume working by unclogging the nozzle.

By doing these simple things, you should be able to decrease the amount of ink you use, which will save the Earth’s resources and your money!


Author Bio:

This guest post was contributed by Clickinks, an online distributor of printer cartridges for your home or office. Search by printer brand, model, and cartridge number to find the exact ink and toner cartridges you need. Clickinks has over 1 million items in stock for the top 25 printer brands, such as HP, Brother, Canon, and Epson ink cartridges.

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