Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Smart Printing Habits Save Money

Reduce Your Ink and Paper Costs With These Simple Tips

Printer paper is dear, and ink cartridges are outrageous.

Can you tell I recently went to the store? Sheeze! Yes, I know all about “generics”, and refills, and refill kits.. but ouch! The price tags still hurt an old skinflint like me. (Call me Captain Cheapdate.)

Tip of the day: reduce your ink and paper consumption with these simple tips.

* Open your printer’s Preferences and set your printer to default to its lowest quality setting — usually referred to as “Draft” — and set it B&W (or, “Grayscale”).

Click Start > Control Panel > Printers and right-click on your printer. Then select “Printing Preferences” from the context menu. Make your changes, and then click the “Apply” button.

This setting will suffice for the majority of your printing needs. For certain documents that require better quality, you simply come back here and change them back. (or.. keep reading)

* If possible, use “double-sided printing” to save paper. Also, in some cases, you may be able to print many (small versions of) pages onto a page.

* Use Print Preview to see what your output is going to look like ahead of time. Make sure your “portrait” page isn’t being printed as “landscape”! And use the the “Print Range” setting to make sure you don’t print more source pages than you intend.

* When printing out Web pages, select just the areas you want (you don’t want the color banner ads, right?) to print. This article may help, Extracting text from Web pages*; and/or, Firefox users can install the Aardvark add-on, and IE users can download Canon’s Easy WebPrint.

Today’s free download: Well, I count two already, so.. let me change that–
Today’s free links: Watch a video tutorial which demonstrates making these changes, and shows you how to set up “virtual printers” as a quick and easy shortcut to different quality settings.

Printer maintenance–how to avoid printer problems Read how to keep that printer performing like new, and troubleshoot minor issues.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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March 2, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, hardware, how to, performance, printers, tech | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. TechPaul,

    These are excellent tips to follow that save paper, ink and money… When I was managing a network, I trained all users these tips. Amazing how we cut down on ink. Some printers will allow you to change the default to the “draft printing” mode, as well. Another tip for users is to print to a PDF file instead of paper (for achiving and future reference). One great utility for that purpose is PDFCreator… I may be pointing my readers to this article from my blog…




    Comment by whatsonmypc | March 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Excellent point. Often times, sending a PDF (let them print it out) is a great way to go.

      Another good (free) PDF maker is CutePDF Writer.


      Comment by techpaul | March 2, 2009 | Reply

  2. GREAT advice.

    I use each sheet at least twice – printing on one side at a time of course.

    I am a “tree hugger” and very much into the “Green” movement, and this is one little act of “green” that, if we all did it, would have some impact.

    I think the current state of the economy, and its long lasting impact, will force us to be more responsible.

    Your article is very prescient.


    Comment by Bill Mullins | March 2, 2009 | Reply

    • I thank you sir.
      As a born-and-raised Kallyfornyan, I have heard of such a thing as a “green” approach to life. Once or twice.

      Whether your ‘motivation’ is ecological, or simply fiscal, these simple steps really do save. I appreciate the vendors who provide mailing materials for cartridge recycling, and take (other) steps to help reduce e-waste.

      One thing I forgot to mention in the article, is I have met some printers whose “draft” modes look so nice, it’s hard to tell if you’re really saving any ink (you are) where as others are quite pale.. maybe something to look at when considering a new printer.


      Comment by techpaul | March 2, 2009 | Reply

  3. […] of reinventing the wheel here, my blogging friend, TechPaul, at Tech-for Everyone has provided an excellent resource on this topic titled, “Smart Printing Habits Save Money”.  […]


    Pingback by How to save ink, paper and money? « What’s On My PC | March 2, 2009 | Reply

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