The “low ink” light pops on and you SWEAR you just changed the cartridge. Sound familiar? Are too many prints making you a pauper? Here are a few tips to help you get the highest performance and greatest value from your inkjet cartridges:
Tip #1: Choose your fonts wisely.
Write with bold words, just be judicial with BOLD text. Limit your usage of thick fonts, fat borders and dark shading. Elegant fonts and white space are easy on the eyes and easier on your wallet. Check out this list of ink-saving fonts!
Tip #2: Embrace Draft Mode.
When editing a document and routing it for approval, print non-final edits in Draft Mode (see printer preferences).
Tip #3: High Five The Handout Mode.
PowerPoint presentations in handout mode can print 2 to 6 slides per page. When possible print without background images. This dramatically decreases ink/toner usage and gives recipients plenty of white space to take notes.
Tip #4: Show the PDF some PDA.
We love PDFs – use them to send documents and save online receipts. In your web browser preferences, simply switch your printing preferences to “Save as PDF”.
Tip #5: Cut Your Losses.
Add job code requirements to printers to discourage personal use printing; bill all job-related printing to clients to offset ink/toner/paper/printer maintenance costs.
Tip #6: Two Printers Can Be Cheaper Than One.
A larger lease or purchase investment up front can save offices lots of money in the long run. Use laser printers for volume B&W printing; inkjet printers for color presentations and photo prints.
4 Common Ink Saving Myths
And then there are those tricks other people claim can save you ink but, in truth, really don’t.
Myth #1: Shake The Cartridge With Care.
Yes, it’s true; the “change cartridge” light often comes on when there’s as much as 40% of the ink remaining in the cartridge. It makes sense to remove the cartridge, shake it and reinstall. If done right, you will get some more prints, but you’re also more likely to damage the cartridge, cause a leak and muck up your printer. Some things to remember –
- Wrap Before You Shake – One paper towel can help prevent a huge mess – be sure the cartridge is wiped clean before reinstalling.
- Shake Before You Install – Gets all the ink where it needs to be from the very start.
Myth #2: Unplug The Printer.
You’re leaving on vacation, so you print your boarding passes, and unplug your printer to save energy… right? Wrong! Most printers go through a shut down mode where the print heads are parked and capped while ink recedes back into the cartridge. If you unplug power before this process is completed, the ink stays in the heads, which can dry out or clog the heads, damage the printer and waste valuable ink. It’s best to either print a few hours before you shut down, or power down the printer but keeping it plugged in while you’re gone.
Myth #3: Clean The Heads.
Most modern printers have self-cleaning and maintenance programs that run automatically – if you manually clean the heads too often, you’re just wasting ink. If your print quality is suffering, check your user manual for maintenance tips specific your model.
Myth #4: Don’t Use Your Printer To Save Ink!
If a printer isn’t used for months on end, the heads will likely dry out and you’ll use more ink to get back up to speed. Semi-frequent use keeps your printer in top condition. Check your user manual for tips on how to care for your printer during periods of non-use. Instead of having printers in every office or scattered throughout the house, use Bluetooth technology so all computers print to a single printer.