Gutenberg said of his new contraption, “It is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams.” Except we all know those streams, or reams, are not inexhaustible, and can sometimes get rather costly to produce. When it comes to your own printer, there are a number of quick and easy modifications you can make to your printing settings that will save you sheafs of money.
1. Life in the Fast Draft
If you’re just printing out something you know will be discarded in a matter of days and not hung on the walls of the office for posterity, then the quality of the printed document is not of paramount importance. Print the document in Fast mode (File –> Print –> Quality & Media –> Print Quality) to diminish quality just enough to save a ton of ink.
2. A Whiter Shade of Grayscale
If the document you’re printing is not for a presentation or of high quality photos, try switching your color settings to grayscale. You can still glean all the information you need to, but you won’t be using up that color ink that’s priced at a multiplier of the black stuff.
3. Sign of the Times (New Roman)
Times New Roman is Microsoft Word’s default font, and is also 27% more space-efficient than Arial. Unless you have sentimental attachment to one of those bulky, flourished fonts that take up more space per letter, switch to the old normal. While finagling with the font, go ahead and minimize it to the smallest size your eyes can handle.
4. More on Less
To conserve both paper and ink, try cramming more information on the same page. You can reduce the size of your document if it’s a pdf (File –> Print –> Scale).
Next, you can duplex print (if you have a duplex printer) to print on both sides of the paper. If you don’t have an automatic duplex printer, you can still do it manually by alternating printing between even and odd pages, and then reinsert them into your printer and do the same for the other side (File –> Print –> Paper Handling –> Odd / Even Only).
If you’re printing PowerPoint slides or a lengthy PDF, you can choose to fit multiple slides or pages on a single piece of paper (File –> Print –>Layout –> Pages per Sheet).
5. Just Print Less
No brainer. If you don’t have to print it, don’t. If you do have to print, and find yourself running low on ink, don’t pay full price. Always look for deals and when you buy ink and paper online, you won't have to print your coupon code to collect the savings. Win win.