Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Should I or Should I Not Print? That is the Question.

For those of us who stare at the printer in confusion when the “low ink” icon appears three days after we have changed the ink cartridge, this may help unboggle this long-standing printer mystery.

Printer ink and toner are two products that seem to be forgotten about until you go to print an important, last minute document, and only every other line prints in a faded blue color. This is the time you frantically rush to print the document again, as though the magic ink fairy has placed more ink in the printer. Next, you search every room in the house looking to see if you have an extra cartridge even though you know you don’t.

Since printer ink and toner are expensive, tips on how to save ink and print less are vital to our wallets as well as the environment. The first step to reducing the printer crisis is creating the document you need to print. By using smaller font and less bolded text, you can reduce the amount of ink used when printing the paper. SPANQ has created Ecofont, an environmental friendly font that is smaller than normal font, and reduces the amount of ink used by 20%. One of the greatest ways to paper waste is by not editing and revising your document for mistakes before printing. This always seems to happen when you are in a hurry, and forget one letter or word in an entire ten page document and have to print it again.

The second step to reducing the amount of ink and paper used when printing is to be selective with what you print. Printing only the information you need can help decrease the amount of pages you print. For example, you want to use two paragraphs out of a document, and instead of highlighting those two paragraphs you print the entire 63-page document. A few programs have been developed to help assist people in printing only the information that they need. Print What You Like and GreenPrint are two programs that help you edit information and white space in order to help you only print what you need.

The finally step in becoming a more efficient printer is fining tuning your printer settings. One of the easiest ways to save printer resources is to change your default print settings to “low quality” so that each document is printed in “low quality” unless you manually change it. Another easy tip is to print black and white as much as possible since black ink cartridges are less expensive then color ones. Lastly, take advantage of the print preview button. Make sure that you like how your document looks, and make changes before you decide to print.

Now that we have learned how to effectively print, we can mark off printing as one of our stressors. It is always great to learn new ways to save money and the environment.

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