Tips For Managing Printers And Reducing Printing Costs

The modern workplace is unimaginable without the printer, one of the most used pieces of equipment in virtually all offices. They are also used on an everyday basis in millions of households. Keeping the printers in good condition and reducing printer-related costs is a common goal among all printer users. Although it seems tricky, it all comes down to just a few simple rules we’ve laid out for you in the following text.

Office with printer

A vast amount of ink is wasted because of minor mistakes found in a document; these are usually noticed after the document has already been printed, forcing many users to print their documents again after they’ve corrected the errors, which consist mostly of typos and small grammar or punctuation mistakes. Thus, be pragmatic – always check the documents for any typos or spelling errors. And while you’re at it, try to be economical – determine which parts of your printout can be labeled as unnecessary and redundant and delete them. This mostly applies to web pages; sometimes, when you print a web page, the printed version will look radically different, leaving you with a messy and barely usable printout. To avoid such unnecessary ink spending, use the print preview function as it will display the document exactly as it will look on paper.

Font matters – You can save a considerable amount of ink by adjusting the font; avoid thick fonts and text bolding and keep the font size between nine and twelve whenever you can. There are even programs (some of them, such as Green Print, are free and can be found online) which will analyze your document before print and notify you about the potentially redundant sections and pages.

Get to know your printer settings to maximize ink savings – Printing in an ink saving mode and lowering the print quality (the so-called DPI value) of your documents will save you significant amounts of ink. If the documents you’re printing consist mostly of text, have no worries; printing in mentioned settings will still provide you with decent looking printouts. Also, try to avoid printing in color as it depletes much more ink than black & white printouts. If you do print a lot of images and pictures, don’t attempt to print high resolution documents on regular paper; the everyday-used, common paper can’t really support high resolution prints, meaning you’ll lose quite a lot of ink, and not get good results. Print in high quality settings only when you have a photo paper.

Lowering the print resolution by lowering the DPI value of your documents will save you ink without significantly reducing the quality of your printouts – we suggest the usage of high quality settings only when dealing with final copies of important documents. The draft mode can be used for additional savings, as well as duplex printing.

If you manage a large number of printers at the workplace, find out about special offers and discounts; office supplies distributers often present various money-saving offers for companies. These always mean buying in large quantities, but it’s a great way to save money and always have sufficient amounts of paper and ink. The best way to learn about these discounts, keep track of various offers and compare prices, is to subscribe to office suppliers’ e-mail newsletters, so be sure to do so. If possible, always have a certain amount of money set aside for unexpected printer malfunctions; broken printers will slow down much of the work performed in any office and cause numerous seemingly unrelated slowdowns.

When buying replacement ink cartridges consider purchasing the generic or the so called compatible cartridges, instead of the more expensive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cartridges. The OEM cartridges are made by the company which manufactured the printer itself, meaning they’ll cost you more, but provide the best quality results as well. Printer manufacturers generally recommend their own ink cartridges for their printers, but you can purchase a generic cartridge, made by third party companies which had nothing to do with the manufacturing of the printer, and get a solid and reliable cartridge. It’s fair to say that generic cartridges come from different sources and have differences of their own in terms of quality, but the majority will get the work done. But, in the end, it depends on what you need: if you print mostly text, a generic cartridge will do fine, if you print high resolution photographs and want the best quality printouts, you should go with the original equipment manufacturer cartridges.

Make sure the ink cartridges are in optimal condition – From time to time remove the currently used cartridge from the printer and clean the sections of the printer which hold the cartridge; dust and remnants of ink can leave tiny specks on your printers. If you have a laser printer, be sure to clean the printer drums, since the accumulated toner can significantly reduce the quality of your prints. Use a piece of soft cloth when cleaning and don’t press to hard as you don’t want to damage the printer!

When you receive the notification that the ink cartridge is empty (or when the quality of the printouts starts noticeably deteriorating) remove the cartridge from the printer, shake it (a few times, both up and down and from side to side), and put it back in. Most often there’s still some ink in the cartridge and shaking it will redistribute it evenly inside the cartridge. This procedure can be repeated a number of times and it will help you get a decent number of printouts, depending on the model and the manufacturer of your printer and ink cartridge.

And the final and the most important tip – be persistent! All these advice save you only a tiny amount of ink, but if you stick to them every day you’ll save considerable amount of ink and paper and get excellent printouts as well. Getting the most out of every cartridge means you’ll have to be persistent and disciplined, but it does pay off in the long run.

 

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