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How To Waste Less Printer Ink And Paper On A Home Computer

2010-02-04

When using a home computer, it's easy to use more paper and ink than originally intended. Printing isn't free- paper and printer ink cartridges cost money. For those concerned with using excessive spending on paper and ink, there are many practical ways to lessen the financial burden associated with printing documents on a home computer.

One of the simplest ways to save money on both paper and ink cartridges is to print only what is needed. If all of the pertinent information is on one page of a document, don't bother printing the other pages. Likewise, if text only will suffice, then opt to not print the graphics. Microsoft Word has a useful "draft output" option in the print menu that prints a lower quality, (read: ink saving) draft document without images. Another way to avoid waste when printing is to use a software program like GreenPrint or InkSaver 2.0. Rather than producing a lower quality draft print, the software makes the printer use less ink without affecting the resolution of the final product. The result is a great looking print that doesn't use excess printer ink.

Another way to use less paper and ink is to take full advantage of the myriad of printer preferences available. Layout options may make it possible to print several pages of a document on one piece of paper, or to print on both sides of the paper. Either of these options can potentially save resources. Some printers allow the graphic resolution to be reduced, in which case a lower DPI (dots per inch) will result in less ink being used for each job. Only use high resolution when using a high quality paper (such as photo paper). Also, a black printer cartridge will probably cost less than one with colors, so it is helpful to print in black and white or grayscale as much as possible. Perhaps most importantly, remember to view documents before printing them to avoid wasting paper and ink. Use the "print preview" option to review documents and make subsequent changes before printing the necessary pages. Alternatively, files may be printed to PDF before (or in lieu of) being printed on paper. PDF is a portable document format that allows the exchange of files independent of software or hardware, and can be used to view files as well as send them by e-mail.

While it may take some effort, implementing some of these suggestions will definitely pay off in the long run. Not only will they help minimize printer ink and paper waste, but they will save money as well.