Preview before you print. Busy employees are often in such a rush to print they forget to pause and preview their document. Take a moment to adjust the margins, alter the font size and do a quick once-over for spelling errors. It only takes a couple of extra minutes and will prevent you from having to print a second copy.
Print in black and white or grayscale. For documents that do not require colour graphics, take advantage of your printer’s grayscale settings and print solely in black and white. You can select the “print in grayscale” option in Microsoft Word by going to the advanced printer settings in the print menu. Printing in grayscale only draws ink from your black cartridge. This simple adjustment allows colour cartridges to take a break and avoids using up unnecessary ink.
Print in draft mode. For documents that are not presentation worthy consider printing in draft mode. Another option that is found in your printer’s advanced settings menu, draft mode uses up to 50% less ink and is perfect for emails or disposable office memos.
Print double-sided. Save a bundle on paper when you use your printer's double-sided or “duplex” printing option. Ideal for printing out lengthy reports or manuals, you can find this option in your printer’s advanced setting options.
Choose your paper wisely. Not all paper is created equal, be intentional with the paper that goes into your printer! Printer paper is graded according to four different criteria: brightness, opacity, weight and texture. For inexpensive, disposable printouts it is best to go with a lower-end multi-purpose copy paper. For high-end print jobs, you might consider a more expensive inkjet or laserjet paper.
1. Brightness: Paper brightness refers to how reflective the paper is in the light. A lower-grade brightness will have a lower reflection rate, giving an off-white appearance to the page. The lowest grade brightness available for commercial copy paper is the grade of 80, while the highest is 100. The higher the grade, the better and brighter the paper. An average copy paper has a brightness of 92.
2. Opacity: Opacity refers to the degree to which light passes through the paper. A cheaper paper will be more translucent when held up to the light. Paper with a low opacity may present a problem for double-sided printing due to text bleeding through to the other side of the page. Consider what you’re printing and only use low-opacity grade paper for casual print jobs.
3. Weight: The weight refers to how heavy the paper is. Although most do not think twice about how heavy a particular page is in their hand, it is widely considered that the heavier the paper, the higher the quality of the document. There is a significant difference in the feeling of an important business document printed on a high-end heavy paper versus a low-cost lightweight grade. A paper with a lighter weight gives off a feeling of cheapness and disposability. Keep in mind the heavier the page, the more expensive it is to mail as well!
4. Texture: Texture refers to how smooth the paper feels. A paper with a smooth, sleek appearance gives off a professional look. Smoother textured papers are suitable for inkjet and laser printers. While paper with a grainier texture is best for invitations.
Consider the cost per page. Cost per page is a very important factor to consider when breaking down overall printing costs. It varies significantly depending on the style of the printer, the type of document that is printed and how often the machine is used. In most cases, the cheaper the printer, the more expensive the ink. Printer manufacturers will often sell their printers at a loss but make up for it in the price of ink. A printer’s page yield is the average amount of prints a customer should get from the cartridge. Page yields are based on industry standards and most printer manufacturers include the yield on the cartridge box. The best way to determine the average cost per page is to take the price of the cartridge and divide it by the page yield. The cost per page can vary widely depending on what machine you have. Definitely take the time to do research and some comparison shopping before jumping on a great printer sale because you will probably be making up for it in the cost of ink.