Having a computer and printer at home is common these days, but home printing can be expensive. High quality print cartridges seldom come cheap, but knowing how to make the most from your printer usage can help you save a packet!
Check your settings
Most computer programmes will allow you to change your print settings when printing. Instead of using the defaults, look for ways to reduce ink. Choose the draft printing option rather than best and opt for greyscale rather than colour printing.
For draft printing, choose lighter fonts and opt for a smaller font size to reduce the amount of ink you need. You can always choose a bigger font for your final printing. If you are printing a draft and only need to check a few pages, then use your settings to print only the required pages rather than the whole document.
Ask yourself if you really need to print
Rather than printing each draft out to check for spelling and grammar mistakes, see if you can proofread on your computer screen and correct any mistakes before you print.
If you are only printing the document for record purposes, then ask yourself whether it is necessary. Instead, think about saving the file to your computer, or to a back-up system such as an external hard drive. Using your home printer to print photos can use a lot of ink, so instead think about using low cost printing services that are offered by electronics stores or department stores.
Keep your printer working well
Make sure your printer is kept clean and check your ink cartridges for clogs or leaks that may be affecting performance. Tests have shown that the low ink warnings you see on your computer are not always accurate, so when you get a low ink warning, buy new cartridges so you are prepared, but keep using your old ones until they run out completely rather than changing them straight away. Making simple changes like these will help you achieve long lasting printer ink and have other benefits such as reducing the amount of paper you use and extending the life of your printer.
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