Ink cartridge refills eat up a sizeable portion of your office supply budget, whether you work in an office building or at home. However, you can prolong the life of your cartridge refills with a few simple behaviour changes. To keep a little extra money in your pocket, learn some easy ways to minimise your printer's use of ink.
Ignore Low Ink Notifications
Ink cartridge manufacturers and printer makers design their systems to send you an alert when the ink in the cartridge begins to run low. This message usually prompts users to buy a cartridge refill at once. However, the warnings about low ink often occur when there is still plenty of ink left. Buy your replacement cartridge, but instead of installing it right away, store it near your printer and keep using the original cartridge until the streaks or pale print on your pages let you know that it is definitely time for a replacement.
Avoid Large and Bold Fonts
The more ink you put on the page, the faster your cartridge refill empties. Instead of using large fonts, bold fonts, and big images, think small. Thinner, smaller fonts use up less ink, so try a 10-point font rather than 12-point when you have the choice. If you need to print an image, use the lowest quality setting to economise. You can also check out special downloadable fonts such as Ecofont, which include design features that skimp on ink.
Check for Errors before Printing
Spelling errors and grammar mistakes result in many wasted pages. While you can recycle the printer paper, you cannot reclaim the ink. Read each document carefully before you print it, and spare yourself the waste of extra ink. Consider whether you really need to print something. In many cases, you can simply save a document electronically, back it up to an external hard drive for safekeeping, or email it to someone who needs to see it. When you do need to print an email or a web page, copy and paste the text and print that, rather than printing out the page or email itself along with all the ads and superfluous sidebar information.
Tweak the Printer's Factory Settings
When you first receive your printer, switch it from its factory settings to economical settings. Use 'draft' as your default print quality setting and only upgrade it as necessary for important documents. You can also use greyscale printing to save printer ink. If you need to print something but need not see it at its full size, try printing multiple pages per sheet of paper to save ink. Look at the 'Print Preview' on your computer before you start printing, so that you can fix any errors in the document's layout.