Getting a “low ink” message sooner than expected can be frustrating. In this article, we will go over some simple tips to get the most from your cartridge so you can keep working and prolong that trip to the cartridge store.
1. Think Twice About Low or Out of Ink Warnings:
If you are getting a “low ink message” on your printer’s display or computer, you may not need to change out your cartridges right away. A test done by PC World found that most ink cartridges still hold anywhere from 8 to 45% of their ink when a low ink message first appears. Keep in mind that percentage differs across printer brands. Instead of immediately taking your printer’s word for it, look for sure signs of low ink, like light prints or banded text.
2. Avoid Large Fonts and Bolds
Large fonts and bold text can deplete your cartridge pretty quickly. You can extend the life of your cartridge by reducing the size of your text, or, consider switching to a slimmer font like Arial or New Courier. For the super thrifty, try downloading Ecofont--a font style that uses 20% less ink by including small white circles within each character.
3. Proofread Before Your Print
Reprints are avoidable with a bit of simple proofreading. Get in the habit of running spell check before you print and take an extra few minutes to scan the document for typos.
4. Adjust Your Printer Settings
You may not know it, but your computer has built in preferences to help you save on ink! If you are using Windows, locate the Devices and Printers section in the Control Panel. Right click on your desired printer and select Printing Preferences. From there you should be able to select one of the following recommendations, depending on your needs!
Select “draft mode” to use considerably less ink. Draft mode is designed to print faster with slightly less precision in order to give you draft worthy version of your document. The quality may not be up to par compared to a regular print job, but it should suffice if you need to do a quick review.
Choose “Print in Grayscale” to save your color ink! This option can help conserve those precious color cartridges by only printing your document in black and white.
Select “Document Options” to print multiple pages per sheet. If you are looking to save on ink and paper, consider adjusting the formatting of your print job by printing multiple pages on one sheet. This option is great for printing out lengthy power point slides!
5. Don’t Forget to Preview Before You Print!
There is a reason why “print preview” is built into almost every document editor, don’t forget to use it! If you are using the latest version of Microsoft Word select “File,” then “Print” and your document will automatically switch to preview mode. Now you can glance at it one last time before you send it to the printer.
6. Fix streaky prints
If your prints are streaking or spotty, make sure you run a printhead cleaning before swapping out for new cartridges. The printhead on a cartridge can dry up if your printer has been sitting dormant for a period. By running the cleaning feature, you can free up any dried ink, and hopefully keep your cartridges running for longer.
7. Saving Work Instead of Printing It
Think before you press print! Sometimes a physical copy just isn’t necessary. Before you jump the gun, consider saving a copy of your document on your phone or in the cloud. Google® Drive and Amazon® Drive are two simple storage solutions that are easily accessible with an internet connection.