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How to Save Ink

Many of us love the convenience of simply printing pages at our home or business. But let’s face it, we don’t want to pay for more ink then we have to. As such, it can be good to know some tips on how to save ink when printing. 

From grayscale printing to test pages to ink-saving fonts, read on to learn some tips on how to save ink with your printer.

 

Grayscale printing

 

One great way of saving ink is to use grayscale printing. What is grayscale printing? We’re glad you asked! Grayscale printing refers to printing that uses just the black ink tank. If you have a grayscale printer that only handles black and white prints, then this will obviously happen automatically, but for those who have a printer that can handle both black and white and colour prints, you’ll probably have to select the grayscale printing manually. The important thing to remember here is that black and white printing does not always equal grayscale printing. 

So, what is the difference between printing in grayscale and black and white? Well, when you print in black and white using a colour printer, without selecting the grayscale option, the black ink is often created by mixing a variety of colours together, rather than from using the black ink that already exists. When you manually choose grayscale, the printing occurs using the black ink tank, instead. The process of manually selecting grayscale printing for a print job can differ, but for most Windows computers, you should be able to click “Print” in your document, then follow these steps:

  1. Select your printer and click “Printer Properties”, “Properties”, “Options”, or “Preferences”. There are other names this button can be called, so if you are struggling, consider looking up a tutorial for the operating system you are running
  2. Once this window has opened, select “Features” or “Paper/Quality”
  3. Click “Advanced” > “Print in Grayscale” > “Black Ink Only” > “Black & White”
  4. Congratulations, you should now be completing your print job in grayscale!

Grayscale printing for Mac should see you following a similar process of “File” > “Print” > (Select printer) > “Quality & Media” > “Grayscale Printing”. If you’re finding you’re a little lost, don’t hesitate to look up a tutorial on how to do so!

Like grayscale so much that you want to set it as the default setting for your Windows 10 computer? No worries! Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Start Menu then click Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners
  2. Then scroll down to Device and Printers, where you will see any printers you’ve installed
  3. Click on the required printer and select Manage
  4. On the next screen, select Printing Preferences on the left
  5. The Printing Preferences dialog box will appear
  6. Depending on your printer manufacturer, there will be a different layout of options and different tabs, but there will be an area to select either Colour or Grayscale

 

Print regularly

 

Did you know you can save ink by printing regularly? No, really! It seems a little counterintuitive, but printing regularly can help to save on ink as it helps stop the ink from drying out. If your ink hasn’t been used in a while and is dried out too much then you might find that it needs to be thrown away… what a waste of ink! Ensuring you print pages regularly can help keep the ink moving and at its best. But what do you do if you have nothing to print? That brings us on to our next tip!

 

Run a test print page if not printing regularly

 

If you’re noticing that you’re not printing regularly, don’t worry about mashing keys together to create a page to print, simply print a test page! A test page is a page that can be quickly and easily printed following a few easy steps. It can be a good idea to get into the habit of printing a test page semi-regularly, as test prints can also help to identify a range of issues that could be occurring with your printer, which you may not have noticed. The option for printing a test page should look a little something like “Start” > “Devices and Printers” > (right-click on your printer) “Printer Properties” > “Print Test Page” for a Windows computer, and “Apple” > “Printers & Scanners” > (select your printer) “Open Print Queue” > “Printer” > “Print Test Page” for Mac. 

Want to learn more about how to print a test page and the importance of test pages? Good news, we have a blog post that covers exactly that! 

 

Choose an ink-saving font

 

If you are passionate about saving ink, why not consider using an ink-saving font?! There are a variety of ink saving fonts out there and you might even be using some without realising! For example, popular fonts Times New Roman, Garamond, and Calibri are both pretty good at conserving ink. For those looking for something a little different, there are other options such as Ecofont. Developed by SPRANQ, a company from the Netherlands, Ecofont was designed to reduce ink consumption. It does this by creating characters tat have small “holes” in them, which leads to fewer pixels.

If you would like to learn more about ink saving fonts and some reasons why you might consider using them, view our blog post on Ink Saving Fonts: Are Some Fonts More Ink Efficient Than Others?

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about some tips on how to save ink! There are many small changes you can make to save ink when printing. Saving ink can be a good habit to get into, it’s good for the environment, and it can also help to save you money! Ink saving techniques such as regularly running a test print can also help you to identify any underlying issues that may have been occurring within your printer, without you realising.