Consumer Reports lab techs recently ran tests on several printers from different brands to see whether we could appreciably save ink, paper, and time by tinkering with the printers’ settings. The answer is “Yes,” especially for black-and-white documents. Our tests showed that you can cut the cost of printing a page in half by following the suggestions below.
Print in draft mode. Try printing out a page of text on the printer’s “draft” setting (sometimes also called “fast” or “quick print” modes). The print quality will be reduced, but if you don’t need the document for any professional use, chances are that the lower quality will suffice for everyday tasks. Not only will your ink cartridges last longer, in this mode pages usually print faster.
Get the most out of each sheet. Many printers have a setting letting you print double-sided pages. The printer will print the odd pages first, then prompt you to return the printed stack, blank side up, into the paper feed to print the even pages. Some printers now even flip the page automatically. It’s a great technique for printing longer docs.
If you can handle reading slightly smaller text, you can also adjust your setting to print two pages side by side on a piece of horizontally oriented paper. —Nick K. Mandle