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10 Tips to Reduce Printing Costs (and your Environmental Footprint) Today

You don’t need to invest in new office equipment to reduce your printing costs. While this is one of the easiest ways to cut your printing expenses, it is by no means the only way. In fact, there are plenty of less expensive strategies that you can implement on your own to tamp down costs. As an added bonus, all of these tricks will decrease your environmental footprint as well. Here are ten of our ten favorite tips to get you started.

1. Switch to a narrower font

Yes, the type of font you use really does impact your bottom line! This is due to the fact that some fonts, especially those known as “broad” fonts, use more ink than others. Switching to a narrow font, such as Times New Roman or Garamond, reduces ink consumption and puts a little bit of money back into your pocket. Check out this article for more information on the most ink-efficient fronts.

2. Enable shrink to fit

While this option isn’t always available — most browsers don’t support it anymore– it’s still an underutilized word processing trick. Say you have a 4 ½ page document that you want to print. Normally, this would mean you would print off five pieces of paper to accommodate the final half page. Shrink to fit solves this problem by condensing your document so that all printed materials print on four pages instead of five. Think about how much paper that could save you over the long-run! Follow these detailed instructions to enable shrink to fit in your version of Microsoft Word.

3. Install EcoFont

EcoFont is a software solution that, when installed on a workstation, places tiny holes in the font of a print job. Experiments have found that users, on average, enjoy roughly a 25 percent decrease in ink costs when using the software. EcoFont itself claims users can experience up to a 50 percent reduction in ink usage.

You can learn more about Ecofont on their official website.

4. Turn on duplex printing

It’s amazing how many organizations are still not taking advantage of duplex printing on a regular basis, despite the fact that it is now a standard feature on most modern machines. The good news, however, is that it’s easy to turn it on. All you have to do is change your default print settings to “two-sided” or “print on both sides” in your browser or word processor and you’re ready to go. With the click of a button you’ve effectively slashed your paper utilization in half.

5. Default to fast draft printing

Printing a text-heavy Word document or a physical version of a document for review? If so, fast draft printing is an excellent option. Fast draft saves ink by omitting images and printing in lower quality black and white. Thus, it’s an ideal solution for temporary or low-use documents such as directions, lists or project drafts. To enable fast draft, go to print options and select fast print, sample print or a lower dpi setting.

6. Use the handout printing feature

Chances are that you’ve used handout printing before for PowerPoint presentations. Did you know that you can use handout printing for documents as well? The easiest way to do this is to set your page to landscape orientation in print preview and select the option that allows you to print two pages per sheet.

7. Cut and Paste

Before printing, consider whether or not you need the whole document, or only a few parts. If you’re printing a long document or multiple files for a few sections, try copying and pasting them into a shorter document to eliminate waste. Doing so will allow you to avoid printing necessary pages that you’re not going to use anyway.

8. Use a managed print service

Alright, this isn’t really an option you can implement on your own, but it definitely will help you reduce costs. Managed print services allow you to track usage, encourage responsible printing behaviors and reduce equipment inefficiencies. It’s a simple software solution that’ll make your life easier. Contact our managed print department or visit our managed print services page to learn more.

9. Outsource color printing to a professional printer

If you’re printing a big project, like an annual report or marketing mailer, you could save some money by sending the job to a printing company. Often these companies offer rates that are more affordable than the cost you’d pay for your machine’s color ink, especially when it comes to big projects. Plus, you’ll usually get higher quality results as well! If you’re interested, our document services department offers a variety of printing services. View the full list of offered services here.

10. Print in black and white

Yes, it’s old-fashioned, but it’s on the list because it works. Black ink is simply cheaper than its color counterpart. If you don’t need presentation quality, you’re just printing a word document or a draft of a project you’re working on, black and white is the way to go. You should also make sure you select black and white when printing a text document as well. Often, printers will mix together colored ink to recreate black ink when “print in color” is selected in the settings. When this occurs, you’re unnecessarily draining your colored ink reserves.

Have more questions about reducing printing costs? Our cost reduction experts are ready to be of service. With more than forty years of experience in the office technology industry, Metro Sales has developed a reputation for helping organizations slash their costs through innovative imaging software and equipment.

Reach out at 612-861-4000 or by filling out our quick contact form.

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