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How to Stretch Out Extra Use from Ink Cartridges!

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These tips and guidelines can save you $$$ throughout the year that you would have spent on replacing ink cartridges:
*Ignore Out of Ink Warnings*
Getting a warning that your printer is out of ink? Go ahead and ignore it. In a lab test, PC World found that ink cartridges still contained anywhere from 8-45% of their ink when this message started to pop up.
*Print Just What You Need*
Need to print an article or recipe off of a website, but not interested in printing all of the ads and photos that go with it? Just go; insert the URL for the page; and you can delete all those ink-hogging extras with just a few clicks.*MORE GOOD TIPS BELOW*Use a Smaller Font Size
What’s the difference between a 12-point font and a 14-point font? Size, certainly, but also the amount of ink used – so super-size only when you need to.
Avoid Chunky Fonts and Bolds
Thick fonts and bolded text require extra ink to print, so skinny up your text and save. Some ink-sipping fonts to try: Arial and new courier.  Want to save even more? Download Ecofont, a free font that uses 20% less ink by placing small white circles within each character (*Not sure If I Would do This for Coupon Printing….haven’t tested it).Proof Before You Print
Give your documents an extra read through before you print them out, and you may save yourself a reprint.Tweak Your Printer Settings
Printers are factory set to be ink guzzlers, but that’s easy enough to change. To update your printer’s default settings on a Windows-based computer, click start > printers > right click on your printer and select printer preferences.Some changes worth considering:
  • Set the print quality to “draft”
  • Set the color to “print in grayscale”
  • Set the “document options” to print multiple pages per sheet.
Use Print Preview
Ever printed something from the web only to find that it didn’t fit the page? What a waste of ink, paper and time! Fortunately, this is one problem that can be avoided: just hit “print preview” before you send anything to print, and you’ll be able to catch and correct any issues before they make it onto paper. Hit Save Instead of Print
Would a digital record work just as well as a printed one? If so, save the file to your hard drive or flash drive, and forgo the printing process entirely.Check for Clogs
Has your cartridge stopped printing properly? Before you toss it, make sure a clogged nozzle isn’t the culprit. To do so, simply remove the cartridge from the printer, and wipe the bottom with a damp paper towel. Then, reinstall it and try printing again.
supercouponingmo posted Feb 27, 2012

The number of fonts used in your Page is frazzling but you included some great tips! I've never heard of ecofont but I'll definitely look into it.
Also, just as a sidenote, I heard Brother printers were pretty notorious for telling you that you're "low" on ink when you're really not. I think there's something you can do to disable the censor that causes the notification.

arsiel (rep: 13.1k) posted Feb 27, 2012


You know I ignored the "out of ink warning" and it broke my printer!

You may be able to get a little more use out of it, but don't over do it. I really assumed the ink would just fade, but no it just kept printing, and then one day, just burned out my printer. Sad, because I actually had the ink to replace it. I don't know how or where to draw the line but don't be too cheap with the ink or you may have to buy a new printer.

MHT962 (rep: 3.3k) posted Feb 27, 2012


shake the cartridge and pay attention to the expiration date. i learned my lesson as i ordered a brand new "factory sealed" ink toner from ebay. it came and it was dried out. i appealed this case on ebay but lost. NEVER again!

gangstabarbie (rep: 21k) posted Feb 27, 2012


@MHT962: it's definitely bad advice to print on empty if your printer has a permanent print head, as the more expensive ones do. Cheaper printers have the print head mechanism built-in to the throw-away ink cartridge, so there is nothing to lose by running it dry and ruining the print head, unless you intend to refill the cartridge.

Some print heads work by instantaneously heating tiny droplets of ink above the boiling point to expel them towards the paper. Canon and HP use this method. You can imagine what happens when the heat is there but the ink is not. The print head will burn up like an engine with no coolant.

Other printers, like Brother and Epson use a piezoelectric print head which uses electrically induced mechanical vibration of crystals to pump out droplets of ink. These are probably less prone to damage from running dry.

You can safely ignore a LOW ink warning, but I would not ignore an OUT of ink warning on a printer with a permanent print head.

fluffy (rep: 2.2k) posted Feb 27, 2012


Thanks for the info, fluffy. Yeah, it was a Canon. And, I really liked it :( I thought I had more time. Now I'm trying to find a new simple one that I can't break!

MHT962 (rep: 3.3k) posted Feb 27, 2012