Use Less Toner by Printing Smarter


One way to cut your printing budget is to modify your use of color printing. Becoming more aware of wasteful practices and cutting corners where you can, are the first steps in reducing your printing costs and your environmental footprint.

Here are a few ways that you can stretch your printing dollar:

Understand What a “Low Toner Warning” Really Means
It’s OK to be skeptical of a low toner warning, because often times these warnings pop up when the cartridge still has 20-25% of its toner left. Depending on what you’re likely to print, this could mean up to 100 extra pages that could be successfully printed with the old cartridge still in place. Of course, if you see the warning at the beginning of a large print job, you will want to change the cartridge out beforehand. If you usually print small jobs (1-10 sheets), you can keep an eye on the prints and replace the cartridge only when you first notice a degradation in the affected color.

Reduce Stop/Start Cycles
On most printers, toner will automatically accumulate on the drum during the start/stop cycle, even if you cancel the print job. To avoid this, try accessing the “Printer Properties” tab on your computer and see if the settings will allow you to print your pages only after the last page is spooled. This should reduce the number of times your printer will stop and start up again, saving you a lot of toner.

Use Print Preview and Print Smarter
If you’ve printed a document, you’ve seen the print preview feature. It allows you to approve the formatting and layout before it’s sent to the printer. It can also show you if there are any pages that may be eliminated if they are deemed unnecessary. If you’ve ever printed a webpage, you’ve noticed that there is often a lot of extraneous material. Advertisements in the margins or random user comments at the end of an article that are irrelevant and end up wasting a lot of toner when printed along with the article. Some webpages may have large, color images imbedded in the article. If you don’t need them to be printed, you may want to copy the article text into a word document and remove the images before printing it. These will reduce your toner and paper usage substantially.

Some printers might also have a “Draft Mode”, “EconoMode” or “Toner Mode”, which allows you to print using less toner – sometimes without sacrificing noticeable print quality.

Print in Black and White When Possible
When using a color printer, it’s easy to forget that you always have the ability to print in black and white or grayscale. To save on ink and toner, print in black and white or grayscale whenever possible by making the adjustment in “Printer Settings.”

These are always other ways to reduce your toner use, too, from selecting fonts that use less toner, to creating a “print policy” for your office, to simply being more judicious about what you choose to print.

Return to the Tech Trends Newsletter