Saving Ink and Paper

My Personal Tips


This is what I do to make my cartridges last longer. I have a Hewlett Packard printer, but other brands have similar controls so you should be able to figure it out.

  • Click on Start > Control Panel > Printers
  • RIGHT CLICK on your printer 
  • Click on Preferences
  • Somewhere there you will have a choice of printing quality. Mine says 
    Draft - Normal - and Best.
  • Click on Draft (or whatever yours says that is similar.)
That's all. The Draft setting prints lighter which uses less ink, prints faster and your cartridge lasts longer. Try printing something out, and if you don't like it you can just change it back to what it was.

Another method:

You can do the same thing by just clicking File on the menu bar, and then Print (same as when you intend to print something).

• Click the button that says Properties, then click Draft (same as above)

It's really very simple to do, just 3 clicks. The difference in the two methods is that changing the setting in the Control Panel is permanent until you change it back.  Changing it through the menu bar is temporary and you must make the adjustment each time you print something.


While you are making the setting above for "Draft" printing, if you look around and click on "Color" or anything similar, you will have the choice of printing in black ink only. (You probably don't need to use color ink on everything you print.) This setting gives you the option of turning it off and on.

When you print with the "Black and White Only" or "Black Ink Only" setting, what would have printed in black & color now prints in various shades of black & gray. Your page will still print attractively even without color. It's easy to turn the color back on whenever you want it. This represents a big savings in your color cartridge cost.


Print both sides of the sheet.

These instructions work on any pdf file (like my book) but ordinarily you don't get this choice on other things. (But I'll give you a "work-around" for that.) You might want to practice first on just a few sheets.

  • With the PDF file open on your screen, click the Print logo
  • In the box that says "All pages in range" click on the down arrow
  • Choose "odd pages only"  
  • Then put a check mark in the "reverse pages" box. (The pages will print back to front.)
  • Click OK -- It will print all the odd numbered pages only.

When done, take the printed stack and tap them on the tabletop so they're nice and even again, then flip or fan the sheets just as you would flip the pages of a book. That puts a little air between the sheets which keeps them from sticking together and going through the printer as double sheets.

As you flip, check that there are no blanks. Put the stack back into the printer (you'll have to figure out whether to put them in printed side face down or face up, but I would guess that on most printers, it's printed side up).


  • Just as in the sequence above, in the "all pages in range" choose "even pages only"
  • Uncheck the "reverse pages" box
  • Click OK and it will print all the even numbered pages on the back side of the odd numbered sheets. It will all be in order.
Check every so often as it prints to make sure that a double sheet has not gone through and thrown off the numbering. Best to watch and check as it prints.

Both your paper and ink will last longer. 

Note: If you want to practice on a few sheets first, then before you click OK you'll notice the number of sheets to be printed says 1 - 76.  Change it to 1 - 4 (to just print 4 pages) Click OK and it will print pages 1 and 3 (the odd pages). Put it back in the feed tray with page 1 on top, and following directions above, unclick "reverse pages," change the setting to "even pages only" and print. If you see that you've put the paper in upside down, just reach over and pull the paper stack out of the printer, the printer will stop and give you an "out of paper" message. Turn the sheets around and push the stack back in and start the printer. With a little practice you will figure out how to put the paper in the machine so that it prints the back and front properly. I would also recommend that when you print the book, just do 10 or 20 pages at a time, it's a little less stressful if you aren't used to doing this.

Hope you found these tips useful

Martha Stevens
Mother of Five
"It's easier to build a child than
Repair a man or woman"


Martha Stevens

(c) 2006 Martha Stevens all rights reserved