The HP Supplies Guys: Fact or Fiction - Saving on Printing Costs



There’s a lot that goes on between clicking “print” and holding your high-quality printed page. Today, HP Supplies Guys Thom Brown and Michael Borg take us under the hood of the printer to show how ink, toner and paper work with the printer to create good-looking, long-lasting prints.


People always ask me about the best ways to save on printing costs like ink and paper. Well, there are many simple things you can do to get the most value out of your HP printing system, so today I want to share with you the truth on some popular tips and tricks that will and won’t help you to save money on supplies.


FACT OR FICTION: Changing document fonts can reduce my ink usage?

Fact. A quick and easy way to save on ink is to print with a font that uses less. In fact, a study found that customers can save up to 31% on ink costs by selecting the right font. Century Gothic and Times New Roman, fonts that come standard with MS Windows, came out on top as more cost effective fonts than the customary Arial. The study even found that the average user printing 25 pages a week would save about $20 a year by just switching to a more economical font.


PRINT-TIP: To change your default font settings in MS Word, you can update the font selection under the Change Styles menu on the Home tab and in Outlook through Tools > Options > Mail Format > Stationery and Fonts.


FACT OR FICTION: Using third-party ink refills will save on the cost of ink?

Fiction. Customers may be able to save a few dollars upfront with lower-cost ink cartridge replacement options, but in reality they could end up paying more because of the hidden costs associated with third-party ink. This includes the added costs of wasted pages, reprints, replacing faulty cartridges and overall reliability issues. So these ink options are really a gamble. But don’t just take my word for it! In 2011, a Buyer’s Laboratory Inc. (BLI) study found that on average 72 percent of tested third-party refilled ink cartridges were dead-on-arrival or failed prematurely, whereas none of the Original HP ink cartridges failed. Also, in tests Original HP ink cartridges printed, on average, more than two times the pages than tested refilled ink cartridges. You can do the math on that one. Or you can watch this video.



FACT OR FICTION: I can save on paper by changing my page formatting?

Fact. There are actually several ways you can get more information on a single page to reduce paper usage. With an auto- duplexing printer, such as the HP Envy 110 e-All-in-One printer, you can easily print on both sides of the page and consume up to 50 percent less paper.


PRINT-TIP: When printing presentation slides or PDF documents, a handy way to condense the amount printed is by printing multiple slides per page instead of printing an individual slide to each page. In PowerPoint, you can make this adjustment by switching to handout mode, which lets you print anywhere from two to nine slides on a single side of paper, and in PDF documents you can adjust by selecting Print > Page Scaling > Multiple Pages Per Sheet.


PRINT-TIP: You can also use the “shrink to fit” option when printing from Microsoft Excel or HP Smart Print for your Web browser. These paper-saving options keep orphaned text from being cut off and adding extra sheets of paper when you print a page that is a bit too large for your printer. The HP Smart Print browser add-on also helps you save by allowing you to select exactly the content you want to print from the internet, leaving out unwanted text or ads.



cartridge.pngFACT OR FICTION: If I buy high-capacity or XL ink cartridges I’ll save more in the end?

Fact. For customers who print more frequently, HP offers high-capacity value (XL) cartridges, which typically offer up to three times more black printed pages and up to 2.5 times more color printed pages than standard Original HP cartridges. These cartridges not only last longer, they also deliver a lower cost per page than lower-capacity cartridge options. For customers who print more frequently, HP also offers ink cartridge combination and multi-packs that provide additional value.


FACT OR FICTION: Shaking my ink cartridge will help me print more pages?

Fiction. I’ve heard this trick many times before and I can’t say there is any evidence that shaking your cartridge will do anything to increase page yield.


PRINT-TIP: To ensure you get the maximum number of prints possible from your cartridge, it’s important to protect the health of your print cartridge nozzles. Some things you can do to aid in this:

  • Keep the printer in a standard home environment
  • Maintain the health of the printer by not exposing it to extreme conditions – or debris
  • Allow the printer to park when not in use while printing at normal print interval. It will go into sleep mode to save energy, but will always be ready to print when a document is sent to it. Leaving it on also allows the printer to perform its own servicing to keep its nozzles clean and healthy.
  • Use Original HP ink cartridges



FACT OR FICTION: I can change my printer settings to use less ink?

Fact. You can reduce the amount of ink you use by switching your printer settings from “Normal” to “Draft” mode. Using “Draft” mode creates characters that are not as bold, but if you are printing a first draft of a document or a short lived document for personal use, like a map, this quality level may be just fine for your print.


PRINT-TIP:  To set draft quality as the default, follow these steps: Print > Printing options/Preferences >Draft output



Besides these great ways to save using your current printer, another valuable way to save on printing costs is to think about how you will use your printer before you make a printer purchase. Consider whether you will print mainly text or photos, and if you print a lot or a little. By then matching your usage with a printer that suits your needs, your costs will be aligned with your usage, helping you get the most value from your printing system. And as always, be sure to print responsibly and only print what you need.



That’s all for now. We hope you enjoyed learning more about the science of printing. Join us again next time for more from the HP Supplies Guys, and if you want to continue the conversation, leave us a comment or follow me on Twitter: @ThomatHP.

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