I use a lot of ink printing off information, which I have to have hard
copies and seem to use a lot of black, which is becoming rather expensive. I
know you can change document’s typeface color in Word to say “blue” but can you
change the color of the typeface of a document that I’ve had to download from
another source? I’ve no idea how many sheets I get for one ink cartridge. Our
printer is an HP Photosmart and I use a Dell laptop. Some suggestions would be
In this excerpt from
Answercast #68, I look at some ways to save ink when printing lots of
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Unfortunately, the answer is typically no unless the document is
something that you can actually edit; in other words, if it’s a Word document
that you can throw into Word and change the font color, or if it’s a PDF that
happens to be editable and you have PDF-editing tools.
It basically boils down to no unless you’ve got those options. There
really isn’t a way to change the printed typeface color.
Now, on the other hand, there are a couple of other alternatives that come
to mind. One is that printers will often have what they call a “draft mode.” I
don’t know if your printer does.
Draft mode is specifically somewhat less sharp and clear. It depends on what
the printer manufacturer happens to call “draft mode.” In general, one of the
common themes of draft mode (when it exists) is that it does in fact use less
So that would be one thing to look into. See if your printer supports
something called a draft mode and if you can use that when you print.
Print to PDF
The other? I realize you said you needed a hard copy. But in all honesty, my
take on ‘hard copy’ is that (I’d say) maybe three-quarters of the time, when we
think we need a hard copy, we don’t.
What I recommend considering at least instead is to print-to-PDF
and save the PDFs.
That way, you’re not printing at all. You’re saving 100% of your ink and also
100% of your paper. I realize that sometimes there really is a need for a hard
copy, but I would at least encourage you to consider moving slightly
more paperless and seeing if perhaps you can get away without some of the
printing that you’re doing.