Cheap Copies

(a reader asks...)

How do I make cheap copies on my copier? The ink cartridges are so expensive to buy. The ones I need never go on sale. Do the refilled ones work ok? Do those kits you can buy to fill your old work ok? I don't know anybody who uses them.

Coleen replies:

I've never used the refilled ink cartridges or the refill kits, either.

The best thing I've found to do is to set my copier to the "fast draft" or "rough draft" setting. The copies aren't as sharp and clear. But, for most things, they are fine. With black ink on white paper, it works very well. When printing in color, the colors aren't true. This is fine if I'm using the color to highlight something. I make flyers, too, and want them to have some contrast in color, but it doesn't matter which color so much, so it works fine for that, also.

If I'm printing something I want a better quality copy, I can increase it by a level or two, and still not use the best, highest resolution.

They may be called by slightly different terms, but on my HP printers, I change these settings either on the printer itself of through my computer, in the Printer Preferences. Mine has fast draft, fast normal, normal, best, and maximum dpi. I use the fast draft for most things. If it is something for business, or if I am making a master copy that I plan to take to my local printer or copy shop to have multiple copies made from it, I use the best or maximum setting.

Depending on what you are doing you can get more pages from an ink cartridge if you let it sit a while between printings. This isn't feasible if you need the copy now. But, if you are printing something that isn't terribly important or that you don't need right away, you can print one page now, wait a half hour, then print another page.

And, lastly, think twice about what you print. Most of us print things we don't need.

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