Using Ink Cartridges Tips

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What factors contribute to the actual page yield you’ll get?

Factors Affecting Page Yield With Inkjet Printers

With the creation of a standardized test for measuring the page yield of inkjet printers, printer manufacturers are now publishing the page yield of their products so that you can compare the output of different equipment. Even so, you can expect to experience some variation as the end user of inkjet printers. A number of different factors can affect the actual page yield you might get with various inkjet printers.

  • The content you print, such as type of graphics, and typical page coverage will affect the page yield you end up getting.
  • The time that passes from when you print to the next will affect your actual page yield. With frequent starts and stops during printing, inkjet printers will use up ink in order to maintain normal function and keep the nozzles running smoothly.
  • When you decide to determine the end life of a cartridge will also affect the page yield, as well.

Do you have photo tips for using ink cartridges with HP printers?

HP's Recommendations For Printing Photos With Ink Cartridges

Getting the best results when you're printing photos isn't always easy. Fortunately, there are tricks for printing photos so that you can consistently get better quality prints. One way of achieving this is by choosing the right ink cartridges for your printer. Here's what HP recommends for getting good quality photos.

  • For color photos, use the color ink cartridges or 3-ink color photo configuration for optimal results. This option is best if you want to print photos on the fly, such as instant printouts for friends at a birthday party.
  • For enhanced quality images, use the color ink cartridges and special photo ink cartridges together when printing photos. You'll get better looking results when it comes to realistic skin tones.
  • Are you looking to highlight textures and create a dramatic effect with contrasting shadows? Combine three ink cartridges – the color, special photo and gray ink cartridges.
  • For great looking black and white shots, use just the gray ink cartridge for optimal results.

How can I get more life from color printer ink cartridges?

How can I get more life from color printer ink cartridges?

For those that do a lot of color printing, it may be worth it to spend a few extra bucks on a printer that has separate color printer ink cartridges. As opposed to the traditional color printer ink cartridge which holds all the colors in a single, smaller cartridge, these new models can hold much more of each color in their own, dedicated cartridges. Many have separate cartridges for Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, which combined with Black, form the every color that can be printed.

The advantage of having separate printer ink cartridges is clear. When you have several prints that will require less use of one color, that color of toner or ink can be saved for when it will be needed. If you tend to print the same colors often, such as when printing letterhead, you may only have to replace or refill one printer ink cartridge at a time. These printers can be slightly more expensive to purchase. You will save that money in no time by not having to replace your color printer ink cartridge when only one color runs empty.

What can I do to conserve my color printer ink?

Conserving Color Printer Ink

Anyone with a printer knows that color printer ink is far more expensive than black ink. If you want to keep from buying color printer ink more often than you need to, here are a few ways to conserve.

  • Print Settings – Most color printers offer you choices for the quality of your prints. The most common are “Normal”, “Best”, and “Econofast”. If you want your color printer ink to last as long as possible and do not need the highest quality prints, choose the econofast setting as your default.
  • Don't Need Color? Don't Use It! – Most print jobs do not require color printer ink. For most documents, only the black cartridge is necessary. Be sure that when you are printing black and white documents or images that you change your print settings for black and white printing instead of color.
  • Better Paper – Believe it or not, the quality of your printer paper can affect your ink usage. With better paper, you can print at a lower quality and not lose as much in terms of the end print. As cheap as paper is when compared to printer ink, this is a viable option in the long run.

There are many other ways to conserve printer ink. Take a look at our other resources here at LifeTips and at those provided by our sponsors.

How can I conserve printer ink?

Conserving Your Printer Ink

Nothing is more frustrating than starting an important print job only to find that you run out of printer ink half way through. Of course, printer ink will always eventually run dry. However, you can conserve your ink cartridge over time and stretch the life of your printer ink for that one last job. Here are a few ways you can help yourself conserve.

  • Quality – By this, I mean to only print in the quality that you need for each job. If you do mostly draft work, be sure to set you printer to print at a fast and lower quality setting. The quality setting directly relates to the amount of printer ink that is used for the job. The lower the quality, the less ink used.
  • Quantity – With the benefits of electronic communication, printing in quantity is often unnecessary. Be sure to double check your print job before you begin each print so that you do what you can to not waste printer ink on bad prints. Also, do not print more copies of your work than are necessary.

Again, printer ink cartridges all run out at some point, so there is no guarantee that you will never find yourself stuck in printing limbo. What you can do is follow these conservation tips and keep an extra printer ink cartridge around in case it happens.

How do I change my printer cartridge?

Changing Your Printer Cartridge

When your printer cartridge runs dry, you will want to get a new one in there before your next print job. Changing a printer cartridge is easy on most makes and models of inkjet or laser printers. Specific changing instructions will vary, but for the most part, there are similarities in each. First, buy your new printer cartridge. Make sure you match the model number of your printer with the correct printer cartridge. Far too many people neglect this and get home to find they bought the wrong one.

The best bet is to bring your empty printer cartridge with you to the store to be sure. Next, open your printer and expose the ink bay. Typically, there is a latch type mechanism that locks the printer cartridge in place. Open that latch after you have removed the protective strip on the printer cartridge that keeps ink from running. Once removed and latch opened, insert the printer cartridge into the bay slot and lock it in place. Depending on your printer, you should next run the alignment test to ensure that your new printer cartridge is properly set-up. Run that and a test page and you are ready to go until your next ‘dry' spell.

Why do you align the ink cartridge after installing it?

Aligning Your Ink Cartridge

For printers that use an independent ink cartridge for both the color and black and white printing, it is important to keep the alignment correct between the two. When printing in color, both the black and white as well as the color ink cartridge are working together. Because both need to work in perfect unison for the print to come out correctly, alignment is crucial.

Aligning your ink cartridges is easy for most home printers. You will want to go to your computers “Control Panel”. Form there you will select “printers”. Select your main printer from the list provided and right-click to select ‘properties'. Form there, the instructions will depend on your specific printer, however, most of the time, you can look for a tab labeled “maintenance”.

Once in maintenance, you can choose from communication check, test page, or align cartridges. When you choose align ink cartridges, a page will be printed and you will need to set the alignment by confirming some information for the computer. Once you finish, you will get a test page printed that will confirm your settings as correct.

What do I do when my printer ink is smearing on my prints?

Printer Ink Smeared? You Need a Cleaning

Sometimes a printer will go for hundreds of prints with no problems only to all of a sudden begin smearing and misprinting. If you are faced with poor print quality with smudges and the like, chances are you need to clean your printer ink cartridge. Most printers have a built in cleaning system or the ability to clean the printer ink through your computer.

If you are running Windows, go to your control panel and select Printers. Once there, choose the printer that you have installed and view the properties or settings. There should be a tab for ‘maintenance'. There are a few options there, but you are looking for ‘clean printer ink cartridges'. This will print out a test page and ask you to confirm that it was correctly printed. If not, repeat the process. If it fails to work again, you may need to replace your printer ink cartridge.

Can I save money on expensive printer cartridges?

Saving Money on Printer Cartridges

For many small businesses or even individuals, printing can grow costly if you print in quantity. Between printer cartridges and paper, the expenses build up. There are ways that you can save money on printing and, in particular, printer cartridges. If you have this problem, here are a few ways that you can cut down on your expenses.

Have you tried refillable printer cartridges? Many people sacrifice the money and buy the alternative for what they see as additional labor that comes with refillable ink cartridges. These people usually have never tried these types of printer cartridges because if they had, they would know that the effort is far worth the savings.

Are your printer settings optimized? Printer cartridges go empty more often due to unnecessary printing. Whether you print in too high a quality or print more sheets than you need, you are wasting money on either paper or ink and will need to replenish more often than you should have to. If you find yourself spending way too much on printer cartridges and other printing supplies, ask yourself these questions to evaluate your printing habits and how you can save in the future.

How long do photos last after you print them?

Print Life and Ink Cartridges

If you're using ink cartridges to print photos, one thing you want to take into consideration is the print life. The print life of a photo is how long it lasts before the image starts to show noticeable signs of fading. So how long can you expect quality ink cartridges to last? That depends. Epson states that their ink cartridges last up to 92 years before noticeable fading occurs, according to a test conducted in 2003 by Henry Wilhelm, a photo longevity expert. According to the same test, some third party inks had a comparatively short print life, lasting a year or less before noticeable signs of fading occurred. On the flip side, if you're not concerned at all about print life and want to save on initial cost, the third party ink cartridges did produce quality-looking prints at the onset.

Which printers use the most ink?

How Printer Manufacturers Measure Up In Ink Efficiency

Ink efficiency, the amount of ink that printers use up through regular maintenance and installation, will have an effect on your page yields. If you're shopping among the different printer manufacturers to find the best model for you, here's the scoop on how they measure up in terms of ink efficiency.

Some of the most recognized printer manufacturers include Epson, HP and Canon. These printer manufacturers vary in how well their equipment handles ink efficiency. According to an independent study by SpencerLab Digital Color Laboratory commissioned by HP, Epson printers use more than twice as much ink as HP printers when it came to ink efficiency. The Canon printers used nearly twice as much ink as HP printers.

How does printing efficiency impact page yields?

The Impact Of Printing Efficiency On Page Yields

When shopping for the best printing scenario, you might look for factors like page yields, printing capabilities and print quality. While all of these factors are important when it comes to selecting your printer and ink cartridge, it's also important to understand how printing efficiency impacts page yields.

A printer doesn't just use up ink when you're printing. The inkjet cartridge in your printer also uses ink immediately after installation and during routine printer maintenance if your printer has been idle for quite some time. Different printer models and different printer manufacturers vary in the level of printing efficiency when it comes to using up ink during installation and printer maintenance periods. When shopping for different printer models and manufacturers, it's important to factor in printing efficiency.

Where can I get answers to questions about printer ink?

Common Printer Ink Questions

There are many common questions with regards to printer ink. Here are a few of the most common questions and some brief answers.

What is the difference between printer ink and toner? Simple, printer ink is a liquid that is applied to paper by pressure. Toner is a fine powder that is burned onto the paper through heat and laser guidance.

Do printer ink refill kits really work? The quick answer is yes, printer ink refill kits are a great resource. However, they do require more time than simply replacing your empty ink cartridge and are at a higher risk for faster loss of print quality.

How many prints can I get from a printer ink cartridge? This is a harder question to answer because it will greatly depend on the manufacturer and size of your particular printer ink cartridge. However, the average printer ink cartridge will provide you with around 800 pages for color and 600 pages for black.

Should I recycle my printer ink? Absolutely! This is the easiest question of all. Recycling your printer ink is great for the environment and can often save you money on your next printer ink purchase.

How do I replace my color printer cartridge?

How do I replace my color printer cartridge?

Color ink in printer cartridges will typically need replacing fewer times than black ink cartridges. This is because the black in your printer is used on almost every single print, whereas the color printer cartridge is only used in color prints. When the time does come to replace your color printer cartridge, and it will, the steps are universally easy and will only take a few minutes.

  • First, get your replacement color printer cartridge. Make sure you buy the right model for your printer as there are many variations on the market. Open your printer lid and remove the empty printer cartridge by releasing the latch that is holding it in place.
  • Now, remove the protective tape on the head of the new color printer cartridge. This is there to keep ink from bleeding out in the package. With the tape removed, insert the new color printer cartridge in the empty slot left by the old one. It should easily snap into place and be locked in by a latch of some sort.
  • Once you have re-inserted the printer cartridge, go to your printer maintenance program and align the printer cartridges and clean them. You will be making perfect color prints in no time.

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Guru Spotlight
Patricia Walters-Fischer