Printers are an important piece of technology, and as computers have progressed and become commonplace, so have the printers we use with them. Nearly everyone owns or operates a printer regularly, and if you do, you know how expensive they can be to maintain. Not only that but the difficulties and errors can drive you insane at times. So, to assist you with your printer, we’ve compiled a collection of printer tips and tricks.
- Depending on how much you know about computers, you may or may not have heard of drivers. A driver is a piece of software that operates and controls a device that is linked to your computer, such as a printer in this case. If you’ve misplaced your printer’s driver disc and need to reinstall it, don’t panic; most manufacturers have archives of their drivers on their websites, and you’ll almost certainly receive a newer version of the driver this way as well.
- You can print a test page without going through your computer’s print interface on some printers. It varies by model; for example, a test page will print if you hold down the ‘X button and the color button on the Photosmart C3180. Look through your printer’s handbook to discover if this feature is available.
- If you ever have printing issues (and almost everyone who owns a printer has), try rebooting both your printer and computer, double-checking that all of the wires that connect your PC and printer and provide them with power are plugged incorrectly, and if all else fails, update/reinstall your driver.
- Ink can dry out and cause minor obstructions within the printhead’s nozzles, resulting in streaky and fading prints. If this happens to you, cleaning cartridges for inkjet printers can be purchased. These cartridges will break up and remove any ink that has dried inside the nozzles within the print-head.
- Ads and other clutter are common on websites, emails, and other documents that you don’t want to print. PrintFriendly.com makes any web page or document print-friendly by removing unnecessary clutter, saving you a lot of ink and money in the long run. There are also various installable options, but utilizing PrintFriendly.com is the simplest and fastest approach to get rid of clutter.
- Always investigate the prices of ink cartridges before purchasing a new printer. It’s not uncommon to buy an inexpensive printer to discover that the ink costs more than the printer. Many printer manufacturers employ a razor and blade business plan to make money (they offer the main equipment for very cheap and make up the difference in consumables). It’s a clever business model, but it drives customers mad.
- If you can purchase remanufactured ink cartridges or have them professionally refilled, do so. Remanufactured/refilled/compatible cartridges do not affect the printer’s warranty. If you check the company’s evaluations beforehand, you should be able to get equivalent or the same print quality for a lot less.
- If you have a laserjet printer and your toner cartridge is beginning to show indications of depletion (streaks and lighter printouts), remove the cartridge and lightly shake it, just like you did when you originally inserted it. This should redistribute any remaining toner dust inside the printer, allowing you to print a few more pages before it runs out completely.
- If you want to save money, change the print quality to ‘draught’ or ‘grey-scale in your printer settings to conserve ink and paper. Suppose your printer permits it, print double-sided (also known as duplex printing) to save the report.
- If your ink cartridge dries up and isn’t printing properly, try dipping the print-head on the cartridge (this only applies to the cartridges that come with a built-in print-head) in some warm/hot water a few seconds to break up the dried ink. After that, dab the print-head on some tissue paper, dry the cartridge, and reinstall it in the printer if a solid line of ink appears.
- If your printer warns you that you’re out of ink, but you’re still getting good prints with no streaks or fading, keep printing because you’ll probably get a few more pages out of it. The estimated number of pages your cartridge will print is just that: an estimate; you will almost always obtain more prints than it claims.
If you have any additional printer tips and tricks, please share them with us in the comments section below.