Office Managers Share Their 7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Printer

printer in office

Whether you have a top-of-the-line laser printer or a basic inkjet model, there are several things you can do to maximize its performance. Even if you are currently satisfied with how well your printer is working, there is probably some room for improvement. We talked to a few office managers to get their advice for getting the most out of your printer. With these tips and tricks, you can have even your most basic printer performing at its peak.

Locate Your Printer’s IP Address

While you usually don’t need to know your printer’s IP address in order to print from your computer, finding it can help you connect it to other devices. Having the ability to print directly from your smartphone or tablet comes in handy, so locating your printer’s IP address is well worth the effort.

Use Economy or Draft Mode

When you need to print but the quality is not a huge concern, use your printer’s economy or draft mode. While not appropriate for photorealistic print jobs or important presentations, these modes are perfect for those times when you don’t require perfection. They are also great for testing layouts and getting a feel for how things will look when printed. Using economy or draft mode conserves ink and helps you get more out of your pricy printer ink cartridges.

Ignore the Low Ink Warning

Most printers display a low in warning long before they are out of printer ink. It is definitely a good idea to make sure you have a fresh ink cartridge on hand once you see the warning, but don’t be in a hurry to install it. You can avoid wasting ink and save yourself a lot of money by continuing to use a “low” cartridge until print quality starts to diminish.

Printer ink cartridges

Need to Squeeze More Ink Out of a Cartridge? Use Your Hairdryer

Have you ever been printing a project and run out of ink just before finishing? While it’s a good idea to always have replacement cartridges on hand, sometimes we run out at the worst possible time and don’t have another one to install.

If you are facing this situation and need to squeeze just a little more ink out of your cartridge, your hairdryer may help. Remove it from the printer and give it a quick blast. The heat may be enough to free up those last few drops that you need.

Change Your Font

Did you know that changing your font could drastically reduce the amount of ink you use when printing text-based documents? Arial uses significantly more ink than a more conservative font like Century Gothic. While the savings per word is minuscule, it can add up if you print a lot of text-heavy documents.

Computer printer ink cartridges

Print Monochrome Documents as Black-Only

When you are printing monochrome documents, change the setting to “black-only” or  “grayscale.” This ensures that your printer will only use black ink for the project and keeps you from potentially wasting your more expensive colored ink.

Also, if you are trying to print a document in black and white and you get that pesky message telling you that the printer is unable to print because you are low on a certain color, you may be able to override it by using the “black-only” or “grayscale” setting.

Use the Right Paper Setting

If the output from your inkjet printer is lacking, it may be because the driver is set for the wrong type of paper. Different types of paper require different proportions of ink colors and amounts of ink to produce the correct final output. Adjusting the paper setting lets your driver know which settings your printer needs to use. While some inkjet printers are designed to detect paper type automatically, this feature doesn’t always work. For best results, savvy office managers recommend manually selecting the type of paper you are using.


While higher-end printers tend to deliver the best results, you don’t need to have a top-of-the-line model in order to get sufficiently high-quality results. The tips and tricks listed above will help you get even the most basic inkjet printer performing at its peak in no time!