Duplex printing occurs when printers print on both sides of a piece of paper. It is an alternative to simplex printing, which uses only one side of the page. Simplex printing used to be the only automatic option for many printers, but these days, duplex printing is becoming more popular. Double-sided printing is eco-friendly and can help you save money.
Here are some more details about duplex printing and why it is so useful for the modern-day workplace.
When Did Duplex Printing Become Popular?
A decade ago, not many people knew about duplex printing. It was mainly the forte of office managers looking to save a few pennies or environmentally conscious office workers. These days, concern for the environment is customary.
More businesses have caught on to the duplex printing trend. With new advancements in Cloud Print, duplex printing has become increasingly popular with just about everyone.
Since duplex printing uses half the paper that simplex printing uses, businesses can reduce their materials costs. Less paper means fewer trees harvested, which helps to protect the environment.
If you are looking for even more ways to become eco-friendly, choose fonts that use the least amount of ink, use recyclable or reusable printer cartridges and purchase soy-based ink cartridges.
How Does Duplex Printing Work?
After the printer has finished printing the first side, the page is flipped over for printing on the back. Some printers have a built-in mechanism that can do this automatically. Other printers need somebody to flip the pages over manually. It can be tricky to order, flip and align each piece of paper correctly.
Check the model number on your printer to see if your printer offers automatic duplex printing. If your computer has a model number with a D toward the end, it probably has duplex printing capabilities. So if the model number looks like this – 24500DN – there’s a good chance it offers duplex printing.
Auto vs. Manual Duplex Printing
Manual and auto duplex printing are the two ways to print double-sided pages successfully. Auto duplex printing is quite simple, and once the initial setup is complete, you don’t need to put in any more effort or time. Simply choose the option from the printing options menu.
Most inkjet and laser printers can only manage simplex printing, but if you’re printing a PDF at home, why not print it double-sided? If you click the ‘print’ button on your laptop or computer and see an option for double-sided or duplex printing, you know that your printer can print on both sides.
If your printer doesn’t have automatic duplex printing capabilities, you can still achieve this effect manually. As discussed, with manual duplex printing, you have to physically turn each sheet of paper to print on the back. This method is a lot more time-consuming and takes more effort on your part, but it can save you on paper costs.
Auto Duplex Printing
There are two ways to set up your computer and printer to print double-sided. One is through the printer setup, and the other is through the printer options on your computer.
All makes and models of printers are different, and these processes may be specifically tailored to your printer, but here’s how you would go about it.
To set up duplex printing through your printer, find the general setting or eco-settings options on your printer’s menu. Once you’re in this menu, you should find the default settings for your printer.
Once you select your printer’s default setting, your printer will always print double-sided until you change it back. As with any significant changes to the default settings, you should consult the owner’s manual or instructions to ensure you’re making the right changes.
To change your printing settings through your computer options, you need to find similar menus on your computer, not your printer. Look in the control panel or general settings for printer options. Under this, you should see preferences or printer preferences as options on a drop-down menu.
The trick now is to set the default setting so your printer automatically chooses duplex printing. Look under an Advanced Settings tab. Under this tab, you should see some options regarding duplex or simplex printing. Make sure to click “save” or “okay” to ensure the changes are permanent.
As always, it’s wise to consult a resource to establish that you’re not changing any other settings on your computer. If you no longer have your instruction manual or owner’s guide, you can probably find copies online.
Manual Duplex Printing
Depending on the make and model, some printers don’t have an auto duplex printing setting. If this is the case, you have to adjust your pages manually. This method does require time and energy on your part.
Five or more years ago, if you wanted to save paper and money, this was the only way to print double-sided. Now, however, most printers have the capability of auto duplex printing.
There are specific printers that have a manual duplex printing option in their settings. With some printers, you can choose to duplex print manually in the same menu where you find automatic duplex printing. If this is the case, select the manual duplex print option and flip over the page when the printer prompts you to do so.
However, some printers do not have this option in their settings menu. For printers that don’t have any duplex printing options, you need to flip each page to allow the printer to print on both sides. This process takes a little finesse because you need to ensure the information is sequential and aligned.
If you have many pages in a document, you can print double-sided even without a manual or automatic duplex printing option. Print out your document using the “All Even Pages” option. Then, simply flip over the pile of paper and choose to print “All Odd Pages” on the other side of the document.
You may want to test print a smaller document to make sure your pages are aligned correctly.
Why Duplex Printing?
Duplex printing is another great cost-saving method. When you print your documents double-sided, you halve your paper expenses.
Further, the type of printer ink you buy can lead to more environmentally-conscious choices.
To be more environmentally friendly, purchase refillable printer cartridges and fill them with ink and toner yourself. Alternatively, you can return used ink cartridges to a store that disposes the cartridges efficiently and eco-consciously. Eco-friendly inks and paper are also available for purchase. When you combine several eco-friendly practices, you can make your business or home office “green.”
An additional benefit of duplex printing is that double-sided printing generally takes less energy than simplex printing. Your final product also takes up less volume in your office, resulting in more available space to store business-related items.
Duplex printed documents also weigh less than single-sided pages. If you’re printing a draft of your dissertation, double-sided pages mean you won’t have to lug around a bulky manuscript. In fact, it will weigh half as much as a simplex printed document.
Many of us are wondering how to stay productive while we WFH. Printing double-sided can help you stay focused and efficient while working from a home office. If you adopt duplex printing, you know you’re saving money while helping the environment. You’re also creating a final product that weighs less and takes up less space than a single-sided document.
Is Duplex Printing Bad for my Printer?
Some manufacturers do not recommend attempting to manually duplex print documents with specific models. This recommendation is generally the case if you want to use two different models for duplex printing. You don’t want to use an inkjet printer and then a laser printer because combining the two printing methods can create errors.
You will not run into as many problems if you print double-sided from the same machine. If the same printer is creating the content on both pages, you should be fine. Problems arise when the heat output from the second printing device exceeds that of the first, causing the content on the first page to melt.
Inkjet printers that rely on thermal heat don’t rely on the same type of heat source used for laser printers. Unless you see one page bleeding through to the backside, your inkjet printer generally shouldn’t have problems with duplex printing.
Laser printers are a different story. Laser printers are toner-based and use varying high heats. Before you run large amounts of paper through a laser printer two times (one run-through for each side), you should make sure the toner won’t unfuse.
You should also make sure the paper you use does not have a preferred side for printing. You’ll often find that this is the case when you use photo paper. Also, avoid any crimped, stained or torn paper because it won’t stand up to multiple passes through a printer. Cardstock and thick paper products are hard for duplex printers to flip and feed back into the printer.
Duplex printing increases the risk of paper jams disrupting your printing process. Paper can be torn as it flips inside the printer, and paper shreds can get stuck in the duplexer’s gears. You can resolve this issue by removing the duplexer and ensuring the gears roll properly.
Printers with automatic duplex printing capabilities can print double-sided documents without causing excessive wear as long as you use suitable printer paper.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of ways for businesses to save money. You can buy discount printer ink, refill your printer cartridges and sell paper remnants as scraps. You can also make a simple change to your printing routines and set your printers’ default settings to duplex printing.
Duplex printing is an environmentally friendly way to print. It uses half the amount of paper, requires less energy and takes up less room than simplex printing.
Setting your printer to automatic duplex printing is easy, and manual duplex printing is simple once you get the hang of it. By choosing duplex printing over simplex, you know you are making a difference in your business’ carbon footprint and bottom line.
Contact InkJet Superstore for all your printing needs. No matter how big the printing job, we can help you take care of it.