Wallet friendly ways to print documents
April 8, 2010, 4:33 pm
Filed under: The Known world, The Unknown world

I believe my recent research study at work on how to save printer ink will be informative for all who love to print documents.

Though we are headed towards an era of paperless offices and colleges where all the information would be in strict digital format, the pace is quite slow. That ink-sucking printer is still an indispensable part of our home and office because we are frequently required to print documents on paper.

Since ink is still the most expensive component in the print workflow, we can reduce printing costs of documents if we can figure out ways that will decrease the consumption of ink while printing. And I found some great ways. For instance, when printing a document in Microsoft Word, we can switch to “Draft output” and the toner will last much longer. 🙂

Use a Font with Holes

An interesting option to help us save ink is Ecofont. Ecofont is like the popular Arial font but it has these little holes punched in the letters. These holes aren’t really visible in the printed document (that uses standard font sizes like 11px) but will save money as no ink is required when printing these dots.

Ecofont is available for download on both Windows and Mac platforms. It may not be a good idea to use Ecofont in client communication or formal reports for school but we can definitely consider using this font for personal or internal use.

Font with Holes

Printing Web Pages with Custom Fonts

If we are printing web pages, I highly recommend Readability – this is a bookmarklet that will not only remove images, ads and other clutter from web pages but will also replace the font that was originally used in the formatting of that page.

Readability can sometimes remove sections from web pages that we would like to see in the print version. If that’s also a problem for you, check out PrintWhatYouLike.com – this is also a printing bookmarklet but it gives you complete control over the page layout including the font family that is used for rendering that page. Since they are bookmarklets and not an add-on, they should work in all browsers including the latest Google Chrome and Safari. It works like magic in my Firefox. Do visit the bookmarklets’ websites to know more.




The article above was formatted using Readability. Both the above bookmarklets require a live internet connection to work. If you are looking for an alternative that will work offline, check out Green Print – they have a free version for Windows though the Mac edition costs a few bucks.

Which is the Best Font for Printing Documents?

Now consider the third scenario. Lets have a document – say some presentation handouts – that we want to print without sacrificing readability.

Fonts like Arial, Times News Roman, Courier, Helvetica, etc. are generally available on every machine but which one among them is the most economic typeface when it comes to printing?

Which font is suitable?

Matt Robinson recently conducted a fairly unique study to determine the ink usage of these different typefaces. They used ballpoint pens to hand draw the same text at the same size but using different fonts and here’s the result.

Garamond followed by Courier turned out to be the most economic fonts of them all while Impact and Comic Sans consumed the maximum ink. My favourite Calibri font should be similar to Helvetica. This is definitely not a “scientific study” but I hope you still get the idea. 🙂

P.S: Most Harry Potter books are set in 12pt Adobe Garamond.


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