How to save money on printing at the office: Tips #18 to #31

For those who just can’t get enough of our money saving printer tips, we’ve come up with 14 more – everything from using the fit-to-page feature in Excel to creating a BYOD culture in your workplace. (Don’t know what BYOD stands for? Read on!) Missed our first post? Catch up on the first 17 tips…now or later.


#18 Print in-house.

You can save money by purchasing the right printers to print documents yourself, instead of sending them out to the local copy shop. Make sure staff know when to use these specialty printers (not for everyday printing, folks).


#19 Reuse paper for printing drafts.

Single-sided copies that are no longer needed (and are in great condition, of course, to prevent paper jams) can be used to print single-sided drafts. Keep a neat stack of used-on-one-side paper next to the printer. Teach people where the single sheet tray of the printer is, and which side goes up (print-side or blank-side). Don’t use confidential documents for printing drafts, though—shred instead.


#20 Use edit/comment features in your PDF and word processing programs.

Gone are the days when you had to print out copies of documents and chicken scratch your edits and comments all over them. Pretty much all PDF readers have comment features built in. Word processing programs allow you to both comment and track changes.


#21 Print “handouts” not “slides” in PowerPoint.

Printing “slides” will print one slide per page, but printing “handouts” results in six slides per page. Since the font size in PowerPoint is usually so big, six-to-a-page usually isn’t a problem for legibility. If one slide needs to be bigger, print it individually. Print double-sided for even more paper savings!


#22 Use the “fit-to-page” feature in Microsoft Excel.

Rescale your spreadsheet to fit on one page or to print evenly across several pages—no more lost and lonely columns printed on their own pages. From the File menu, select Page Setup and then Scaling: Fit To. Use “print preview” to make sure it worked. Hint: change your paper orientation from “portrait” to “landscape” to fit more of your spreadsheet on one page. This will make the numbers a bit bigger, too.


#23 Save as a PDF instead of printing the document.

When it looks like your only option is to print a document, you can always “print to PDF” so you can keep an electronic copy rather than a paper copy. On the print dialog box, look for the PDF options and select “save to PDF” or “open as PDF.”


#24 Print in black.

When you print using only your black ink or toner cartridge, you’ll save money because colour cartridges are usually more expensive. A word of caution: just using black type on your document isn’t enough to guarantee you’re only using black ink or toner, since “black” can be made with small amounts of red, yellow and blue as well as black. Ensure that only your black toner or inkjet cartridge is being used to make the black in your documents by selecting “print in grayscale” or “print in black and white.”


#25 Print in draft mode.

Match the quality of the final product to the purpose for your printing by selecting lower quality or “draft mode” for everyday print jobs.


#26 Print only what you want from a website.

Leave the irritating (usually full colour) ads and other unnecessary stuff behind when you’re printing from a website. If clicking on the print-friendly icon on the website doesn’t do it, you can get a print-friendly (and money-saving) version of any site using (You can download a print-friendly browser extension for your favourite web browser from, too.) For even more savings, print to PDF instead of printing to paper (Tip #23).


#27 Use “pull printing.”

“Pull printing” requires employees to enter a login (usually a passcode or keycard) before their job will print. This eliminates the problem of people printing documents that they never pick up from the printer—if they don’t walk to the printer and put in their code, their job never prints. Bingo: paper saving.


#28 Develop a BYOD culture.

BYOD—or bring your own device—is a business mindset that welcomes employees to bring their own smart phones and tablets to the office. This can save money on printing, since documents can be easily accessed electronically on-the-go using these smaller mobile screens. Once you introduce phones and tablets to the office, though, employees will inevitably want to print from them. Find out how to get the most from an increasingly mobile business environment—and manage your printing costs—with Samsung’s white paper Rethinking Your Print Ecosystem for a Mobile World.


#29 Don’t scan to print, scan to the cloud.

Scan your documents to be stored electronically, not a filing cabinet. Apps are available so docs can even be signed electronically, before being stored on a server.


#30 Offer gentle reminders.

Remind people of the strategies at the times when they’re making choices. Put up a poster over the recycling box asking “can you print on the other side?” Email out a “before you print” checklist (remind them not to print it!). Mark the paper tray on the printer so they remember to reuse single-sided sheets. And put a sign over different printers as a reminder of the kind of printing to do on them.


#31 Say thanks.

Recognize your coworkers for their efforts to reduce the amount of paper, ink and toner they use in printing. Many of these strategies require a little forethought and effort—don’t forget to say thanks…and let people know the difference they’re making, one page at a time.


Check out tips #1 to #17 in part one of our how to save money on printing series.