Explanation of Inkjet Printer Modes

17. January 2012 09:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Epson Artisan 700 print quality modesPrinter users can save money while getting printing results appropriate for the occasion when they fully understand inkjet printer modes and how they are designed to increase the versatility and usefulness of a printer.

While the mode names vary (Epson ink printer modes shown in the image to right) somewhat by printer and operating system, inkjet printers generally print in at least two or three different print qualities. Here is some information about deciding when and how to use each print quality mode.

By default, printers often print in standard or normal mode. In many cases, this could be the only print mode users ever need. Normal mode uses ink as sparingly as possible while still creating documents that rival laser-printer quality. For most printing situations, this mode is the perfect choice.

Users who create several printed drafts of documents so they can review and edit them by hand can save a substantial amount of ink by changing the print mode to draft quality for their early printouts that no one will ever see.

With most operating systems and printer, changing the mode is as simple as opening the print dialogue box, looking for a quality tab or button and choosing the desired mode, then clicking “apply” or a similar confirmation box. The selected print quality can also be made the default mode by making a similar change in the printers section of the control panel, in many cases. For some older printers, it is even possible to select the print quality using buttons on the printer itself.

Draft quality is perfect for printing documents that do not have a great deal of detail and are for personal use only. When users share documents with others, choosing normal mode assures maximum readability, but draft mode uses so much less ink that it is a better choice for almost any document that will not be seen by others.

Some printers also offer a “best quality” option. Because this option is much slower and places much more ink on the page than normal-mode printing, it is best used for only the most important documents like certificates and name badges, for example. It is important to test this mode before using it extensively because it may place so much ink on the page that it can take a long time to dry, making it susceptible to smearing before it is fully dry. Best-quality printing also uses a lot of ink, so it is far from an economical choice.

Choosing the right print quality mode for the project is an important part of smart inkjet printer ownership that can dramatically reduce ink costs over time. While draft mode is great for personal use and normal mode is good for sharing, best-quality printing is best reserved only for special print jobs where perfect print quality is required.

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