Indiana University

Conserving paper in the STCs

Following are tips to help you conserve paper when using the printers in the Indiana University Student Technology Centers (STCs). Reducing the amount of paper you use is beneficial in a number of ways:

  • Printing less conserves natural resources. Each year, nearly 15% of the paper used in STC printers ends up left behind as unwanted pages.
  • Using fewer sheets of paper helps you conserve your printing allotment.
  • Printing fewer pages helps lower university operating costs.

To help conserve paper in the STCs, try the following:

  • Read electronic materials online: When your instructor makes course materials available electronically, consider reading them online rather than printing them. For portability, you can also download them to your laptop. Some materials are even suitable for reading on your mobile device. However, sometimes instructors prefer that you bring printed copies of materials to class for collaborative study. If you're not sure, ask your instructor.

  • Use electronic storage: For portability, you can store files in cloud storage (using Box, for example) or central systems (such as My Workspace in Oncourse), or use physical media such as a USB flash drive, CD, or DVD (bearing in mind that these can be lost or damaged). You can also email documents to yourself as attachments and save them to your personal computer. For more, see At IU, what options do I have for storing files?

  • Submit assignments electronically: Ask instructors to accept assignments electronically (e.g., via Oncourse, Box, or email).

  • View document properties: Before printing a document, be sure to preview it, and verify that the page count is correct. This prevents printing unwanted blank pages, which can result from inserted page breaks or from directly printing web pages.

  • Copy documents to your handheld device: If you need documents available when you can't access the Internet, copy them to your tablet, e-reader, or smartphone for easy access.

  • Avoid printing email and web pages: Read email and web pages online. If you need to keep a copy, save it to removable storage media. If you must print documents stored on the web, download them to your desktop before printing them. This will reduce printing bottlenecks and errors caused by network delays.

  • Use an E-Notebook: Services like and applications like Microsoft OneNote allow you to mark up documents, make notes, clip and store content from the web, perform keyword searches through an entire notebook, and access your work from multiple computers.

  • Decrease font size: If you keep a printout for your own use, decreasing the font to the smallest legible size may reduce the number of pages printed.

  • Use smaller margins: Microsoft Word sets side margins at 1.25" by default. By changing them to 1" (or smaller if acceptable to the intended user), you may be able to reduce the number of pages you print.

  • Use duplex printing: Duplex printing (two-sided output) is effective for lengthy material. (This will not save pages of your printing allocation or reduce your cost of printing, but it will reduce waste paper.) For more, see About duplex printing in the IUB and IUPUI STCs.

  • Print multiple pages per side: This will save your printing allocation or Jagtag dollars as well as conserve paper, toner, and other printing resources. See About duplex printing in the IUB and IUPUI STCs. If you need to print PowerPoint presentations, print four or six slides per page; see Microsoft's help document Print multiple slides on one handout page.

  • Use print preview: Most applications in the STCs have a print preview feature that allows you to see how your printed document will appear so you can catch formatting errors or blank pages before you print. It's also particularly useful when you're printing web pages, which are often much longer than they appear to be.

  • Run spell check: Use your application's spell checker to reduce mistakes and avoid reprints.

  • Print only final copies: Instead of printing draft copies of your work, edit your work online and print only the final copy.

  • Print just once: Be patient when sending print jobs to STC printers; don't resend the same job multiple times if your output is delayed. Report the problem to the Technology Center Consultant. At IUB, if a consultant is not on site, call 812-855-3802 for assistance; at IUPUI, call 317-274-0779.

Note: To avoid printing interruptions, check your printing allotment regularly at IU Print.

Look under "View Detailed Printing Log" to see your printing activity by printer. Select a printer to see each of the print jobs charged against your allotment. Report errors to the Technology Center Consultant. At IUB, if a consultant is not on site, call 812-855-3802 for assistance; at IUPUI, call 317-274-0779.

For more about the UITS Student Technology Centers, including site locations, hours, printing practices, and available software and hardware, see: