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Indiana University

How can I conserve paper when printing?

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.

Try the following:

  • Read electronic materials online: When your instructor makes course materials available electronically, read them online. 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: Store files in cloud storage (using Box, for example) or central systems (such as My Workspace in Oncourse). You can also email documents to yourself as attachments and save them to your personal device. For more, see At IU, what options do I have for storing files?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Avoid printing email and web pages: If you must print documents stored on the web, download them to your device before printing. This will reduce printing bottlenecks and errors caused by network delays.

  • Use an E-Notebook: Services like Evernote.com 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, and it may save on your printing allotment.

  • 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; don't resend the same job multiple times if your output is delayed. Report problems to the consultant.

Note: Check your printing allotment regularly at IU Print.

Important: Do not reuse paper in any STC printer. Reusing paper that has previously been heated in a laser printer can cause jamming or irreparable harm to printers, even those designed for two-sided (duplex) printing. Use the recycle bins in the centers to dispose of any unwanted output.