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5% Page Coverage Explained

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When an ink or toner states 5% page coverage, what does this mean?

To gain more of an understanding, it’s best to know what page yield means too. In this case it refers to a measurement tool. It is used to give you an estimate of how many pages you should be able to print before your cartridge runs out of toner/ink, for example ‘up to 2000 pages’. This however will differ depending on what printer you use and how you use it.

So, how can printer manufacturers state a print yield? To do this they calculate the numbers based on page coverage. This is how much text and imagery there is on a print out, and is an industry standard measurement enforced by the Office of Fair Trading.

In regards to 5% page coverage, this can differ depending on the size and type of font used. As an example, 5% could typically look like 13-15 whole lines of text in font size 11. It is also important to take into consideration both the space and amount of ink used. If an image took up the same amount of space as text, it would equate to more than 5% page coverage due to the sheer amount of ink used.

Therefore when manufacturers state that page coverage is 5% and the print yield is up to 2000 pages, it means that it can print up to 2000 pages similar the one explained above. So if you’re expecting 2000 pages full of text you’d be mistaken.

It is best to look around at what page coverage and page yields are on the market in relation to price. Rather than paying for example £13 for a cartridge that offers up to 2500 pages at 5% page coverage, buy a cartridge that offers up to 2250 pages at 15% page coverage.

So now that you understand how much your cartridge can yield, how can you reduce output and save on ink?

First of all, do you have a colour printer? If you use colour a lot in the office then this printer is probably necessary, but if you just use your printer for printing black text then consider converting to a mono printer. This will save you having to buy both colour and mono toners.

Also try setting your printer to draft mode, this makes the text a little faint (as it uses less ink), but it is ideal for internal or draft documents.

If your printer fleet allows, have a password controlled print station. This means that employees have to go to the printer and type in a password or scan a key fob to collect their print outs. This in turn will prevent waste print outs, as staff will only be motivated to collect vital print outs.

Instead of printing out documents save them to your hard drive and back them up regularly, reducing your print spend.

In regards to page coverage hopefully this has been made clearer, making the next time you buy any cartridges a lot easier.

For more information regarding the right ink or toner for you call our friendly account managers on 0845 890 1995.

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