Print Audit released printing statistics on their blog gathered by their print management software between 2011 and 2013. Two of the statistics were particularly surprising and if true could be having an unnecessary financial strain on your business.

Their research found that printing directly from a web browser, at the time of compiling, accounted for 18% of all printing. In 2011, when they began their research, it only made up 10%. This has one potentially huge negative effect on your business’ printing spend. The internet is in full colour, while it is likely what is being printed from the web does not absolutely require colour. Typically on a cost-per-print plan colour prints cost roughly 5 times the amount of a mono print. Even if you are not on such a plan, the unnecessary colour will drain your toner more quickly and result in paying more in the long run.

In order to avoid this kind of frivolous spending there are various measures you can take. Probably the easiest way to bypass excessive colour use can be found in the browser itself just before you print. Most will give you the option to print the page in black and white, a little bit of patient searching should unearth such a feature (picture below demonstrates Google Chrome). Sometimes webpages also have a ‘printer friendly’ version which will typically be in black and white and less of a drain on toner. Finally, to ensure you’re being as careful as possible with your toner use, you can simply copy and paste the relevant content into a word document and avoid any unnecessary graphics as well as colour (just be sure to remove any blue hyperlinks).

The second interesting statistic produced by Print Audit is that supposedly 45% of print jobs sent to local machines over the research period were of 25 pages or more. This figure seems somewhat difficult to believe, but this depends on the particular industries that were studied. Regardless of believability, this statistic does suggest that users do need to be careful of printing unnecessary pages. A scenario in which this may be particularly useful to keep in mind is the printing of an e-mail. The e-mail client may want to print off the entire correspondence, which could result in numerous unwanted pages. So as before, consider copy and pasting into a document for printing, or even taking a screenshot of the required e-mail.

Worst case scenario, your printer ends up popping 25+ pages in full colour and costing something that will probably make you wince. Hopefully this advice may be able to help you avoid that.