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Community College of Rhode Island

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Best Practices

Alternatives to printing

  • Use your shared drive
  • In meetings, display agendas, minutes and other documents on a screen using a Smart Board
  • Use laptops (and shared documents or e-mail) in meetings instead of printed sheets
  • Scan to email instead of photocopying
  • Email documents or links to yourself
  • Cut and paste only the information you need into a Word document or text file
  • Read and edit all documents on screen
  • Use bookmarks to keep track of web information you wish to save instead of printing
  • Print to PDF and share documents electronically

Before printing consider an alternative methods for sharing information. Some document formats (PDF) and communication methods (web, email) are specifically intended to not require paper copies. The suggestions listed above may eliminate (or reduce) your need to print any particular document at all.

When Printing

To make the most of your day to day printing, and the occasional special project, please give careful consideration to whether or not there is a specific need to print any given document or whether an alternative mode of sharing or presentation would work just as well (or better). After that decision has been made however the default standard for any printing done on campus should be B&W, duplexed and sent to a multi-function device (copier) to ensure the most cost-effective printing. Information Technology recognizes that isn't the best approach for all print jobs for everyone always but using that as a default approach will absolutely saves CCRI money over time.

Using the correct printer

The device you choose for printing documents has a significant impact on the cost. An individual print job, even if printed in the worst way possible, doesn't have enough of an impact on a budget for most people to give it any consideration at all. Aggregated over the entire college however those nickels and dimes add up quickly to a significant amount spent on printing each year. The table below lists typical features and approximate per page costs for the various types of printers typically found on campus.

Printing Correctly

When making the decision to print instead of using digital files exclusively there are a number of considerations to be made about how exactly to most efficiently produce the document in question.

  • Black & White vs Color
  • Single sided vs duplex
  • Print in draft mode to conserve toner
  • Print several pages per view, i.e. 2 pages per side of an 8 ½" x 11" piece of paper
  • Use narrow margins to get more content on each page
  • Use a smaller font to get more content on each page
  • Print only the pages you need
  • Use Print Preview (confirm the pages you want to print instead of generating multiple copies)

This page developed and maintained by the Information Technology Department. Send comments and suggestions to .

Last Updated: 3/15/16