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Tips for Saving Paper

As you've seen in this chapter, Windows 98 and its printing subsystem make printing so easy that you now have yet another reason to print too many documents. So, to keep your paper costs down and save a tree or two, here are some tips that will help you cut down on the amount of paper you use:

  • Print a document only when you have to. Too many people print intermediate drafts or whenever they make the slightest change. With Windows' WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) display, you shouldn't need a hard copy until the document is finished.

  • Take advantage of the Print Preview feature. Many Windows applications have a Print Preview command that lets you see exactly what your document will look like (including things such as headers and footers, page numbers, and footnotes) when it's printed. A sneak peek at the document will save you many a reprint.

  • Proofread your documents carefully before printing them. You usually need to reprint because of spelling and grammatical errors that you didn't catch until you read the printout. You can avoid this by giving a document the once-over before printing it. And, by all means, use your application's built-in spell checker and grammar checker.

  • Try to maximize the print area on each page. You can do this by reducing the margins and by using smaller type sizes. Many word processors also have a feature that suppresses widows, which are single lines that appear by themselves at the top of the last page.

  • Print only what you need. Most applications let you print a selection of text, a single page, or a range of pages. There's no point in printing the entire document if you need only a small chunk of it.

  • If you print a document and then discover a small mistake (such as a spelling gaffe) on one page, just reprint the offending page.

  • Distribute your documents electronically if you can. Rather than sending a printout to someone, you can send the file over a network, as an email attachment, or even via floppy disk.

  • Use two-sided printing if your printer supports this feature.

  • Reuse printouts you no longer need. If you're printing an unimportant document that only you will see, turn some used pages around and print on the other side. Note, however, that reused pages sometimes have a tendency to get jammed in the printer, so this suggestion may not always work for you.



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