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Prevent Clogs With A Humidifier
An unpleasant fact of life for inkjets is that nozzles can and do clog. Now most cities in the north east but cities built in the middle of the desert often boast humidity as low as 10 or 15 percent. If you live in an area with low humidity, and you’re having a problem with clogging nozzles, you may be able to solve it by adding a humidifier to the room where you keep your printer. Not in a humid area but experiencing clogs nonetheless? Unfortunately, you’ll probably need to replace the cartridge. After you do, think about printing a page or two every few days.

Print In The Right Order Most laser printers print pages so they come out face down. For a multi-page document, this puts the pages in the right order when you turn over the stack. Most inkjets print pages face up, which will normally put the first page on the bottom of the stack, so you have to reorder the pages. A few inkjets default to reversing the print order, so the last page prints first and the first page prints last, and everything’s in the right order. Many don’t have that feature, however.

For those inkjets that don’t have a reverse print feature in the driver, some programs offer printing in reverse order. In Word 2003, for example, you can choose Tools |Options, then the Print tab, and add a check to the Reverse Print Order check box. In Word 2007, you can choose the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options, and pick the Advanced options in the pane on the left-hand side of the dialog box. Then scroll down to the print options, and check the Print Pages In Reverse Order box.

An alternative approach for Word is to tell the program to print the range in reverse order. To print a 24 page file in Word 2003, for example, instead of searching for the Reverse Print Order option, you can just choose File | Print, and, in the Pages text box, tell Word to print pages 24-1.

This alternative approach may also work for some programs that lack a reverse-print option but offer the option to print a range of pages. Don’t try using both approaches at the same time, however, or use either with a driver that also reverses the order. Just as two negatives equal a positive, two commands to reverse order will cancel each other out.

Print Monochrome As Black Only
Few printer issues are as annoying as trying to print a monochrome document in a hurry and getting an error message that the printer won’t print because it’s out of some other ink color. Before you take a sledgehammer to the printer, take a careful look through the driver. Many, but unfortunately not all, printer drivers include an option to print using black only, or equivalent options to override the refusal to print. If your printer’s driver doesn’t offer a black-only option, you can always make sure that you have a supply of ink cartridges on hand.