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DPI And How It Affects The Amount Of Printer Ink Used

2010-06-24

In the modern age, consumers have become accustomed to a "plug and play" mentality when it comes to technology. The established routine these days seems to be that any newly acquired gadget does not require any more thought to operate than to plug the cord in, and hit a button. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of computer printing, and the ease with which a user can generate images and documents with nothing more than a single click of a mouse pointer over the "print" button. Despite this easy and mindless operation, those who are more economically minded might find that it pays to be more knowledgeable about your printing technology. When it comes to printer ink, knowing that DPI printing affects everything from your image quality to your wallet is of great benefit to you.

In brief, the acronym DPI is short for Dots per Inch. DPI is used to indicate in the printer mechanism itself, the number of dots it can produce and the printing resolution of a hard copy file. Different types of printers offer different DPI capabilities. For example, a dot matrix printer employs an elementary print ribbon method of applying ink (think of a typewriter) and has a low resolution range, between 60 to 90 DPI. An inkjet printer, on the other hand, uses nozzles to spray out the ink on the paper, and can produce from 300 to 600 DPI. Finally, a laser printer uses an electrostatic charge to apply toner, and can have a DPI range of 600 to 1,800. In general, most households use inkjet printers as the DPI range is sufficient enough to offer sharp and detailed output. However, this is where it pays to pay attention to the customizable aspects of your printer and the dangers of haphazard "plug and play." In the world of DPI printing, common logic will tell you that more dots per inch applied to your paper will mean a more rapid and generous usage of your printer ink.

The trade off is that a higher DPI printer set at maximum print quality will blend inks into better tonalities and make a nicer looking print, but you will also use up a lot more ink. You don't need the highest DPI setting to produce reasonably attractive images. Take the extra few seconds to tweak your printer setting to a lower DPI to save precious ink and make for a quicker job. To be sure, there is some loss in quality, but not so much that you won't have a usable hard copy image or document that is perfectly presentable.

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