Print Quality Modes

Printing is a part of most people’s lives, personal and/or professional.  It is a booming industry in a flailing economy, but supply and demand keep a place reserved in the budget for printing products.

There are a few ways to optimize the dollar for printing, such as seeking reputable third-party vendors who reuse recycled cartridges or build compatible cartridges from scratch, equating to a cost 3-5 times less than OEM cartridges made by the manufacturer of the printer.

What about a way to reduce the frequency of which replacement cartridges are needed?  That would be a good option for your budget as well as the environment!

Different printing modes are available on every printer.  These modes basically represent ‘quality over quantity’ to ‘quantity over quality’.  Each make and model may refer to these modes by different names, but in general, inkjet users can expect to see Fast or Draft, Normal and Best, while laser users may see different resolutions listed (the higher, the slower), EconoMode or TonerSave mode.

Various types of documents require different levels of quality.  For instance, when you are printing highly complex graphics for work, you want to be sure to use the most detailed mode available.  But just printing some recipes or directions or a flight itenerary, the same quality is not required.  This is when you would switch to Draft, EconoMode or TonerSave mode, which can be done through the Print screen, allowing you to change the mode every time you print something.

That screen will look something like this:

Print Quality Modes

Less ink/toner is applied to the paper in these cost-effective modes, meaning the cartridge(s) could produce more prints overall but also meaning the text will not be as bold, though still perfectly legible.

The list below is a brief explanation of the typical dropdown options:


This mode will provide the best quality.  It should be used for documents that are complex and require slow, steady printing to ensure ideal sharpness and crisp, clear lines.  The machine will operate at about half speed to increase the number of dots per inch.


This mode offers a nice balance of speed and quality.  It produces less dots per inch than the Best/ProRes mode, but can attain similar quality due to built-in enhancements.  This is the recommended default mode.

Fast/Draft/Econo/TonerSave mode:

Designed to save users money by reducing the amount of ink used per page, this mode also benefits the environment by reducing the number of cartridges that need to be made (which requires oil, among many other materials).  It also reduces how many cartridges get tossed in the garbage and end up on the Earth’s floor.  For documents that are not important, this is the mode that should be used.

Eco Friendly Modes

Changing modes when you are printing may seem unnecessary, but it is an essential part of being economical as well as eco-friendly.  Reducing the amount of ink or toner used per print will extend the life of cartridges and limit the number of replacement cartridges that will be needed throughout the life of the printer.  It is the small things that can make a real difference.

Greg Gladman
Greg Gladman has two degrees from the University of Cincinnati and prides himself on managing the operations and customer service at Ink Technologies. With a mind like a vault, he is full of useful and useless information, making him an asset to the company and to his Tuesday night trivia team. When he is not working, he spends his time bowling and playing golf. Greg dedicates much of his free time to raising money and awareness in support of the fight against blood cancers.

4 Responses to “Print Quality Modes”

  • […] It is important to note that many printers are capable of printing at multiple resolutions. This provides the best of both worlds. For every day printing, for example, users who prefer faster speeds and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of quality can choose a lower resolution such as 300 DPI, while prints that need to meet the highest quality standards can be printed at a higher resolution such as 1200 DPI, taking a bit of a hit in speed. Most printers tie the resolution to one of multiple “quality” settings, though these settings can also control the amount of ink or toner used for each dot, which can result in a lighter image as well as one that is less sharp. For more information on printer quality modes, see this post. […]

  • […] – this is where you can customize the quality resolution that is being produced, including a print modes that reduce the amount of ink or toner used for each […]

  • […] are various print mode options that you can choose from.  The draft mode or eco mode are the most economical as this mode […]

  • […] or best photo mode as well.  To find out how to access these modes and what each one means, visit Print Quality Modes.  Best or Photo mode is set when top-quality is required, meaning more ink is used.  It is […]