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How to Get Better Print Quality

How to Get Better Print Quality

Learn how to get better print results in seconds with these simple steps.

Whether you are printing family vacation photos or a business proposal to win over a new client, high quality print results leave a lasting impression.

To help you put your best print forward, we put together a few simple tips so you can get high quality prints every time.


The Basics

Every printer comes with a few print quality settings that can easily be adjusted in the “Printer Settings” or “Printer Properties” menu.   We show you where to find “Printer Properties” on  a Word document below:

Inside the printer settings menu you will find a “Print Quality” drop down menu that lets you choose the quality setting of your document.  The names of the settings vary depending on what printer you own but they are all categorized in the same way, with similar quality options:

  • “Draft”, or for some printers, “Eco-mode” prints fast and uses a minimal amount of ink.  Choose this if you want to save ink or a printing something simple like an email.
  • “Normal” or “Standard” quality is the default print quality option.  This is the best choice for most print jobs.
  • “Best” or “High” quality produces the highest quality print and uses the most ink.  Choose this for photos or presentation-grade prints.


Choose the Right Paper

A business proposal printed on presentation paper with crisp, black text will have a much bigger impact on a client than one printed on flimsy copy paper with ink that’s running on fumes.  If you want the best print quality, you need to choose the right type of paper for the job. Inkjet printers and laser printers don’t always need a specific type of paper, multi-purpose copy paper is fine for basic print jobs, but if you want better print results, you can buy paper that’s designed for your printer. Inkjet paper absorbs the liquid ink that’s dispensed on a page and is slightly thicker than standard copy paper, so prints end up with an enhanced image quality that looks crisp. Laser printer paper is able to take on heat by fusing the toner powder onto a page, which provides denser blacks and sharper results. Inkjet paper and laser printer aren’t the only kinds of paper available to you.  You can also use specialty papers like photo paper, presentation paper, fine art paper, cardstock, and other paper types for specific projects. Check your printer’s user manual to see which paper types are compatible with your printer and choose accordingly.


Choose the Right Printer Cartridges

The right printer cartridges are just as important as the right paper.  Standard inkjet printers print with ink cartridges, which are designed for everyday document printing, including text, photos, and basic color images.  Laser printers use toner cartridges, which are better for printing text. These printers are faster than inkjets but due to the powdery nature of the toner cartridge, can’t reproduce the same tonal distinctions, so some color prints may appear dull.  Photo inkjet printers are best for printer owners that require higher quality color prints.  These printers usually use a few extra cartridges to create a print compared to an inkjet or laser printer, which provide a wider-color gamut and improved color reproduction on projects where color accuracy is critical, like professional photography and art prints.


Understanding Dots per Inch (DPI)

Dots per inch, or DPI, is the measure of printed dots placed within one square inch of a printed page. When you look at a printout, you are seeing a combination of all these little dots coming together to form an image. The higher the dpi, the better the print quality or resolution because more ink droplets are filling up that one-inch space. Inkjet printers typically have a range between 300-720 DPI, while laser printers range from 600-2,400 DPI.

When you decide on the print quality in the printer settings menu, you are selecting a different DPI range for your printout:

Draft mode: This is the lowest dpi and is used when ink levels are low or when you don’t need high quality prints
Normal: Suitable for most print jobs
Best: Better dpi than normal
Max DPI enabled: Highest dpi setting available for print quality

If you are printing text or business graphics, don’t worry about DPI. Most printers are designed to handle this type of printing with ease, and you will get high quality prints no matter what printer you own. However, if print quality is essential to your work, like professional photo prints, DPI is worth keeping in mind. If you decide to set your printer to print at max DPI, it will use a lot of ink so don’t be surprised if your cartridges deplete quickly.

Windows 10 users can follow these steps to set your printer to the maximum DPI setting:

1. Search for the printer settings menu in the Windows search bar and click “Manage” to manage your printer.
2. Then click “Printing Preferences” and open the “Advanced” tab

3. Select “Print in Max DPI” and click “OK”


Use Original Files

For best results, make sure you are printing the original file from whatever application that file was created in.  It can be easy to use a smaller file size or a screenshot of the file if you trying to save time or making edits on the fly.  However doing this means you aren’t printing the image at it’s highest quality, which will translate to an inferior print out.


Now that you know how to get better quality prints, you can choose the best option for your next project with ease.  Looking to lower your printing costs?  Shop LDProducts.com to pick up compatible ink for your printer today and get quality prints at a great price.  Be sure to check out our other great blog content for even more helpful printing tips!

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