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Weekly Computer Tip # 87
6 November 2004

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This tip first appeared in the Cambridge Evening News

Save a tree - tips on "green printing" (Microsoft Office)

Perhaps some of you spotted the new monthly column in last Tuesday's Business section of the Cambridge Evening News? Encouraged by all your positive feedback about the tips I approached Jenny Chapman, the paper's Business Editor, to see whether she was interested in a regular series of tips. Well, she was and every first Tuesday of the month the Business readers will get a brand new tip on how to tame and train their computer by discovering what their software can do to keep them on top of the mountain of information they need to do their work.

Just in case you're not an astute follower of the pink section of the Cambridge Evening News ;-) I'll share the tip with you via this medium ...

The other day somebody sent me an email with the following text in its signature:

"Save a tree! Print this message only if it's absolutely necessary"

Shortly thereafter I heard something on the news about the amount of printed copies left uncollected from printers across offices in our country, which has inspired this tip on how to print more efficiently using Microsoft Office.

Hopefully we all do our bit by using the Print Preview option before printing a document. This way formatting errors are easy to spot, allowing you to edit and fine-tune the document without wasting paper. Choose the File, Print Preview command, if available, or click on the Print Preview button on the Standard toolbar.

Next, let's say you made some minor changes to a few pages. Instead of printing the entire document, you can print those specific pages only by selecting the File, Print command and specifying the page numbers or page ranges you want to print.

Or how about modifying your print job by choosing the File, Print command and clicking on the Properties button. The Output Tab, for instance, allows you to print Multiple Pages per Side. For example by selecting 2 pages per sheet the pages are printed landscape onto one single sheet.

Perhaps you are lucky enough to have a printer that can automatically print on both sides of the page (so-called "automatic duplexing"). Why not have a look at your printer documentation to check whether you can take advantage of its duplex capabilities.

Finally, depending on the software and the printer you are using there are other ways of "green printing" but my favourite one is reducing the amount of paper generated when printing so-called speaker notes in Microsoft PowerPoint.

Here's how:

  1. Add the speaker notes in PowerPoint as normal.
  2. On the File menu, point to Send To, and then click Microsoft Word.
  3. Ensure the Notes next to slides radio button is ticked.
  4. Click OK.

The slides are automatically exported to Microsoft Word, displaying the speaker notes to the right of a picture of each slide. This way, rather than each slide being printed separately with one notes page for each slide (when using PowerPoint's standard File, Print, Notes Pages option), three slides and their speaker notes will fit on one page.

By the way, if you will be printing the notes on a non-colour printer it might be best to click the Grayscale Preview button on the Standard toolbar in PowerPoint before using the Send To command.

Think before your print. Save a tree.

Until next week.

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November 2005