Tame your computer: save a tree!


Software training expert Karen Roem offers advice to help you 'Tame your computer' in a weekly series for Cambridge Network members.

This week she has tips on 'green printing'...

Recently 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 week's tip on how to print more efficiently using Microsoft Office.

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

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

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 two 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 are 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 you print - and save a tree.

  • Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2000. Most of what is covered however will also apply to earlier and later versions.

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    27 January 2005

    Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd. Contact her by email Karen@roem.co.uk or visit her website at


    Karen Roem
    Microsoft Office-ionado

    Roem Ltd – software training and support