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Smart Printing

Photo of employee selecting 2 sided copies.

Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

At Alameda County we aim to reduce use of office paper at least 20% by 2020 from 2010 levels. One effective way to save paper is "smart printing," making choices on your computer that reduce printing. For example, because double-sided printing is one of the easiest ways to use less paper, employees are expected to double-side all printing (and copying) unless there is a true business need to single-side. Below are some helpful hints from Alameda County employees for saving paper when using common Microsoft Office programs.

Tips for Smart Printing with Microsoft Office

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  • General
      Screen shot of selecting multiple pages per sheet printing
    • Print all documents, presentations, and spreadsheets double-sided.
      Print double-sided: 2010 (PDF - 315kb) *
    • Print multiple pages per sheet.
      Most programs allow you to print multiple pages per sheet.
  • Word
    • When font size is not important, take it down a point on long documents to shorten the number of pages.
    • Reset the left, right, top, and bottom margins to 0.5 inch, the smallest printable margin.
      Change or set page margins
    • Use "track changes" to edit on screen. You can easily make and review changes and view comments from others while you work in a document.
      Track changes
    • Preview your Word document before printing to ensure that you only print the necessary pages and that the formatting is correct.
      Printing and print preview
    • Use the Shrink to Fit tool when your document runs onto another page by only a few lines.
      Shrink to fit
  • PowerPoint
    • When printing slides to share from a PowerPoint presentation, use the handouts feature to print two or more slides on one page. This cuts down on paper and allows the audience to make notes on their handouts.
      Create and print handouts
  • Excel
    • Be sure to preview spreadsheets before printing. Often, they aren't "optimized" for printing. This means they will not only print as more pages but also are more difficult to comprehend because multiple pages have to be pieced together.
      Make a worksheet fit the printed page
    • Make columns and rows narrower, make margins smaller, and reduce font sizes. You'll not only save paper but also increase ease of comprehension.
      Resize your columns and rows
    • Set "Print Area" in Excel to print only the section you want.
      Define a print area