Printer running costs

  Gary Wood 15:51 28 Mar 2007

I am looking for a new printer. Manufacturers always quote cartridge life in pages at 5% coverage.

How can I find out (using Photoshop, or some other program) what percentage of each of CMY and K is in a page? I can convert a document to an image file, and open it in an image editor, but can't then find a way to get percentages.

I'm sure it must be possible because some printers include software to do print job accounting, including such figures.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


  recap 16:10 28 Mar 2007

When looking at Manufacturers quoted out puts, it is always wise to deduct around a third from these. The reason being is that when they conducts these tests, they only print a draft letter of maybe two addresses, and a couple of paragraphs of text. This inevitably does not cover half the page.

  Gary Wood 16:20 28 Mar 2007


Thanks for your reply. My current printer doesn't achiever it's claimed life, but still seems quite economical to run.

However, I need to be able to cost print jobs more accurately, which is why I need to calculate the percentage of each ink colour within the page.

There must be a way to do it - because printer manufacturers have software to output the values.



  recap 11:21 29 Mar 2007

I've been doing some searching for a calculator for this Gary, the closest I have come is if you click here. It doesn't allow for an individual printer just Laser or Inkjet.

  Taff™ 11:40 29 Mar 2007

It might help if you tell us the printer you are thinking of using & the type of printing you output - plain paper, photo quality, sizes etc.

Take a look at what the competitors are charging for the same type of output, bearing in mind not just the cost of each print but the time involved in preparing, printing and delivery. I don`t think you should be looking at an individual price for each print. Keep a record of your consumables and print costs over a period of time to determine if you are getting a return on those items.

  Gary Wood 00:06 02 Apr 2007


Thanks for the link to the calculator. After spending a long time searching the web, I found the APFill utility (available: click here). This allows you to measure the percentage coverage of each colour in the page of a PDF. So, by converting one of the documents I need to print to PDF, I was able to calculate it fairly accurately.


  woodchip 00:16 02 Apr 2007

This one is for me, When they come into country.

click here

  woodchip 00:17 02 Apr 2007

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