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Each Epson inkjet printer is designed to produce high quality prints in both black and colour. This is achieved by a combination of the print head unit and the ink cartridges used with it.
When printing standard black text, the printer will normally print using black ink. However, even if you generally print just black text, ink from the colour ink cartridges will be consumed with general use of the printer.
When the printer is first switched on, or used after a period of inactivity, the print head performs a self-check process, which gets the ink ready to be used and helps to keep the ink system lubricated.
This process will use some ink from the cartridges. Also, running head cleans uses ink of all colours to clean the nozzles, the amount used depending on the number of cleans performed.
The 'Black', 'Black Ink Only' and 'Grayscale' driver settings instruct the printer to print black text only, in draft mode, or to print colours as shades of grey. These settings enable you to print a "black and white" version of a document that contains colour, e.g. web pages, photos, headed letters and flyers.
The use of the black ink depends on the paper selection that you make, for example the colour inks may be used if you select the Epson Photo Paper setting. Ensure you select the appropriate Paper Type/Media Type option for the kind of document you are printing.
In order to produce Grayscale (various tones of grey), Cyan, Magenta and Yellow must be mixed in equal proportion; Black is only used for mid tones and shadows. At times, the system can intelligently mix Cyan, Magenta and Yellow in maximum quantities to produce a composite Black.
Other driver settings that can also affect the colour ink usage when selected include:
Print Quality - Draft or Economy mode:
This is half the number of dots per inch (dpi) that the Text quality setting uses, which is 360 dpi.
Composite black printing uses a small amount of the colour inks together with the black to achieve better print definition. By using composite black it is possible to achieve the optimum combination of excellent resolution and low ink densities at very fast printing speeds.
When using higher quality print modes pure black text can be achieved, at the expense of print speed.
Black Ink Save Mode
The ink levels displayed by EPSON Status Monitor are an estimate of the remaining ink, as the software does not measure the ink being used. The calculation is based on the resolution of the print job and the size of the document being printed.
A more accurate indication of ink levels is given by the printer itself:
This is a good time to get a replacement cartridge ready for when the cartridge is expended.
Action to take: Obtain a replacement cartridge.
You will not be able to print using black ink only if a colour cartridge is expended, even if other cartridges still contain ink. To ensure that air is not sucked into the print head, which may potentially damage the printer, the printer requires all the black and colour cartridges to be installed and to contain sufficient ink. You will need to replace the expended cartridge before printing.
To print in "black" you will need to select the 'Black Ink Only', 'Grayscale' or 'Black' print mode option in your printer driver. See Related Article "How do I select the 'Black Ink Only' or 'Grayscale' print mode?" for assistance.
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