Hardware,  Tech

Printing B&W photos on a Lexmark printer

We’ve got a Lexmark Platinum Pro 905 printer that we recently decided to use to print out a lot of black and white photos with. After going through a couple prints, I noticed it wasn’t really pure black and white and realized it was using the color ink cartidges. This didn’t seem ideal so I figured there would be an option to just use the black ink exclusively.

I found this panel in the Printer Settings dialog and had a hunch that suspiciously large gap between the two radio buttons was where the option I was looking for should be. Clicking on the “Tell me more…” link actually led me to some help documentation that confirmed that was correct.

After a few failed attempts to find a solution by searching the web, I ended up just playing with the dialog and found that the “Print using black ink only” option shows up for specific types of printer paper and not others. I was using “Glossy Photo Paper” which turned out to be one of the types that the option is disabled for. I switched it to “Matte Photo Paper” which happily brought it back. The print quality was fine too so, as far as I could tell, there wasn’t any downside to printing on glossy paper with these two settings. Hope this saves someone some time and some money on wasted color ink cartridges.

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