Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to Save Ink When Printing Large Fonts for Signs, etc.

I make a lot of signs and I've seen many bloggers that do the same.

However, some of you are printing out your letters and numbers in full solid black ink.  Did you know that if they are large letters you can just print out the outline?  Usually that is all you need anyway.

I use the carbon paper transfer technique where I print the words on my home printer and then put a piece of carbon paper between the printed words and the wood.  I show it more detailed here in this blog post

And that post shows my fonts printed as solid filled in letters.  This was a few years ago before I discovered that there was a way to just print the outlines.

Now I print just the outlines so they look more like this:


Okay, here's the steps:

·       Open your word program (I use Microsoft Word Starter 2010 which came free with my computer, other programs may be different, but most should have this option for outlining.)
·       Go to the Home Tab if you are not already there
·       Type your word or words in the font you prefer and enlarge to the size you want. (I find with small or thin fonts I don’t worry about the letter being filled in because it won’t save much or any ink anyway.)
·       Highlight the text you want to outline.
·       While still at that Home Tab, look for the small “Font” heading under where you have chosen your font and also under the place where you select Bold, Italic and Underline, etc. Click on the tiny arrow to the right of where it says “Font” and to the left of where it says “Paragraph” 
·       You should be in a box with two tabs, Font and Advanced.  You should be in the Font tab, if not, select that.
·       At the bottom click on “Text Effects” 
·       This will take you to another box and the first thing should be “Text Fill,” for this application (outlining) select “No Fill”
·       Do not Close yet, pick the next heading down on the left which is “Text Outline” and select “Solid Outline” and then choose Black or what you prefer for the colour.  I leave the Transparency at “0 %”
·       Click Close to get out of that box and then OK to get out of the first Font box.

Your letters should then show as outlined!

At this point you can still highlight them and change them or make them bigger or smaller by using the original Font name and size box.

 I hope that this has helped some of you, it certainly has saved me a lot of ink over the past couple of years. Thanks to Deb of Lake Girl Paints for encouraging me to write this and helping me to test it out.

Sharing at these blogs:
Cedar Hill Ranch's The Scoop


  1. Thanks again, Julie, for helping me to save on printer ink! I love learning techy new things.
    Much appreciation,

  2. Smart! I didn't know about that option. Thanks very much!

  3. I had no idea this could be done! Yes, I'm one of those printing in full solid black ink! Well, not anymore, thanks Julie!

  4. great money saving tip. thank you so much. and thanks for the tutorial on how to do the transfer. I will use that in the future.

  5. Great tip! I knew this but don't know why I never do it... thanks for the reminder!

  6. That is a great great tip Julie!!!

  7. Good idea! I actually have started to change the color to light gray :) Thank you for sharing this at Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  8. Great tip Julie! You are so smart, I will have to do this next time! Thanks!

  9. Great tip! Thank you. I can't wait to see if my program can do that. I have an older Word program.

  10. Hello dear.You have written a great post. Going to share with my followers on twitter. Thanks for sharing.
    Reflective Vinyl

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. Thank you for taking the time to post this information. I just painted a tall chest of drawers and wanted to number the drawers, but hated to use all of my ink up on printing solid numbers.


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