How to calculate ink coverage

Written by kim blakesley Google
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How to calculate ink coverage
Use APFill to calculate ink coverage costs (computer image by Ewe Degiampietro from

Calculate the cost of ink coverage prior to printing a document to know if it is less expensive to do it yourself or have a professional print the item. Individuals who print a large volume of pages on inexpensive printers may find it more cost effective to take the item to a printer. Download a free 30-day trial period of PDFsoft and APFill program to calculate the cost of ink coverage. The programs identify the paper size and the amount of ink necessary to fulfil the print design.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • PDFsoft
  • APFill
  • Computer
  • Printable computer item

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  1. 1

    Open a document to print. Change the printer in the "Select Printer" box to PDF Writer Printer.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Advanced Print Settings" and select CMYK. The normal setting should be Composite RGB.

  3. 3

    Change the "PDF Settings" from screen to print. Change "Save As" to a file that you can easily find the PDF file.

  4. 4

    Open APFill from the Start Menu. Click on "Programs," "APFill Ink & Toner coverage Meter" and "APFill Ink Coverage Meter."

  5. 5

    Check the box that says "Don't display this window at start-up." Click the "OK" button.

  6. 6

    Right click on the ink coverage icon in the system tray. The icon is a square divided in half diagonally. The top is white with a black zero and the bottom is black with a white zero.

  7. 7

    The first time this program is used click on "Continue without registration."

  8. 8

    Left click on "Coverage ratio CMYK=RGH (PS,PDF)."

  9. 9

    Locate the saved PDF file in the "Open" dialogue box. Click on the PDF file and then the "Open" button. Click "Yes" in the "Confirm" dialogue box.

  10. 10

    Click on "Calculate." Choose "Calculate all Pages" if the document is more than one page.

  11. 11

    Click on the "CMYK Density" button. A dialogue box will open with the usage percentage of each ink colour.

  12. 12

    Locate the ink cartridge manufacturer's website. Find the ink cartridge specifications.

  13. 13

    Divide the per cent coverage required by the per cent coverage specified on the manufacturer's website. Divide the required amount of pages to print by the derived answer on per cent of coverage to get pages per cartridge. Divide the number of pages to print by the pages per cartridge. This is the cost per page to print.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to set the printer to RGB colour after figuring ink coverage cost.

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