I need a map of the SMC campus, but I'm really sick of running out of ink after printing one thing and then having to pay ridiculous sums of money to buy more ink.

The map is here: Map

I would print in black and white, but I'm wondering if there are any chrome or photoshop extensions, or even websites that transform the image into something more ink-conservative.

For example, I don't need the buildings to be a solid color, or the roads to be gray, so it would be a tremendous waste of ink to print it as is.

Anyone know anything like I'm talking about?

5 Answers 5


One Photoshop solution could be to use the "Trace Contour" filter. Admittedly, it works better on images with higher resolution, but I think you won't be able to cut down on ink much further:

Map image after Trace Contour filter


Use draft mode to print- this will reduce colour saturation (or 'blackness') to save ink.

I'd also recommend filling in areas that arn't important in white - in paint.net, using the magic wand, global selection and 26% tolerance cleaned up your image to this in roughly 2 seconds. A little more work by seperating colours into layers (magic wand with same settings, cut and paste into a new layer) and increasing the transparency yielded this.

In short - print in draft mode, fill in white, seperate layers, and increase the transparency of these layers.

  • Draft is a massive ink saver on some printers - on mine, it's the only mode that doesn't soak the paper in ink... Of course, the quality may be horrible, but it should be good enough to read.
    – Bob
    Jun 18, 2012 at 6:35

Whilst not technically as good as Soandos's answer (so +1 for the technical one!), I would highly recommend purchasing a cheap Epson printer + fake ink.

Most national computer shops/websites will sell one unique model of printer that you can only buy from them at something stupid like £10/£15/£20, but have ink that can cost twice that, locking you in to that shop... I personally find the cheapest ink I can - usually at £1/£2 per cartridge when bought in bulk and just use that.

Only complaint with the brand I use - Red comes out a little orangey, but, I hardly ever print out proper photographs and would much much rather have a page cost that is a fraction of using real cartridges.

  • Fake ink works with canon (I love these) and lexmark (tricky) as well
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 18, 2012 at 5:15
  • +1. I think in all honestly, your answer is more practical than mine.
    – soandos
    Jun 18, 2012 at 5:17
  • 2
    adding: if you are a frequent printer, get the printer fitted with CISS(Continuous Ink supply system)... Jun 18, 2012 at 6:48
  • If the ink colours are wrong, switch the supplier. Fake ink needs not be inferior. Jun 18, 2012 at 8:50
  • +1 @tumchaaditya It's something I'd get if I printed things.
    – Rob
    Jun 19, 2012 at 2:41

It is not the simplist things to do, but if you can use GIMP, you can do this in two ways:

  1. Use Select -> By Color to select the regions that are that color, and then use Bucket Fill to fill them with whatever color you want.
  2. Use the magic wand tool with an appropriate range set (should be very small in your case).

Use this to change colors that you don't want to white.

  • or use Paint.NET.. just another alternative to GIMP Jun 18, 2012 at 6:49
  • True. They are both free, but GIMP is available on more platforms. Additionally, Journeyman Geek's answer mentions that as a possibility.
    – soandos
    Jun 18, 2012 at 6:50

Why not take a picture of the map with your cellphone and carry it anywhere you need without printing it on paper?

I use to do it with commute maps when I travel.

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