What does 5% page coverage look like? Dec 10, 2009 15:47 by Huw Carrington
We’re regularly asked by our customers how many pages a given cartridge should print, to which the answer is however many sheets at a five percent yield.
Not many people know what this 5% figure means, so read on to learn where it came from, what it means and the implications for your printing.
Where Did 5% Page Coverage Come From?
The ISO (the International Organisation for Standardisation) set this 5% measurement to help manufacturers clearly state how many pages their cartridges could print.
To do this, they had to create a standard document to measure print yields across various printers. This document is the ISO/IEC 24712:2006 (now revised as the ISO/IEC 24712:2007). This 5-page document consists of different designs of common printed pages, such as a letter, a presentational document etc.
Interesting fact: There is no standard for photo printing, and no photo is including in the ISO/IEC 24712:2007 set. This is why you will never (or at least SHOULD never) find a photo cartridge with an expected yield.
Using this document set, further standards were created for manufacturers to use to report their page yields, and is obviously dependent on the style and make of your printer:
- Mono + Colour Inkjet printing – ISO/IEC 24711:2006
- Mono Laser Printing – ISO/IEC 19752:2004
- Colour Laser Printing - ISO/IEC 19798:2007
What Do These 5% Standards Tell You?
Basically, these standards allow a manufacturer to calculate how many pages your cartridge can print until it runs dry. Using the ISO set of documents, any new cartridge can be run through a printer in specified printing conditions and produce a set amount of pages. This is the end figure which you see on our website!
How To Measure The Page Coverage Of What You Print
With a little searching, I found a rather good program from AVPSoft that can tell you not only the percentage of a given page that is printed upon, but also the percentages of various shades and colours for further analysis. Using it I tried various common fonts, to try and work out what an average 5% page looks like, and I came up with these sheets (below).
To make sure results were consistent, I used the same sentence repeated as many times as necessary (The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy brown dog). This means that a standard sheet of five percent is in the region of half a page of normal sized text.
Which Font Can Give You More For Your 5%
Different fonts and sizes will obviously give you different word counts, so I’ve made sure to look at some common fonts in sizes 9-12; in the end I looked at Arial and Times New Roman for everyday use, Calibiri because it’s what MSWord loads with each time I bring it up, Comic Sans because teachers use it, and Tahoma, because it’s quite common… and because a family member asked me to.
There’s simply too much information to clearly describe how well each of these test fonts do at each size, so I fiddled about in MSExcel for a while, and came up with a graph.
It’s pretty obvious to see that Calibri (the red line) is the best font at all tested sizes, while Arial, Comic Sans and Tahoma all performed similarly. Times New Roman was an oddity in that its change from size ten to eleven barely decreased at all, making it good for larger font print jobs.
Not everyone will need to know about page coverage for text, however, so I did a little research on coverage for spreadsheets too. Turns out that a simple numeric table, with 9 columns, 45 rows and 405 cells (the amount that fits on a MSWord A4 page) uses 5.55% of the page without borders, however a similar table (with only 44 rows, and 396 cells – the most with borders that fit on one sheet) with borders uses up nearly double the amount of ink, at 10.89%.
So, next time you receive your borderless table with Calibri font, you know that employee has been reading our work! We hope this helps and you manage to save lots of money, check out the rest of our blog for even more printing tips and advice.