Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Printing costs and how to estimate these ahead of time
Thread poster: Vivien Green

Vivien Green  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2013)
French to English
Jul 23, 2013

I'm in the process of solidifying a business plan but need to have some idea of how much I will spend on cartridges and ink. I have looked online and this seems to be unbelievably complicated to work out. There are umpteen types of cartridge that will work in my new printer; some helpfully have a cost per page figure, others don't.

From the translating I have done so far I'm also very aware that word count alone is not a great indicator of the number of pages a document will actually consist of - 2 documents with the same word count can be vastly different lengths in terms of the number of pages needed to print them out (and I like having a paper copy of all the jobs I work on).

Is there any way of getting a ball park figure for this given the type of printer I have? Was anyone else able to calculate how much they'd spend before they'd actually had all that much experience?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Riccardo Schiaffino  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:06
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Save a tree: go paperless Jul 23, 2013

and I like having a paper copy of all the jobs I work on


What for? Go paperless, and store all your work as electronic files (with a good backup strategy, of course). Even paper documents can be scanned and then filed in system such as paperport.

If I had kept a paper copy of all the work I've done I would need a much bigger office.

If you do need a printer (for those instances in which you need a paper document - such as documents you need to file with the tax authorities), get a black and white laser printer - not an inkjet: your cost per page will be much lower.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
What kind of printer? Jul 23, 2013

Can you tell us what type (ideally brand/capacity) of printer do you use?

There is a huge difference between a laser printer and an inkjet printer, for instance. Inkjet printers are really cheap because manufacturers rely on the fact that you will spend a pile of money in cartridges...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 17:36
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Printing is not at all a major expense in translation Jul 23, 2013

The major expense will of course be the printer itself and this should be accounted for, as you can claim depreciation benefits every year on this expense in your income tax statement till you can write off the cost of the printer.

Another major expense will be the service contract on the printer which could be substantial for a comprehensive cover of the printer.

Another expense could be insurance of the printer. All these will vary in different countries, so you should find out what they are in your country.

The actual cost of paper and ink is negligible, at least in India, and I usually club this expense along with stationary related expenses, and it doesn't amount to much in any case.

I must also mention, of course, that my translation office is almost hundred percent paper free. I don't take prints of anything, including contracts signed with clients, invoices, purchase orders etc. I keep them all in electronic form.

But if you follow a different business model based on paper, more than your printing expenses, your expenses on files and filing cabinets to keep all the prints that you will be taking in a year, plus rent/cost of increasingly larger office space you will have to keep shifting to to accommodate all those filing cabinets, will be the major expense for you.

You might even have to hire a professional secretary to keep the files in the filing cabinet in order, and her salary would be a major expense too.

An average translator translates 3,000 words a day. Assuming 300 words a page, that means 10 pages. Usually two drafts would be needed, so you will generate 30 pages a day, or 11,000 sheets of paper in a year. If you add to this the sheets of paper generated by contracts, invoices, purchase orders and other documents, you could easily find yourself edged out of your office by all this paper in no time.

[Edited at 2013-07-23 04:14 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vivien Green  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2013)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
I have an inkjet paper Jul 23, 2013

I have an inkjet printer (HP Deskjet 3520 e-All-in-One Printer).

I like having a paper copy of the job I'm working on so I can make notes more easily but maybe I should just get used to not doing this. I have just found it makes life a bit easier for the jobs I've done so far.

I also do some teaching work and have to make handouts so I'm primarily looking for a per page average printing price. I read an article that said 5p per page - can this be right?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
Why print at all? Jul 23, 2013

Vivien Green wrote:

2 documents with the same word count can be vastly different lengths in terms of the number of pages needed to print them out


To answer this specific point first: the number of words per page is to some extent irrelevant, since blank space doesn't use ink; so generally, the number of words is going to more closely correlate the amount of ink used than the actual pages; there are standard test pages that you could refer to to get some idea, or I use a rule-of-thumb average of somewhere between 250 and 350 words / page; this is a close enough ball-park figure for your purposes, I feel sure. A recent large document was 130pp for 24,000 words, i.e. a bit less than 200 wd/p — but it had loads of illustrations, graphs, etc.

But as Bala has pointed out, ink and paper is really likely to be a very insignificant proportion of your business costs, compared with office rental, heat and light, phone / internet, and possibly advertising, etc.

And as Riccardo has said, why print at all? In my very first few months of translation, I worked exclusively on paper; then I moved over to reading off the screen and writing long hand, to be typed up later. That didn't last long either! I did for a longer time tend to print out my work after translation for proofing and correction, but within about a year, my present workflow had emerged.

I did tend to find when using old CRT monitors that it was better to print out for proof-reading / correction / editing assignments; but after a few very long jobs, and the move to LCD screens, I have now abandoned even that process.

When I was using paper, I used to buy ecology-grade unbleached recycled paper, the thinnest weight possible, and I'd recycle it by printing again on the back for another job later (double-sided printing is too fiddly!) I also found recycled ink cartridges to be very satisfactory, cheaper, and — one likes to think — more environmentally-friendly.

As a rough guide, with my present workflow, handling several 100,000 words / year, I get through about one ream of paper and 2 sets of cartridges — but I print out very little, mainly invoices for customers who can't accept them in PDF, and very occasionally odd pages from a document where I need to check something specific; the vast majority is probably then office and personal correspondence, and photocopying.

[Edited at 2013-07-23 05:49 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I do see the point Jul 23, 2013

I think that this forum does make a lot of sense if the poster prints a lot. Maybe printing costs are negligible for those of us who do not print everything for review and we have other costs that are comparatively much higher, but each person's cost structure is different.

In my office we have a large-ish network multi-function machine which is our property, but all the costs of toner, parts, maintenance, repairs, etc. are paid on a per-page basis, which is an easy way to control your costs since you do not have to worry about costly repairs should something happen. I recommend it for teams who print many hundreds of pages per month.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Note taking... Jul 23, 2013

Vivien Green wrote:
I like having a paper copy of the job I'm working on so I can make notes more easily but maybe I should just get used to not doing this. I have just found it makes life a bit easier for the jobs I've done so far.


I like to do the same. I'm afraid I don't know much about printers or pricing, I typically only print out my invoices and special documents as an extra back up.

What you can do for your notes though is use those 3x5 cards. A pack of 100 (some come in 150) costs me about a dollar. Or your can spend a little more money and get a really cool digital notepad that you write on with a special pen and it stores your notes electronically.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:06
Member
French to English
+ ...
Note taking Jul 23, 2013

I too used to find this the best part of working on paper; but what I do now is just use the 'comments' feature (under Word) to make notes as I go through; one of the advantages is that at the end of the translation, the notes for any unresolved issues can be left as queries for my customer (some of whom like this way of working).

I also use on-screen 'PostIt' notes for odd little asides, like reminders to self to go back and look at some other document, etc. When I can no longer see my desktop, I know it's time to do some weeding out


Direct link Reply with quote
 
564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:06
Danish to English
+ ...
Going paperless Jul 23, 2013

I agree with others here that it is possible to work with a minimum of printing. Like the OP, I used to print every document I worked on to keep it next to my screen while working through a translation in Trados. I would then print the translation and proofread it 'manually', and then insert my corrections on screen. I had convinced myself that this was the best working process, as I believed that I would overlook little details if I did not see the translation on print. Then I went self-employed and watched the printed sheets stacking up and I realised what an incredible waste this was in terms of paper and ink (never buy a Dell printer like I have, as you have to buy their ink cartridges only and they are outrageously expensive). But what was even more important was that I discovered that I could use my time much more efficiently by proofreading on screen. Nowadays, I proofread my translations twice, once with both source and target text visible where I check that I have not overlooked anything, then once with the source text hidden, which is the stage where I localise the text. Finally, after cleaning up from the Trados job, I run a spelling check and make sure the formatting is OK. I have found this to be much more efficient than the old pen-and-paper then paper-to-screen proofreading, and I don't actually think I overlook anything that I would notice on paper. After all, you can manipulate the text size and keep all paragraph marks visible and actually see things on screen that the eye would overlook on a printed sheet of paper. As for keeping printed copies of your work - what on earth would you do that for? With electronic files you still have a solid archive, provided you maintain a good backup system.

It is just a different way of working, but now that I have made the transition, I wouldn't dream of going back to working on paper...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:06
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Put it to a test! Jul 23, 2013

Gitte Hovedskov, MCIL wrote:
...and I don't actually think I overlook anything that I would notice on paper.

I think that a valid experiment would be to print out a number of jobs proofread on-screen, and review them on paper. This would show whether printing out does make a difference or not, with solid information.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kevin Clayton
Spain
Local time: 14:06
Member (2012)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I'm as ecologically minded as the next person… Jul 24, 2013

(more I would say since all my flatmates in Spain except the current ones did not recycle and did not understand why I was so religious about it)

… but I print a copy of almost every document I work on. I always do a final proofread on paper, both because I find it easier to spot errors and because it gives me a much-needed break from my glasses and the computer monitor (which is important for my eyes and even allows me to work in the park, for example, to get some fresh air). Both sides of each page – generally itself recycled paper – are used and they are all recycled afterwards.

I would say that as I mainly do monolingual English editing (scientific/medical manuscripts written by non-native English writers) that I would print more than most on here, but my printing costs are low. I use a cheap (~60€) black-and-white Brother HL-2130 laser printer. According to the reviews I read before buying, its per page costs are quite high but each toner cartridge (~50€) lasts at least 6 months. And 500 sheets of paper (~4-5€) last about 3 months.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Vivien Green  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2013)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks so much everyone! Oct 1, 2013

These replies have been really helpful in answering my question and have even provided a good bit of additional information I had not thought to ask for but which will undoubtedly help.

I'm only in my first year of translation so I spend a fair amount of time studying translations I've done and I can do this away from my computer if I have these on paper. I think I will do this less and less though as I become more experienced. I am already printing a good bit less than I was when I posted this question.

Sorry for the very late response - I don't like to post a "thanks everyone" too early in case it dissuades anyone from posting additional helpful advice but in this case I decided to wait a few extra weeks and then life got very busy; I have only just realised how long ago I asked!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:06
English to Polish
+ ...
... Oct 1, 2013

Unless you certify translations on paper or need to snail-mail your invoices, you aren't going to be printing much. I had never printed a single translation on paper before I became a sworn translator (you can't put a stamp on a .doc file). I only printed invoices until they stopped needing to be printed, and contracts that I needed to sign.

You aren't even going to spend enough to make the tax write-off worth the paperwork involved.

Well, at least unless you actually want to use snail mail to contact people and send your promotional materials or some stuff like that. You're allowed to, you own your business. People like receiving mail on paper because it makes them feel special. These days it's like a birthday gift.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lydianette Soza
Belize
Local time: 06:06
English to Spanish
+ ...
Should I charge my clients for printing costs? Dec 16, 2014

Well, actually and most of the time I email most of my translation works to my clients but I would like to know how do you handle it when it comes to printing full-color extensive documents required by your clients.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Printing costs and how to estimate these ahead of time

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
TM-Town
Manage your TMs and Terms ... and boost your translation business

Are you ready for something fresh in the industry? TM-Town is a unique new site for you -- the freelance translator -- to store, manage and share translation memories (TMs) and glossaries...and potentially meet new clients on the basis of your prior work.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search