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Ask Omer Mushahwar Your Own Question
Omer Mushahwar
Omer Mushahwar, Technician
Category: Printers
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  IT administrator for 7 years dealing with all types of printers
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I just purchased an HP Business InkJet 8500Pro wireless. The

Customer Question

I just purchased an HP Business InkJet 8500Pro wireless. The one with the separate printheads. I have been printing some documents which are black almost over the entire page - edge to edge and some color in the center. It is a book cover printed on Glossy photo paper. The problem is that the printer is using the color inks to make the black, rather than the black ink. My color inks empty out quickly and the black ink cartridge is completely full. Is there a setting that tells the printer to use color inks to make black or to use the black ink cartridge? If so ... where is it????
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Printers
Expert:  Aastan replied 6 years ago.

Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer, a global technical support site. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be the expert assisting you today.


Unfortunately almost all ink printers use a mix of their cartridges to print. Unless the color is 100% black, most printers will use the cyan, magenta and yellow colors to create a "muddy black".

The settings of your printer allow for B&W, Color and Grey Scale. If you have the smallest of color in your document again the only way the printer will use just black is if the picture is 100% black or black and white with the printer set to Grey Scale. You may ask, "How do I tell", there is now easy answer. Obviously if you are printing a color document with black then "B&W or Grey Scale" are not options. So the short of it is that you are at the mercy of the printer and the document you are printing.

Edited by Aastan on 9/23/2010 at 4:46 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I know there is a way to adjust how an inkjet printer produces black. This answer is incomplete.
Expert:  Aastan replied 6 years ago.

Sorry if you feel my answer is incomplete. Let me be a little more clear. For your model printer there is no option that tells the printer, in the applicaton or printer settings, to use color inks to make black or to use the black ink cartridge only when a document contains a large portion/area of black (This is automatic by design).


Notice that I stated that,"most printers will use the cyan, magenta and yellow colors to create a "muddy black" or black. It is often the case where "most" printers will only use the color cartridges to print black when a document has color in it. This may be your case. In either case you will not be able to archive the outcome you are looking for (saving on your color ink or equally using all ink cartridges).


The only way to adjust how a color printer produces black in by setting the three options I stated before. If you have a document with the smallest bit of color in it the black will be rendered with all cartridges.


If you are still not satisfied with my answer please say so in this post and I will opt out so that another expert may assist.

Edited by Aastan on 9/23/2010 at 6:15 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I appreciate your comments, but I have seen option settings on HP inkjet printers and/or software where it lets you select whether to use colors to make up large areas of black or to just use the black ink. I an printing a brochure that has a full bleed black background, with about 10% of the entire brochure in colors that are non black, and not one drop of my black ink has been used. I know that is not correct and there is just something not set correctly. We all know that HP is a bunch of ink whores ... but this kind of issue would be far too blatant even for HP! Perhaps you can pass me on to someone who might have experience with solving this issue. Thanks for your attempt.
Expert:  Omer Mushahwar replied 6 years ago.
HI I am one of the other experts here on Just

I wanted to show you this link here

The piece below I believe is the answer you are looking for

There are several circumstances when color ink may be used—primarily to improve print quality, and sometimes to improve printer reliability—even if the document appears to be only black text-and-graphics. Many HP printers utilize chemical interactions to improve the quality and permanence of plain paper black text-and-graphics by adding small amounts of color ink to certain black areas. Some dark images which look black may contain a combination of black and color inks. For black and white images and photos, a blend of colors called "composite black" may be used to achieve significantly better image quality and smoother gray tones than can be accomplished with black inks alone. Some inkjet printers utilize pigmented black ink, which is incompatible with some inkjet photo paper. In this case, dark or black areas are made up of color inks. (Page yield testing is conducted with all cartridges – black and color – installed in the printer. For more information see Inkjet page

For users who wish to print utilizing just black ink (despite the reduced print quality), many HP printers offer options. For example, a driver color setting (by selecting "print in grayscale with the black cartridge only" in printing preferences) specifies printing using only black ink. In addition, many IPH printers can operate in "reserve mode," which allows the user to continue to print with just the black cartridge when the color cartridge is removed or not installed.In HP IIC systems, all supplies are required to be installed in the printer for the printer to function