January 22, 2010, 6:17 PM — Working on complex color documents means wasting time and paper trying to make the beauty you see on the screen translate to a beautiful page coming out of your printer. Even when you have a low cost per color page, each mistake, er, step on the path to perfection, costs money. Here's one way to keep proofing without costing a fortune.
Usually, one small part of the document gives you trouble (at least gives me trouble). Maybe the color on the page doesn't match what I see on the screen, or the spacing is off just a little in one area. But you wind up printing full pages when you just need a small piece of the document to print.
Create a big white square and use it within the program to block out the parts that are already settled. Pull the white box on top of the page except where you need printed verification. When you print the page again to check the color or spacing, you'll use far less color ink because the white box will block the colors from being printed by the program.
Some recommend printing to PDF until all is fixed, and that will work for spacing issues. However, the colors in the PDF will still be the colors on your monitor, not the colors from your printer. When color is the key, you'll have to print those proofing pages.
Print the page to check, but print just enough to check and not the whole page. Your color ink budget will thank you.