Presentation Tips: How to make printer friendly presentation

Welcome back to our article series on practical and short tips to help you create better presentations. 

If in our first article of the series, we’ve tackled the issue of compressing presentation, in this one we’re going to be sharing a few ideas on how you can make a printer friendly presentation.

We know printing isn’t really sustainable, but truth is that a lot of people still print out presentations for various reasons. And if there’s a chance that your presentation might get printed, with these tips you can at least make the presentation a bit more sustainable (using less toner) and being more user friendly. 


1. Change Background Color to White


First thing you have to make sure is that your background is white. 

A lot of corporate presentations might have a template where the background plays off of the branding (colors, gradients, graphical elements). Printing a slide like this consumes a ton of toner, and should be avoided.

When changing the background color, make sure to reverse color on any other elements (like text) so they are still visible.

Here’s some examples we’ve done for a client:



2. Clean the Master Slide Layouts


After you change the background color to white, make sure you also clean your master slides of any non-essential design items.

For example, in this layout, we have a light grey shape in the background, that’s a repeat element from the client’s branding. In a live presentation, this is a great base layout as it’s very branded, but in a printer version of this deck, we can remove this graphic element.

We can also consider removing the logo (as especially here it doesn’t need to be on every slide), and also we can reverse the footer and have it also with white background and dark text.


3. No Large Photos


While on live presentations or webinars, we recommend our clients to go bold with photography and use large, high quality pictures, these slides aren’t really printer friendly. After all, as you know, printing full page pictures is one fast way to finish through a printer.

So we recommend you take pictures from the background and add them smaller in the foreground. You might have to rearrange some other content elements, like text boxes, to fit the picture on the slide.


4. Decrease size


Following the example with shrinking the picture, we can also further decrease the size of other elements on the slide (type sizes, graphics, charts, diagrams etc.). You’d basically, and literally, have more white space on the slide.



5. Combine slides


You can also combine several slides into one, especially if you have slides with low amount of text and serves as a brief talking point.

For example, we combined the following two slides into one slide for the printing version of this presentation. We also removed a few extra design flourishes.


Now these tips are quite common sense, but they can make a huge difference in making sure that your presentation can also be shared in a printed version.

So whether you’ve just finished nailing a keynote or training and participants ask you to send the slides, or you have to send the presentation before or after a business meeting, make sure you’ll always have a printer friendly version available. 

It shows that you care for your audience and will make you look even more professional 🙂

What other ways you know of making a presentation more printer friendly?

Also, if there’s a specific tip you want to know, drop us a comment below and we’ll make sure to write about it. 📢

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