Hello all! I'm hoping there are some other users out there who have explored some of the different options for separating out their B&W and Color print jobs that can provide me with some insight.
A few years back, we had regular printers instead of copiers, so separating out B&W and Color print jobs was easy - There was a B&W queue that went to several monochrome printers and a separate color queue that went to a large color laserjet printer.
Last summer, we got rid of all of our printers (they weren't able to keep up with our large print volumes), and now we only have copiers (all are color copiers from Ricoh). To try and continue with what everyone was familiar with, we created two print queues, one for B&W and one for Color. Both queues are attached to the same release stations and devices, but the shared Windows print queues are configured with default color options (B&W on the one, Color on the other). These settings carry into the Pharos package installer for Windows, which works well, but since Macintosh and Linux users have to manually install the printer drivers from Ricoh, they are unable to make use of the separate queues, as the print drivers default to Color. Pharos helps some, as a job only containing Black print will be charged the B&W prices, but our students often forget to change the settings so they'll only get a B&W print out (e.g., a page with a small color logo and all the rest is text gets charged as a full color page).
For those who know their way around the settings, it is possible to print a B&W job to the Color queue and vice-versa. Students are still charged based upon the color content of the document, but it seems to render the separate queues somewhat irrelevant.
We've tossed around the idea of having a single queue, and having everything print B&W by default, unless a student explicitly goes in and sets it to print in color. But, this again will cause issues on Macintosh and Linux computers, where color seems to be the explicit default. We're also not sure how having to make that choice will affect our students, as not all of them are aware that such a setting exists and they may not want to go in and fiddle with the settings.
Have any of you all ever gone through something like this before and how have you dealt with it?