Some time ago I wrote this post HP Color LaserJet MFP M277dw: previews and prints in colour instead of grayscale. Today I came back to the topic after a while and made some new research.

I haven't really found a clean solution, that is how to tweak the ordinary settings to the desired effect.

However, I discovered that I can fool the computer, install the driver of a sibling printer and then have the colour/greyscale toggle functioning again. I would call this a workaround, indeed. A sort of trick, say...

In a way this is a sort of answer, but not quite the one I myself aimed to. The fact that I would be answering my own post makes the situation only a bit more peculiar, but I don't believe it's essential.

Do workarounds qualify as answers or rather as comments? To which extent is this a point of linguistics?

NB Obviously anyone is welcome to post a clean answer to that thread... and a workaround too?

  • 1
    Gosh, yes absolutely. :) Yours is a perfectly fine solution. Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 12:19

4 Answers 4


"Do workarounds qualify as answers or rather as comments?"

Answer. When nothing else works it is an answer...

But ...

"install the driver of a sibling printer "

... is not a workaround but actually a solution.

It is a well known fact lots of drivers work for more devices than they officially support.

Printers get newer versions and you can follow the product line of that printer with the same driver. Some manufacturers have printers that follow a 100, 200, 300, 400 series and a 110, 210, 310, 410 series where each line can use the same driver for that series.


A workaround is just as valid a response to a question as another answer: that is to say, people may find it useful, and may vote it up if they do.

I disagree with the implications that:

  • "You shouldn't post a workaround if there exists another answer already."
  • "You should apologise or add a notice when you post a workaround."

Different people may have different definitions, but as far as I'm concerned a workaround is still a solution to the problem, it's just one that doesn't take the expected approach. Often this means it's a more creative solution.

Sure, some workarounds are better than others: some are just temporary masking of the problem. But others are ingeniously creative solutions. The same can be said of answers that aren't workarounds: some are better than others.

  • 1
    Totally agreed. Also, in this case "install this other driver" is not a workaround. It is a solution. A workaround would've been "install VirtualBox and print from Windows". Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 12:21

The point of Ask Ubuntu is to provide quality answers to concrete questions, so that others in the future with the same issue can find the solution to their problem as well.

Let's suppose that Person A has a problem. He's looking for a solution. Let's now suppose that it is practically impossible to come up with a complete solution, but Person B knows of a workaround. If he posts it, when Person C comes along, what does he find? More information, with a temporary or workaround answer to his question. If Person B fails to post the workaround, what does Person C find? (and for that matter, Person A) Nothing.

Rhetorical question: Which one fits the goal of the site?

  • 1
    Rhetorical answer: the one that provides quality answers to concrete questions :-) Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 15:15
  • 's/[Hh]e/&\ or\ she/'
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 22:40

Yes, of course a workaround is OK, not at the expense of an actual solution but as long as you state it is just a workaround while waiting for a real solution, no problem.

  • 4
    IMHO, sometimes a workaround is all you have, so there for is the solution.
    – TheXed
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 14:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .