Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
New member
6 4 0 0
Message 1 of 3
Flag Post
HP Recommended

Photosmart 7520 Black ink or photo black

I own a HP Photosmart 7520 all in one printer.

Over time I have acquired a significant excess of BLACK ink.


Please can you advise -

1              What is the difference between BLACK and PHOTO BLACK? and

2              Is it ok to use the BLACK cartridges in the PHOTO BLACK ‘slot’ on the printhead?




Thank you.

Level 15
Level 15
23,815 23,596 2,044 7,474
Message 2 of 3
Flag Post
HP Recommended

Photosmart 7520 Black ink or photo black



Short answer


  • Photo Black and Regular Black are not the same thing  and are not interchangeable.
  • Select Paper type Plain Paper to use Black ink (as opposed to Photo Black)
  • All five cartridges are required.
  • Explanation document (also linked in the text below) about how ink is used:  Ink Usage in Inkjet Printers


Longer (and more complete) Answer


Bob explains the use for the regular black 564 and the photo black 564 ink cartridges used in the Photosmart 7520 and the Photosmart 7525 printers.


Information contributed by Expert Bob_Headrick 


Explanation in Thread  Question regarding Photosmart 7525 / Photosmart 7520 – five ink cartridges


Partial Excerpt

The smaller cartridge is the photo cartridge, used for printing dark areas when photo paper is selected in the driver, or when "automatic" paper selection is enabled and the media type is detected as photo paper.  It may also be used in some cases when printing graphics on plain paper.  If you are printing on plain paper make sure "plain paper" is selected in the media type selection for the driver.

The Photosmart 7525 may require ink in all colors (including photo and black) to prevent clogging the printheads.  See the document here for information on how ink is used.  The Photosmart 7525 is an IIC printer in the terminology of that document.


Relevant documents:

Resource - Understand Page Yield

HP Printer & Page Yield Overview








Reference and Resources – Places to find help and learn how to use your Printer

Clarification of terms and "what the printer can do" (Specifications)

Printer Homepage – “Things that are your printer”

NOTE:  Content depends on device type and Operating System

HP Drivers / Software / Firmware Updates, How-to Videos, Bulletins/Notices, Lots of How-to Documents, Troubleshooting, Access to the Print and Scan Doctor (Windows), User Guides, Product Information (Specifications), more

When the website support page opens, Select (as available) a Category > Topic > Subtopic

HP Photosmart 7520 e-All-in-One Printer series


Thank you for participating in the HP Community Forum.

We are a world community of HP enthusiasts dedicated to supporting HP technology.


Kind Regards,
0 Kudos
New member
6 4 0 0
Message 3 of 3
Flag Post
HP Recommended

Photosmart 7520 Black ink or photo black

Thank you to Dragon-Fur and Bob_Headrick for their replies to my post.


I am thinking of buying refillable cartridges so am looking into CISS ink suppliers.


But first, I want to ensure I get the correct type of ink for my printer as there are plenty of horror stories out there of printers/printheads being ruined by cheap or poor quality inks.


So first, my printer is HP Photosmart 7520 All in one. I understand that the BLACK ink is PIGMENT based and the CYM and PHOTO BLACK are DYE BASED inks. Hopefully someone can confirm this is correct.


I believe that pigment based inks are used on the basis that they give a longer print life/do not fade as soon as dye based inks, or at least that was the traditional way of thinking.


(It seems it is not simply a case of buying either dye based inks or pigment based inks as there are different types of each, depending on the inkjet printer types/methods of printing. For example Epson dye based inks are not compatible with my HP.)


I appreciate that Dragon-Fur stated “Photo Black and Regular Black are not the same thing and are not interchangeable.” And I see that the cartridges are of different sizes and therefore not interchangeable. However, I wasn’t 100% certain whether he was simply referring to the cartridges or the ink type.


So forgive me if I am being a little obtuse, but if you can answer the following questions, it will clarify the picture for me.


My main query is this – is it essential for my printer to use pigment based black ink in the black cartridge?


Alternatively, what would happen if I used dye based black ink in the black cartridge?


Thank you.

PS as a newcomer to community sites, I didn't realise I could reply to posts until now. I have posted the above question separately, and presumably, inadvertently started a new thread. Apologies from a newbie.

0 Kudos
† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation