Developing printed optoelectronic devices based on metal oxide inks requires synthesizing stable suspensions of the desired materials. In this work, pure and manganese doped zinc oxide inks were synthesized by a top-down wet milling route and the role of solvent in ink stabilization and printing was analyzed. Fluid properties of the as-prepared inks were measured and used for studying jettability criteria for inkjet printing. Among the various solvents evaluated, ethylene glycol produced stable oxide inks and satisfied the jetting conditions. The inks were evaluated using a commercial drop-on-demand piezoelectric inkjet printer. The morphology of the patterns printed on glass substrates, for various ink volumes, was investigated and was found to be continuous and showed good optical transmittance. We also investigated the particle segregation in these inks using a custom built direct writing system. This top-down approach, by separating the material development and ink synthesis, can be extended to a variety of metal oxide based inks. © 2017 The Royal Society of Chemistry.