Saving the world one tree at a time. In an age where, more than ever, mankind is on alert and educated about environmental issues, this could be the ideal motto of any environmental NGO, or the slogan of a campaign aiming to stop the deforestation in Amazon’s rainforest. But it isn’t.
In fact, that is the motto of iPrint, a free app for Windows developed by Inzone Software. It is designed to give you an improved and more intuitive control over the printing process, which many printers, specially the older ones, do not allow. If you want to reduce your paper and ink consumption, both saving the planet and a few extra bucks, iPrint is just the app to have.
iPrint, is developed by Inzone Software, a small team based in the USA. They have some big time clients, such as BP, Cisco or FedEx, and are also responsible for a well-known app called “Click to Convert”. iPrint is absolutely free and is developed for all Windows systems, from Windows XP onward.
The developer claims to decrease your printing expenses by up to 60%, which is quite a neat number to think about. More than ever, in these times where money counts a lot, saving is important, specially for those people working in offices or the regular students which print lots of stuff.
iPrint requires installation, which takes only a few megabytes and seconds. Prior to the installation, nothing will be executed, since iPrint is not an app that you have to execute “by hand”. It works by emulating a real printer, which you can select on the printing moment.
At the end of installation, setup will present an option to make iPrint the default printer, which is useful, because it eliminates the need of selecting every time you print. You will then be presented with iPrint’s environment, which is quite simple and clean.
Let’s explore this environment starting with the menu:
iPrint’s menu consists in eight icons, which can be divided in 5 groups:
the first two control the printing itself, where you can trigger the actual printing and control the page details, such as paper size, margins, etc.; the next icon controls print jobs – in fact, you can send multiple documents to iPrint, and choose to print pages from different documents in the same job. Using this icon’s functionality, you enable or disable all the pages from a specific document, which is handy to avoid confusions; the fourth icon allows one to delete selected pages.
The pages will remain visible, but will be tagged as “Deleted” and will not be printed. To undelete pages, simply double-click them; the next three icons control the pages per sheet and, in my opinion, are one of the best features found on iPrint. Some printers, specially the older ones, do not offer the possibility to print several pages per sheet, or make it difficult to achieve so. With iPrint, it is easy to select multiple-page printing while previewing it instantaneously, regardless of the printer you have; finally, the last icon allows you to close iPrint.
Other important piece of iPrint’s windows is the page management:
Pages will be automatically ordered according to their order inside the original documents and the order of arrival. There is also other information presented: the total of pages sent to iPrint, the type of paper that is set for the printer to use and other of the greatest iPrint features, which is how much you are actually saving, both in number of pages and percentage. If you click over this information, you’ll be presented with a full report of iPrint’s action: pages sent to iPrint, pages saved, saving percentage, cost per page (which is set for 0.05 something – it has no currency) and how much have you saved with iPrint’s help.
After you have made all the desired modifications, just print to your favorite printer and that’s that.
Even though iPrint is a really nice and useful application, it has two important flaws: firstly, iPrint always runs on the background without you noticing. It consumes about 20/30 MB of RAM, and if you close “iPrint.exe” process, the app will not work. Also, there is some kind of glitch with the menu icons layering, as sometimes they remain on top of other things even if you minimize the app.
There are also another couple of minor problems, clearly not as annoying as the ones above: while you can delete several pages at once, you have to undeleted one page at a time; after printing, iPrint will remain open.
iPrint aims to reduce your costs with printing, saving your money and the environment by printing less, which means less ink and paper usage. While paper is quite cheap, it obviously requires trees to produce it (and I believe we all are aware of the deforestation issues across the globe), and toners and cartridges are kind of expensive. It does a nice job reaching that goal, encouraging you to print multiple pages per sheet. Also, by presenting all the pages in the document, it facilitates the removal of unwanted pages.
Despite the bugs described before, I still would recommend iPrint to anyone having to print on a regular basis, regardless of the printer used. The app really helps you to have a greater control and instant preview on how the print will result, helping you to save a few bucks.