Your printer is one of the most unassuming, and in some cases, unused components in your PC set-up. However, it harnesses far more power than you might imagine.
We've assembled ten printer downloads that can reduce paper and ink consumption, print out CD and DVD labels, create posters, and generate business cards - and that's just a start. Check out these free and affordably priced utilities. They're the best way to unlock your printer's potential.
Save Paper and Ink
Over the life of your printer, you'll spend much more on paper and cartridges than you did on the printer itself. Any of the following four downloads can help you lower those costs - and cut down on waste, as well.
Bullzip PDF Printer
If you're thinking about ways to save paper, you might consider not printing at all.
Instead, turn your documents into PDF files and archive them electronically: not only will you save money, but you'll make filing and retrieving the documents much easier, too. And you can always choose to print the PDF later.
Bullzip PDF Printer does a superb job of turning anything you can print into a PDF file, and even better, it's free.
It installs as a printer driver; to create a PDF from a document, simply select Bullzip PDF Printer rather than your normal printer in any application's Print dialog box.
The utility offers plenty of options. You can, for example, add a watermark to the file, merge multiple documents into one PDF, password-protect the file, and determine the quality level so that it's suitable for a computer screen, an e-book, printer output, or even prepress output for professional work.
You also have the choice of turning the document into an image file (in one of many common formats, such as .jpg, .png, .bmp, or .tif) rather than a PDF.
Bullzip PDF Printer is actually a front end for the public-domain Ghostscript PostScript/PDF printer driver, and it does a great job.
If you don't have the Ghostscript PostScript/PDF printer driver on your PC already, Bullzip PDF Printer will automatically download and install it for you, making for a simple installation process overall.
Here's a great way to save paper and gain control over anything you print. FinePrint allows you to print two pages, four pages, or eight pages on a single sheet of paper, as well as to print double-sided pages.
It can print out booklets and stationery, too, and combine multiple projects into a single print job. And since FinePrint installs as a printer driver, it's quite easy to use.
FinePrint also lets you eliminate ink-and-paper-wasting graphics from web pages and other documents before you print them.
In addition, if you own a colour printer, you can conserve ink by instructing FinePrint to output in grayscale rather than colour.
Before printing anything, it previews the job and lets you delete entire pages or sections that you don't want printed.
You can also print watermarks, such as 'Draft' or 'Confidential', on your output.
Be aware that the unregistered version of the utility prints out an ad for FinePrint at the bottom of your pages. If you want the ad to go away, you'll have to pay $50 (£33) and register.
NEXT PAGE: More downloads to save ink and paper
- Make your printer more efficient and save ink and paper too
- More downloads to save ink and paper
- Business tools for your printer
- Utilities for printing posters, labels and more