Adobe has announced LeanPrint, a new printing software solution that optimises document layouts and manages toner output to reduce the use of consumables, and hence cost, by an average of 40%. At the same time, Adobe announced that Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) will be distributing LeanPrint across North America. It’s not clear if/when Leanprint will be available in Europe.
The printing software automatically fine-tunes formatting, colours and layout regardless of the printing device. LeanPrint uses less pages in Super Saver mode and providing a Toner Saver option to create less toner-heavy prints. The software provides plug-ins for the most common desktop applications, such as Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader and common browsers, that account for the majority of home and business printing. Final output can be viewed before it’s sent to the printer.
LeanPrint allows customers to choose settings to get a clear picture of the savings for each print job within the print preview and quantify the amount of paper and toner being used. Savings achieved over time can be monitored and tracked, providing an incentive to save. IT managers can monitor all print jobs and costs and can even block conventional printing practices to maximise savings and prevent users from conventional printing.
Raman Nagpal, senior director and general manager, Adobe Print and Scan Business, said “With LeanPrint, we are bringing together our commitment to the environment and a deep understanding of the print industry to further drive down printing costs”.
According to GreenBiz, the software costs $99 per PC user or $36 per user per year through a subscription, and a 30-day free trial of the software is now available via Toshiba.
Adobe says that other solutions set printing quotas or route to a specific printer, while LeanPrint prints fewer pages and uses less toner. That’s not my experience, though, based on the various products I’ve reported on in the past, including Pharos/Preton, GreenPrint and Fineprint.
A more recent addition is PrintEco, a VC-backed company that offers a suite of plug-ins for Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer and Firefox. The plug-ins are embedded in the applications so that you can choose the PrintEco option and optimise the document for printing.
As well as reducing the printing need through eliminating unnecessary images and blank spaces, the software can also help you track the financial and environmental impact of your printing habits through a web-based dashboard called PrintEco Analytics.
A personal copy of PrintEco comes in at a much more affordable $14.99 and an office copy $10.99 per workstation - not sure why the personal copy should cost more. You can also try it free (although you’ll need better luck than me to get it to work).
There are a lot of products out there aimed at reducing the cost and environmental impact of printing. Some, like PrintEco, reduce the volume to be printed, others focus on reducing the ink/toner used for standard printing, or even just provide new fonts that use less ink/toner. (Just changing the fonts you use now can reduce your toner bill).
So this is very much a horses-for-courses sector. There’s a product to suit everyone’s needs and the prices reflect the variety. The more the products are aimed at enterprise users the more comprehensive they are and so more expensive (eg Adobe). Home users should be able to find a low-price solution that does the job just as well for them.