Utilities do many things, but they exist for one simple reason: they let us prevail over the limitations inherent in Windows and common productivity apps.
Here are four small apps that can reduce work time and save money spent on paper and ink.
FinePrint and pdfFactory save time and money
It started with a simple task: I just wanted to print selected pages in a PDF document. I could go through the tedious process of entering page numbers in the print dialog box, but I thought there must be an easier and quicker way. I wasn’t even all that concerned about saving paper and ink. I soon ran across FinePrint (U.S. $50, trial; more info), a powerful utility that lets me do much more than simply select pages to print — and save on printing costs.
FinePrint 8.0 operates as a virtual printer. Once installed, it shows up in the print dialog box’s list of available printers. Send a print job to FinePrint, and your document is displayed within a FinePrint window. You can view it page by page or as a collection of thumbnails. You can make changes to the document — select pages to print, change document styling, and so forth — before sending the now-customized print job to the physical printer.
Unlike Windows’ passive print-preview function, FinePrint’s preview includes a toolbar of pre-printing options, including color/grayscale printing, removing graphics, adding text notes, and more.
You can also quickly select the number of document pages to be printed on one sheet of paper. That came in handy when printing four pages of a 20-page, PDF-based, camera instruction manual on one letter-sized sheet. This saved considerable time, paper, and ink. Printing the document in grayscale would also have used less overpriced color ink on my ink jet printer.
The program’s Letterhead function lets you create custom letterheads on the fly. Simply create a document containing only the letterhead you want saved. Next, “print” to FinePrint, select Letterhead from FinePrint’s Settings menu, and give your new FinePrint-based letterhead a descriptive name. You can easily save various letterheads and quickly choose the one you need for a specific print job. (Note: The Letterhead tool will remain checked unless you deselect it.)