[Review] iPrint 6.0

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for August 23, 2009 is:

iPrint 6.0

Version reviewed:

v6.0.0.2475

System Requirements:

Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7

Software description as per GOTD:

Eco-Friendly Printing that Saves you Time and Money. iPrint is a revolutionary new tool that can save up to 60% on printing expenses. In addition to saving you money, iPrint is easy-to-use and environmentally friendly.iPrint features:

  • Delete unwanted or empty pages;
  • Print multiple pages on each piece of paper;
  • Group print jobs together;
  • Tracks and reports what you are saving;
  • Works with Click to Convert to create PDF and HTML.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Allows you to easily choose which pages to print.
  • Can automatically detect “crap” pages and “deletes” them.
  • Allows you to easily print multiple pages on one sheet.
  • Gives you statistics on pages/money saved.
  • Works with anything you need to print – not just websites.
  • Works with other printer friendly tools.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Always stay on in the background.
  • The iPrint window does not automatically close after you do the actually printing.
  • No way to “undelete” multiple pages at once.
  • Selecting multiple pages could have been done better.
  • You cannot change page orientation from within the program.
  • You still get the default print popup window even after you setup everything in iPrint.
  • Small annoying bug with the buttons.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Just a few minor annoyances; otherwise simply point and click.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”9″}Always stays on in the background but otherwise not too resource intensive.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”10″}Who doesn’t print? This software gives everyone extra options when printing allowing us to save paper/ink and therefore money.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”8″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tupr]
{/rw_verdict} –>

iPrint is a very simple software that allows you to easily select which pages you want to print and allows you to print 2 or 4 pages on one sheet instead of the traditional 1 page per 1 sheet.

iPrint itself installs as a printer on your computer. Since it installs as a printer on your computer, you can use iPrint for printing from any program including your browser, word processor, etc.

Whenever you want to print something you just print like you would normally (i.e. for Firefox just go to File -> Print). When the printer menu pops up just make sure to select “iPrint” as your printer:

2009-08-23_225808

Since after install iPrint gives you the option of making iPrint your default printer, most application will already have iPrint selected (assuming you set iPrint as your default printer).

When you click “OK” to start your printing, the iPrint program pops up:

2009-08-23_225950

From this program window you can do a couple of things:

  • You can “delete” pages. Don’t worry – you are not literally deleting the pages. By “deleting” pages you are basically telling your printer not to print them. All you have to do is simply double click on the pages which you do not want to print. These pages will then turn red indicating that they will not be printed. You can “delete” multiple pages at once – just hold down SHIFT or CTRL while selecting the pages and hit 2009-08-23_230352 .
  • You can choose to print 1 page per 1 sheet, 2 pages per 1 sheet, or 4 pages per one sheet:

Page is setup as “portrait” orientation

1 page per 1 sheet

2009-08-23_230502

2 pages per 1 sheet

2009-08-23_230509

4 pages per 1 sheet

2009-08-23_230523

Page is setup as “landscape” orientation

1 page per 1 sheet

2009-08-23_231828

2 pages per 1 sheet

2009-08-23_231842

4 pages per 1 sheet

2009-08-23_231856

Take note of a couple of things here. When you your page is in “portrait” orientation:

  • Printing 1 page to 1 sheet will be in portrait mode;
  • Printing 2 pages to 1 sheet will be in landscape mode;
  • Printing 4 pages to 1 sheet will be in portrait mode.

When your page is in “landscape” orientation:

  • Printing 1 page to 1 sheet will be in landscape mode;
  • Printing 2 pages to 1 sheet will be in portrait mode;
  • Printing 4 pages to 1 sheet will be in landscape mode.

Once you have setup how you want your pages to print, just select the printer you want to print at from the top right…

2009-08-23_232348

…and print. iPrint is as simple as that.

Watch a short 1 to 2 minute video by the developer to see iPrint in action:

2009-08-23_232749

To view the video click above. If you have JavaScript disabled you will not be able to view the video by clicking above so instead click here.

Although iPrint in of it self is a very simple program only having a few features, I think it can really be helpful in lowering your printing costs not because of its ability to “delete” pages but rather of its ability to allow you to easily print 2 or 4 pages per 1 sheet of paper. So I give it a thumbs up. However there are a few minor annoyances with iPrint:

  • iPrint always stays on in the background. If you run Windows Task Manager you should see a iPrint.exe listed under “Processes”. If you close that iPrint.exe iPrint will no longer work if you try to print (you will need to run iPrint.exe again). This is very annoying considering it uses about ~20 MB of RAM just sitting there and I believe the developer should make iPrint.exe only run when it is needed.
  • When you finish printing something with iPrint, the iPrint window does not automatically close… you have to X out manually.
  • While you can “delete” multiple pages at once, you cannot “undelete” multiple pages at once.
  • When you want to select multiple pages, you have to either hold down SHIFT or CTRL and click on each page individually. I want to be able to hold down SHIFT, click on page 1, and click on page 5 and select all pages in between (sort of how selecting text in Windows works).
  • Keeping in mind the page orientation stuff I explained earlier, if you want your pages to be a certain orientation, make sure to do it before you send your pages to iPrint because going to “Page Setup” and trying to change your page orientation within iPrint does not work.
  • Even after you setup everything in iPrint, meaning you select which pages to print and how you want to print them, when you hit the “Print” button to print you will get the default print window popup… something like this:

2009-08-23_233841

I find this to be very annoying. The only thing you can do from that popup window that you can’t in iPrint already is select how many copies to print. I would rather the developer added an option in iPrint to select how many copies to print and get rid of this popup window considering you set everything in iPrint anyway.

  • A small very annoying bug with the buttons at the top. It seems like there is a layering problem or something. Check it out:

2009-08-23_234146

Even though iPrint is not the very top window, the buttons still show when I have the iPrint window maximized (but it is not the active window).

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

The following software are not exactly “alternative” to iPrint because they don’t do the same thing as iPrint. However they are software that allow you make websites printer friendly (so in other words accomplish the same goal as iPrint) and they can work hand in hand with iPrint.

While each of these tools are different, what they mainly do is they allow you to “remove” parts of a web page so you do not have to print the “junk” on the website. Also, with these tools you can select a specific part of a web page to print only that part.

PrintWhatYouLike

Click2Zap

Nuke Everything Enhanced

Aardvark

Printee

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}While iPrint is a very simple program offering only a few features, and it has its fair share of annoyances, I find it to be extremely useful… mainly because of its ability to allow you to easily print 2 or 4 pages to 1 sheet. Thumbs up and recommended. Furthermore, since the “free alternatives” I listed also help with the goal of saving paper and ink and they can work hand in hand with iPrint I recommend you check them out also. Namingly, first choice and recommendation is PrintWhatYouLike. However if you prefer to use an addon instead of a bookmarklet and are a Firefox user I recommend Aardvark; if you are an Internet Explorer user Printee is for you. A combination of iPrint and PrintWhatYouLike/Aardvark/Printee can potentially help you save lots of ink and paper.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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17 comments

  1. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Janet: Because it is easier in my opinion. Plus you can do other things with PrintWhatYouLike. Since PrintWhatYouLike is a bookmarklet and not a program, you can pick it up and drop it as easy as pie.

  2. Janet

    @Ashraf:

    You write:
    “For example, I used PrintWhatYouLike to just select my review of iPrint instead of the whole page.”

    I don’t get it…I often print (or Save to send out later) an article on a web page that has a lot of junk on it. I just select what I want and print or save the selection. Why would you use a separate program for this? Any advantages?

  3. J.

    First, the “not so positive” thoughts, then the “more positive thoughts”, & “maybe even an option or two”;
    (And then, always dreaded, “The Legalese”):

    One main reason I didn’t even try this program:

    After reading all the product claims & Comments, both on GAOTD and here, (and especially Ashraf’s well-done-as-always reviews, & his much-welcomed suggestions for alternatives & comparisons to other apps available), I realized something right away:

    I’ve been doing with a couple of keystrokes, (or mouse-clicks), with my printer drivers, what this app says it can do “for me”, since the 6502 MPU was king, and the Atari 800 computer was first released in the early 1980’s, (late 1970’s?), so I came to this one question:

    “What’s the point of using up 20MB (!!??!!) of system resources, plus the disk space it’s going to occupy, just to have a System-level Service running, to do what I’ve never needed since Punchcards were still in use & a “disk drive” took up several square feet of floorspace & had 14″-platters, and was “obviously” well before the “Personal Computer” was developed for the masses by “The Steves”, (Jobs & “The Woz”)?”

    And even before the PC, when I had the use of a “Mini”, (CDC’s Cyber-18/20), where obviously this type of program wouldn’t seem to be of any use, without the GUI of today’s browsers…

    …but perhaps it would’ve been, since there were still times when we’d be pulling blank sheets out of a “print-run”,
    when the “big issue of the day” was “Don’t tear off that “micro-perf”! We want it all in one long fan-folded stack, so there’s no chance that any part of something important falls out, or is forgotten, when it gets thrown in a briefcase when the taxi is at the door, to get to the airport in time for the flight to the meeting/sales-pitch/whatever”…

    I know I’m “dating myself” from that last part, but even now, I still just don’t see the point in this type of app for today’s general uses. Obviously, others do, so understand that “My views & opinions expressed are only my own and no one is responsible for them”, (not even me!)

    Now, give me something that lets me adjust, (more precisely than the existing printer driver settings), how much ink is going to be used by my inkjet printer, (or toner with a Laser printer), and I’m immediately more than interested!

    I go through some very expensive ink, (my “prefered printer” doesn’t even have “Photo-Ink” available, because it just uses the “standard inks”, and adjusts how much of what’s being used to do great photo-printing), although I DO save on paper because I turn it over when a page comes out “unusable” or “invisible”;

    The reason I’d have great use of more adjustment range of the amount of inks (or toner), is because too many pages end up “invisible” when set to “Draft”-mode, and the next step, (after I flip that page over to use the other side, so I don’t waste paper, since the “bad old days” of “roll-paper” and of “continuous fanfolded” paper were VERY wasteful), is to set the ink level one “notch” higher, to “Normal”, which prints very well, but has to dry for 30 seconds before I can handle it, or my fingers get ink on them, {read: “It uses so much ink they come out wet”}…

    (And for those who didn’t know: “Ink-Jet” inks are ethylene-glycol-based, which is the same stuff that’s in a car radiator & called “antifreeze”, and which is VERY toxic! So if you DO get some on your fingers, wash it off!)

    With that info about the glycol in mind, here’s one tip to those who use a lot of green or red-orange ink with an ink-jet printer, {preferably one that’s older & has replacable printheads, like a Canon Bubble-Jet 4300-series or similar, “just in case it doesn’t work for your needs”):

    For green, try using “UcarTherm-505″ Ethylene Glycol coolant to refill an empty ink-cart tank,

    And for the red to red-orange, “DowTherm” Ethylene Glycol coolant, & see if either of those works for printing things like banners or other things that you want in a “bright green” or “neon-orange”-looking print color;

    (You can always set up your graphics program to outline large leters with black, or use “Drop-shadow” to get the black outline, in case the plain color is “too much bright & not enough contrast” for your paper or your use).

    Be aware the “DowTherm” & “DowFrost” aren’t the same, and the DowTherm (red-orange) can be slightly diluted to turn “pinkish”, (always use distilled water for diluting anything, and don’t dilute it much or it won’t work in the printer, & can really gum up the print-head),
    but it’ll turn black if the acidity level gets too high, (and it’s not a “black” you’d want to print with!)

    {That’s why many UHF TV stations, with water-cooled transmitters, prefer using “DowTherm”, since if there’s any contamination or the acidity gets too high, the “red” color turns to “black” in the holding-tanks’ “sight-glass” & can be seen by the Technicians or Engineers who have to keep that stuff running};

    {“UcarTherm-505″ doesn’t change color like that-it stays green}.

    If you want to try those “ink alternatives for special uses”, I’d suggest trying to find small quantities from a Chemical Supply House that sells to retail customers, like Fisher Scientific, Edmund Scientific, and others; IF you find that one of those I mentioned above works for what you need, or you’re into making your own inks for ink-jets or other uses, both the DowTherm & UcarTherm-505 are available in 55-gallon drums; DowFrost (drum is white over green) is NOT what you want (but you can try it; I have no idea what it looks like, and it’ll be more likely to muck up the print-head), while the DowTherm drums are white-over-red;
    UcarTherm-505 came in plain black 55-gal. drums labeled on top, and all of that was in 1990-1994.
    I don’t if any changes have been made.

    (DowFrost, the one you probably DON’T want, is much less toxic than the other two, and may have a “food-grade” version, since it’s not Ethylene Glycol, but Polyethylene Glycol, and you may see that on the label of many packaged beverages in supermarkets; There was one soft drink in particular that used to use it, but they stopped using it along with a couple of other ingredients several years ago, and that drink just hasn’t been the same since. And it was my favorite!)

    But most still contain Benzoates, (either Sodium or Potassium Benzoate, which are both very bad for you), & if you’ve even THOUGHT of using “Aspartame”-based sweetners, DONT!
    Aspartame breaks down into 3 very poisonous things in the body: Wood Alcohol, {a.k.a. “Methanol”, makes you go blind if you ingest enough}, and two others: One gives you headaches & eventually causes other nasty health problems, and I forgot the third, but all 3 remain & build up in the body, so if you started using “the Blue stuff” because the FDA said it was safe, do more homework, but stop using it! Saccharine is OK, as is “Sucralose”, the “new no-calorie” sweetner. And I have NO affiliation with any organization or other connection to any maker of any of the above-mentioned or named substances, don’t have any stock in anything, etc., so this is just an unbiased “PSA”).

    (The above Public Service Announcement, {“PSA”}, was brought to you through the courtesy of this website’s Webmaster; Thank them sometime!)

    And with that, I’ll leave all to make their own decisions about the program in question, (as well as making your own ink-jet inks, as well as why you don’t want to use a certain artificial sweetner), and say:

    Thanks again, Ashraf, and others, for some valuable tips, alternatives, and general info for those of us who don’t know what you do. A forum like this is a great place to gain knowledge, and always remember, I’m not using a spell-checker, and my PC doesn’t keep a list of every product on the market’s brand-names or other details, so if I mis-stated or mis-typed anything in this post, it was purely unintentional, and when “playing” with anything, always “RTFM” & excercise proper precautions!

    Have a great week!

    J.

    The Legalese: (The absolute accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed due to any typographic or other unintentional errors; Atari, Canon, CDC, Cyber-18/20, DowTherm/DowFrost, Edmund, Fisher, UcarTherm-505, & any other brands, names, Copyrighted Icons, Logos, or other Intellectual Properties which were named or forgotten to be named here, are all copyrighted & the copyrights are owned by their respective copyright holders; “DowTherm” is/was made & available from the Dow Chemical Co.; “UcarTherm-505″ is/was made & available from the Union Carbide Co.; Fisher Scientific & Edmund Scientific are, as far as the author of this post knows, independent of each other and from any other companies or entities named here or otherwise, and were named solely as a convenience to those wishing to know where to start looking for materials to make their own ink-jet printer inks from, and for no other purpose. Any use of any chemicals mentioned here or otherwise should be used with proper cautions & safeguards or left to professional chemists or other specialists who are qualified to work with such materials; No one assumes any responsibility for anyone’s use of any information contained herein. This information may be freely distributed, but NOT sold, nor any fees placed upon, anything contained in this post).

    Whew! You can tell I’ve got a couple of Cousins who are very expensive Attorneys!

    (Ya just gotta love those first & last lines, tho!):
    (“The absolute accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed due to any typographic or other unintentional errors”, and “No one assumes any responsibility for anyone’s use of any information contained herein”);
    (It’s saying, in a plainer language, that “No one is responsible for anything here”, so don’t bother trying to sue, because if we had any “real” money, we wouldn’t be looking for Free Software!)

    Till later,

    J.

  4. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @MikeR: For me it is not a deal breaker; for you however it is. Great to see people making up their own minds after reading my reviews.

    @Gderidet: Worked just fine for me in Windows 7… I just installed it right now and printed something to XPS (don’t have actual printer on hand). I didn’t even have to reboot. I am on Windows 7 Pro x86. You?

    @Jacques Turbé: Thanks. I will look into it later. From what you say it seems like his new bookmarklet is catching up on PrintWhatYouLike.

    @Jeanjean: No I mean they can work together. For example, I used PrintWhatYouLike to just select my review of iPrint instead of the whole page. Then I used iPrint to print 2 pages to 1 sheet. See the following XPS as a example of what I did: http://dottech.org/rups/Example%20of%20PrintWhatYouWant%20and%20iPrint.xps

    @Doug: It has the feature… it just doesn’t work.

  5. fdottechk

    Ashraf,

    Always appreciate your reviews. Here is helpful info- IMHO- from Steve Bass- http://www.aweber.com/b/23f_o
    He ended up with the same recommendation (PrintWhatYouLike) as you:

    Zap Ads and Images
    You’re wasting ink — and money — if you’re printing Web pages with big images and ads just to read text. (Ironic that this is the first time the TechBite newsletter has an ad, no?)

    About the easiest trick is using an option built into your browser’s printing option. First select and highlight the text you want to print. Then choose File, Print, and click Selection in the Print Range section of the Print dialog box.

    Easy, no? But not always perfect. That’s because occasionally you’ll still scrape stuff off the page that you don’t need.

    You might try GreenPrint World, a printing utility that automatically removes wasteful pages. For instance, GreenPrint World gets rid of the last page of your print job if it has nothing except headers and footers; and it won’t print pages with small amounts of text, or totally blank pages. The tool is free (it’s ad-based), and it lets you print from any application, including, of course, Web browsers. The latest version, 2.0, lets you easily remove specific text or graphics from the page, or create a PDF.

    GreenPrint sends the last page to the bit bucket.

    Also valuable is HP Smart Web Printing Software, a freebie that lets you grab selected text and graphics from Web pages, save them to a document, and then print your customized pages. HP Smart isn’t always too bright, so on some pages you’ll need to fiddle a little to print a good-looking document. The tool works with IE8, but it isn’t yet compatible with the current version of Firefox.

    My favorite printing tool, though, is PrintWhatYouLike, an comprehensive online editing tool that lets me block out items on a Web page that I don’t want to print. It takes about a dozen tries to get the knack, but once you do, you’ll agree it’s indispensable.

    PrintWhatYouLike lets me isolate images and blocks of text for
    deletion, and mark other objects for printing.

    Finally, a low-tech money saver: Print rough drafts on the blank side of used paper. Except for when I’ve forgotten to remove a staple (duh!), I’ve never damaged a laser or an ink jet printer. I also throw my doubly used paper into the curbside recycling bin.

  6. Jeanjean

    Thanks again for this review.
    As WobblyWombat I read it always before downloading on GAOTD and it remains interesting anyway.
    I don’t understand something : how can you use this program “in combination” with another (Printee in my case).
    Unless you would say “use one OR the other”?!

  7. Janet

    Funny–I always had all these functions on my regular printer (HP Deskjet 930C) and so assumed everyone did….:-)….Also, I can do 2-to-a-page or 4-to-a-page and decide if I want them Portrait or Landscape. I can print only the pages I want–not sure if that if the same as not printing the pages you don’t want….:-)….Maybe all you need is a more ‘advanced version’ driver for your regular printer….

    I got rid of SpamFighter because it has to be on all the time. That’s a real flaw in a program you only use for very specific actions…..

  8. WobblyWombat

    Thanks for the review, always glad to see your review before deciding to download – in this case I think not.

    It may be worth mentioning another free program on similar lines, “Greenprint” (or is it “Green Print”?) at http://www.printgreener.com which I used for a while. The free version is ad supported, but they’ve apparently made an effort to do it “tastefully” so it’s not necessarily a PITA…

    I rarely print to paper anyway (unless printing photos), and use XPS as a default printer for most things I would previously have had to print.

  9. sunny

    A useful and helpful review.

    It’s odd but in 25 years of computing I’ve never felt the need for this type of tool. Maybe that’s just proof of my lack of imagination! Suddenly I’m seeing some possible uses, eg Online house buying ads: 4 to a page. PC hardware for sale: 4 to a page (I’m currently comparing prices and styles of HD Docks prior to purchase). Yes, this concept does have many possibilities.

    Keep up the good work Ashraf! Your review has set me thinking. Have decided I WILL download it after all.

  10. Jacques Turbé

    Thanks for your highly valuable reviews and tips, Ashraf : DotTech has become a must for me !

    You ought to update Click2Zap to MyPage Bookmarklet from the same author (which he issued three monts after Click2Zap):

    Features :

    R: Remove selected element(s)
    U: Undo removal
    I: Isolate selected elements (removes everything else!)
    P: Print-Preview (won’t be 100% accurate, but it’s faster than native print-preview on any browser I’ve used, and you can even reverse it in IE, FF & Opera. This is perfect for adjusting pages for print)
    W: Widen last selected element (a selected table cell becomes a selected table row, etc.)
    B: Backwards (move selection to the previous element)
    N: Next (move selection to the next element)
    D: Deselect all
    C: Copy the last selected element (duplicate is placed directly after the original)
    E: Edit HTML (of the last selected element)
    Esc: Escape/Quit

    I just installed and tested this bookmarklet in Google Chrome : awsome !

  11. MikeR

    Sorry, Ashraf, but a program which always stays on in the background is a car whose engine continues to run after it’s been parked. I really dislike these computer resource hoggers, whether or not they serve their purpose in other ways. iPrint should run in response to user command, not developer whim, and until it does that’s quite a strike against it. Shame, really.