PretonSaver Home Edition Review: This free printer software gives you the option to manually set how much ink the printer puts on the page. It intercepts the document before it goes to the printer and reduces the thickness of ink on the page by up to 70%. When we tested this using our Canon PIXMA MX870 there was no loss of quality at 20% and almost no change at 35%. Past 35% there was a noticeable loss in quality but the text was still very readable. Even at max saving mode (70%) the text was still completely legible. PretonSaver also has a useful page counter and savings tally that can be viewed with every print. This gives you a detailed spending profile for your printer which is useful when considering your next printer or managing a budget.
GreenPrint Review: For an organizer and image preview, GreenPrint World Edition is a great free program that can eliminate a lot of wasted pages and needless printing from your day to day computer use. GreenPrint's preview screen allows you to selectively eliminate elements such as graphics, ads, and images from your prints as well remove some of those extra pages that get unnecessarily tagged on to many documents. GreenPrint is also very versatile. It works well printing a variety of documents such as Powerpoints, webpages and standard text files. GreenPrint integrates easily with other software such as Preton or Inkgard and it comes with a PDF writer to save important emails or web pages on your hard drive. This saves you the hassle and cost of printing every receipt or confirmation while allowing you to more easily organize your documents electronically. While the World Edition is free, it comes with a rather annoying advertisement system which gives you a pop up after every print. This makes the $19 Home Premium edition worth the low price but the free version is still very functional.
Inkgard Review: The Inkgard printer software has many of the same features of Preton but with one big drawback- it isn't free. For $10/per year, Inkgard functions exactly like Preton by intercepting the images on their way to the printer and allows you to manually adjust how much ink is put on the page. It also gives you a page counter and is adjustable by document type. While it has a nice interface, it is not worth the cost when compared to such a nice program as Preton.
Ecofont Review: This set of fonts has been touted as an improvement on conventional fonts for saving ink. By adding holes throughout the letters of common fonts, Ecofont claims they can save you 50% on ink by eliminating much of the solid space in fonts. While it is a nice idea, our printer software review found that it has a number of drawbacks. It is uncommon and must be installed on specific machines. It also can't be used for anything except small text since once you get past 12pt the holes become painfully obvious.
If you read our previous blog about recommended ink saving fonts, Ecofont went unmentioned not only because it is not free ($26.58 for a 3 year license), but also because it is not as efficient as a free and common font, Century Schoolbook. As they admit on their own website, Ecofont loses out to the Century family of fonts on ink saving while Century is also web-ready and scalable to an infinite size. So save yourself some money and go with Century Schoolbook and you will have an even better effect on your ink costs while being much more versatile.
PrintWhatYouLike.com Review: This website allows you to selectively print sections of web pages by removing unnecessary advertisements and images easily. It is free and simple to install, however it essentially functions like a web only version of GreenPrint so if you are looking for a one stop solution to eliminating excess printing, GreenPrint is a more all encompassing option. However, if you are looking to just take specific images out of a website than this is a very useful tool.