Printer utility converts, enhances, captures and more
End-user software products are usually either applications or utilities. Applications are mostly designed to perform a specific productivity task such as a word processor. However, these individual applications are often combined into seamlessly ...
End-user software products are usually either applications or utilities. Applications are mostly designed to perform a specific productivity task such as a word processor. However, these individual applications are often combined into seamlessly integrated suites that can do many things. A perfect example of that is Microsoft Office. Utilities on the other hand, tend to be more specialized although we're seeing more utility suites appear as well. Internet security suites for example typically include anti-virus, firewall, spyware detection and anti-spam protection utilities. Suites are great but finding a single utility that does many different things is a bit more rare. To that end, I just recently discovered an interesting printer utility that does a lot more than just enhance your printer's output.
ePrint 5 from Lead Technologies is technically a printer utility in that it operates from within the way Windows lets you print something. If the application you are using has the ability to send something to a printer, you can use the power of ePrint 5 to do many different things. For starters, it lets you enhance your printing options. From the print dialog you can print two, four or eight pages on a single sheet. ePrint 5 lets you add watermarks to identify and protect your work. You have full control on the watermark's opacity, font, alignment and page position. It can automatically create photo contact sheets from full to wallet size. It can format your print job into a booklet. If a document contains embedded images, ePrint can eliminate them and only print the text. Plus you can adjust margins, gutters, headers, footers and borders on the fly. There's more but actually that's just the enhanced printing ability of this utility. Now it begins to get interesting.
ePrint 5 lets you do file conversions. From any print dialog, you can convert the document to be printed into any one of over 140 file formats. For example, you can export your .DOC file as a PDF file in MS Word or save your TEXT files to TIFF files in Notepad. If you want to convert a PNG or JPEG image to a BMP from Internet Explorer, ePrint 5 turns your Internet Explorer a PNG converter by just printing with it. As long as you have a Windows application that prints, ePrint 5 can save the information to be printed into the format that you specify.
When it comes to converting PDF files, you can control your PDF output with features like Font embedding, watermarks, compression options, Unicode support, Bookmarks, Security Options and more. Normally you would need a PDF application such as Adobe Acrobat to create these kinds of PDF files.
Other ePrint 5 abilities includes being able to combine multiple documents into one file. You can for example, combine four or five multiple documents into one single PDF file or combine a number of JPEG image files into one single multiple page TIFF file. Email options include being able to configure your settings to redirect your print job to an email attachment. The print job is saved as an image and you can then send it to multiple recipients.
If you're on a network, a real time saver is ePrint 5's broadcasting ability. With one command, you can send your pages to more than one printer. Once you set things up, you can print to every specified printer or to just one specific one. And here's the kicker. You can perform the aforementioned file conversions at the moment of printing so that you can send the documents to each person on the broadcast list in the file format of your choosing. That way, you know each person will be receive the file in the format they prefer. Additionally, if you have a printer driver that is capable of sending a fax, you can print a hardcopy and fax the document to one, two or more printers in only one step.
Finally, ePrint 5 has a screen capture ability. This last ability is actually a separate utility but is designed to work directly with the ePrint 5 driver and can be used as an Explorer toolbar or as a stand-alone application. It allows you to capture an entire screen, active window or selected menu, a cursor, toolbar or an icon, as well as the wallpaper, mouse pointer, or a selected area such as a rectangle, ellipse or triangle.
This is one super printing utility and certainly worth the $99. ePrint 5 works with Windows ME/2000/XP/Vista, and Windows 7.
(Craig Crossman is a national newspaper columnist writing about computers and technology. He also hosts the No. 1 daily national computer radio talk show, Computer America, heard on Business TalkRadio -- Monday through Friday, 10 p.m.-midnight ET. For more information, visit his web site at www.computeramerica.com .)