LeanPrint Aims for Economical and Ecological Printing
By now it's pretty clear that the promise of the paperless office has yet to be realized. PDF files were, at conception, created to preserve the look of a print document without the printing. Email was supposed to replace printed memos. Websites provides all the information of a print product manual. While giving us paperless communication, the technologies that were supposed to wean us off ink or toner on paper only increased desktop and office printing. Many people still want, or need, printouts of documents.
But for eco-conscious, cash-strapped businesses, the cost of printing adds up, not to mention the resources it uses and waste it produces. That scenario is especially true for designers. Now Adobe says it is addressing the problem with its new LeanPrint software.
LeanPrint analyzes documents and applies techniques to reduce toner and paper consumption. Adobe reports that LeanPrint reduces use of paper and toner "by and average of approximately 40%" (Adobe Labs numbers). Users have a choice of two options for printing. SuperSaver mode actually reformats documents to cut out wasted space — think of Excel documents and Web-browser output. The TonerSaver mode skips the reformatting but searches for opportunities to minimize toner usage. According to Adobe: "TonerSaver mode fully maintains the structure and layout of visible content, so it's perfect for printing documents in which layout is vital to the document's intentions and integrity."
Adobe calls LeanPrint an "enterprise-class" solution, although individuals can use it as well. LeanPrint is not being marketed for creative professionals, however. The applications and documents types it supports — Word and Excel, Adobe Reader and Acrobat, Internet Explorer, and Firefox — are office oriented. It does not support native printing from graphics applications nor does it work with the Mac. But hear me out on this one: as most creative professionals use PDF in some capacity, LeanPrint's support of Adobe Acrobat may make it a wise addition to the design studio.
LeanPrint Adobe's origins lie in printing and publishing — some of use remember PostScript — so it's interesting to see it return to its roots. In fact, LeanPrint seems to owe a debt to PostScript and PDF, which in itself was an offshoot of PostScript. Adobe hints as much in a brief on the software: LeanPrint works "by leveraging technologies that blend traditional desktop publishing tools and print workflows for more efficient and cost-effective printing."
Get a 90-day trial by sending an email to LeanPrint@adobe.com.