Software

Five applications to expedite your printing tasks

Even if you've gone mostly paperless, you're still likely to run into a few situations that require a printer. These apps are geared toward those needs.

Paper has fallen somewhat out of fashion, but printers are still being used for a variety of purposes. In fact, a number of apps are available to address various printer tasks. This article lists five such applications.

Note: This article is also available as an image gallery and a video hosted by TechRepublic columnist Tom Merritt.

1: ScreenHunter Free

ScreenHunter Free (Figure A) is designed to help you to get screen captures from your computer. Although not really a "printer utility" per se, the tool can dump a screen image directly to your printer. This capability can be quite handy. Last week, for example, I needed to print an airline reservation email, and because of the way the HTML-based message was formatted, it simply wouldn't print correctly. Performing a screen dump did the trick nicely.

Figure A

Figure A

ScreenHunter is also quite versatile. It lets you capture things like a rectangular area, a window, a scrolling window, a Web cam, a video screen, and much more. It even supports capturing the mouse pointer, multi-monitor content, and translucent windows. Captured content can be saved in a variety of formats or sent to an editor, the clipboard, email, and yes, even the printer.

2: Print My Fonts

Print My Fonts (Figure B) is a free tool geared toward users who work with a lot of fonts. The tool is simple. You can enter a text phrase and then display or print the text using any or all of the fonts installed on your computer.

Figure B

Figure B

If the idea of printing hundreds of font samples doesn't sound appealing, don't forget that there are PDF printer drivers that allow you to use the Windows print function to create a PDF file instead of using paper.

3: Universal Barcode Maker

Universal Barcode Maker (Figure C) is kind of a niche utility, but it can be handy in certain situations. The concept is really basic. You specify a value or a block of text, and the program turns your entry into an exportable bar code using the bar code format and the size you specify.

Figure C

Figure C

Universal Barcode Maker sells for $59.95, but a free trial version is available for download.

4: Business Card Designer Plus

As you might guess, Business Card Designer Plus (Figure D) lets you create own business cards using your printer. With the help a simple wizard, you can generate your business cards—or you can interact with the application manually, which gives you a bit more control over the output.

Figure D

Figure D

The software includes a number of business card templates, ranging from basic to corporate to fancy. There is even an option to use a cloud-based template gallery.

Business Card Designer Plus sells for $29.95, but a free trial version is available for download.

5: DesignPro Limited Edition

DesignPro Limited Edition (Figure E) is a free tool from label maker Avery. It can help you create labels, business cards, and all kinds of other printed materials. As you would probably expect, the software recognizes a huge variety of Avery stock and includes templates for printing to your selected stock type.

Figure E

Figure E

I have to admit that DesignPro really surprised me. When I installed it, I expected it to be somewhat generic. However, the tool has a full-blown editor that is equipped with lots of bells and whistles. It is even possible to import data from Microsoft Office into your printed project.

Also read...

Other go-to apps?

Do you have a few handy apps that simplify or expedite your printing chores? Share your recommendations with fellow TechRepublic members.

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