Virtual Printing

In my ongoing commitment to enhance your web experience and just make your life easier, here is a FREE tool that allows you to create a PDF from just about any Windows document. You can merge multiple documents into a single pdf, lock them to prevent changes, digitally sign your PDFs to ensure that you are the author and the file has not been modified, email them…the list goes on.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format.

One task that this tool is perfect for is creating a PDF receipt for online purchases. When you buy something online, you typically get sent to a page that serves as a receipt. You are told to print for your records. I hate paper piles and filing. So I simply “print” a PDF copy and store in a directory called “receipts.” No physical copy is made, yet I have all my receipts saved in a folder and if the need arises, I can refer to them, print them, email them etc. It’s a very green thing to do; I save paper, printing supplies, and space in my file drawer. 

The tool is provided free of charge, no nag screens or advertising.  The authors do ask for a donation on the page which is a nice thing to do, but not required. After install, you will be able to select PDFCreator from the select a printer pull down list. You can set it as the default, but if you ever need an actual printed copy you will need to select a physical printer.

If you want to check it out go here. There’s lots of help on their website, but if you need more, or just want to ask a question, leave a comment below or send me an email.

Best Printer I’ve Ever Owned

Xerox gave me a free printer. One day, while idly clicking, I took a chance on a link promising a free color printer. If I remember correctly, I had just recently dropped $36 plus on some ink jet cartridges times four to refill my thirsty little Hewlett Packard. This was our primary printer in our home office so in addition to printing proposals, consultation studies, and invoices, it did double duty for printing homework assignments and digital art produced by the kids. It was expensive, the quality was mediocre, and if the page got wet –  it all became abstract expressionism art.

The more I read about the Xerox free color printer, the more I liked it.

The highlights of these printers:

  • professional-grade full color printer.
  • free delivery of the printer.
  • free on site warranty for three full years serviced by a Xerox technician.
  • Superb online and telephonic tech support.
  • Only cost is the printer supplies, which were less expensive and of higher quality than our current printer.

So I completed an online application and was contacted by one of the representatives. Although I liked the concept, I was really struggling to believe it could be true. I asked extensive questions and received lucid and reasonable answers. With assurances that I could cancel at anytime, and that they would come pickup the printer at their cost with no further commitment on my part, I signed up.

Double sided printing, envelopes, transparencies, photos, you name it this printer did it and fast!

The printer arrived soon after. We got it set up on the network using online guides available on the website, and were printing from every computer in the house in under an hour. The quality of the prints were the best I had ever seen. The “ink” is wax based, not water soluble –  which means no “runs” if it gets wet. Double sided printing, envelopes, transparencies, photos, you name it, this printer did it and fast and cheap! There’s a wealth of knowledge and resources available on the website. Seasonal cards and templates are easily customized. Troubleshooting is there, but which I hardly ever needed, and friendly, knowledgeable support people willing to assist me with any of the questions or concerns I had.

What Xerox asked for in return was for me to send in a monthly report (a single page printed at the touch of a button from the printer front panel) that I faxed in, and to buy my supplies from them for the three year period.

This printer is perfect for the small business, non-profit, church, etc. that needs professional grade printing, but doesn’t want the expensive service contracts usually associated with a printer of this caliber. We still use ours even though my commitment has been completed – and the printer is still a workhorse. If you come to the office I’ll show you the best printer I’ve ever owned.

Interested? Apply now