A Look at “Toner-Save” Software: Saving Toner and Ink with Pixel Optimization Software
The promise is that you can cut your toner and ink costs without affecting your printed image quality. While virtually anyone can do this just by using their print-driver’s draft mode, the problem with draft mode is that because less toner or ink is used, text and images appear lighter and less distinct—essentially because the printer’s dpi resolution has been dropped, typically from 600 to just 300 dots per inch (dpi). While draft mode is a good way to cut costs when used for in-house and draft documents, draft-mode image quality may not be acceptable for finals and documents sent outside the enterprise.
Enter Preton Ltd., an Israeli-based company that promises its toner-save software reduces the amount of toner or ink applied to the document, but without degrading image quality, and saving up to 25 to 50 percent in toner costs. The company recently announced a partnership with Pharos Systems, a Rochester, NY, firm that markets its Blueprint Enterprise software for managing printers and reducing print costs. Under the partnership, Pharos is incorporating Preton’s toner-save technology and printer-management software, called PretonSaver, into Pharos’ BluePrint Enterprise software. PretonSaver provides the toner-saving software, as well as device identification and monitoring across the enterprise, usage reports, and page coverage, as well print policies, the last of which, for instance, enables administrators to enforce cost-saving print rules, such as forcing users to print in two-sided duplex mode.
Controlling Toner and Ink Applied to the Page
How does Preton’s toner-save technology—called Pixel Optimizer—work? Preton says that the software, using advanced mathematical algorithms, is able to identify unnecessary use of toner or ink, and then stops it from being applied to the paper. Because the software prevents only application of unnecessary toner, image quality is said to be unaffected.
Specifically, the software addresses a fact of computer printing: images and text displayed on the computer monitor are composed of pixels that are square. However, in order to describe this date on a page, the printer must use circular pixels (dots) of toner or ink, not squares. Because the printer forms a circle, it applies the dot of toner or ink outside of the square, resulting in toner or ink waste, as the figure to the right shows. What Pixel Optimizer software does is identify overlapped pixels, and prevents the printer from applying more ink or toner. Preton says the spaces left by the removed pixels are covered by excess toner or ink from adjacent pixels.
Preton says its technology goes further by identifying different elements on a page such as text, pictures, or graphics, which it says are affected differently by the removal of pixels. Text image quality is effected the least for up to 50-percent savings according to Preton. However, pixel-removal can more negatively affect graphics and photographs’ image quality. Consequently, the software is programmed to intelligently identify graphics and photos and removes fewer pixels, so that toner or ink saved when printing graphics and photos is less—from 20 to 30 percent.
Preton is offering a free trial download of its toner/ink-saving software for home users is available here. Pharos’ Blueprint software bundled with the Pixel Optimizer technology is available through Pharos Systems’ worldwide network of sales personnel.
- PretonSaver Hands-On Test Report
- PretonSaver Capabilities Incorporated into NER Data’s Print4 MPS Solution
- Preton Adds Enhanced Page Coverage Analysis for Improved MPS Pricing