It is my turn to drive – driverless printing reality

Posted On May 17, 2011 By Kevin O'Brien

The need for driverless printing is becoming a reality in many offices. We have already blogged about similar technologies that require add-ons however many MFD’s (multifunctional devices) and printers have options built into them that allow driverless job submission within the LAN. This is a great option for offices with mobile users or guests that may not benefit from a locally installed driver or the overhead associated with it.

Many users are familiar with the MFD’s web interface which provides a wealth of information such as consumables and device status. With most Canon and KIP devices it’s possible to view your device’s status and make changes via the web interface and not even leave your desk. Are you also aware that submitting print jobs to the device via the web interface is possible? Most manufactures offer this option however functionality varies based on the model and how it’s actually used.

Canon’s solution, Direct Print is feature rich and allows a multitude of job and finishing options. The option is available on the imageRUNNER ADVANCE series and allows the user to browse to the web interface and click on the Direct Print option. From there they can choose to submit PDF, PS/EPS, or Image files. Each selection will provide you with different job and finishing options. Following the selection of a document and successful upload, the device will process the file natively and print it accordingly without the need for a locally installed driver.

For our wide format community there is a very similar option provided by KIP. PrintNET has been around for years however functionality has improved over time. The concept is the same and the user can browse to the web interface of the KIP where they are provided with the PrintNET interface. From here it’s a snap to add PDF’s, TIFF’s, and any other native supported file to a new job. You can even modify stamps and pens through the interface as well as program job information. These options are especially useful when designers are only on site for a short period of time and may not have drivers installed on their laptops. After a quick configuration and upload, their plans are printed and they are on their way.

As you can see driverless printing has some positive elements. It may not provide nearly as many features as a full-bodied driver installed on your PC or Mac, but its ease of use and availability is certainly something to take advantage of.