A virtual printer is not really a printer at all; it is a piece of software installed on your computer. Its user interface is similar to a printer driver, but the virtual printer is not connected to an actual printer.

You may use the virtual printer for several tasks, none of which use a single sheet of paper.

  • The virtual printer is commonly used to make a PDF file (portable document format) to create and protect the format of a document, so it looks exactly the same when viewed on a computer screen as it does when printed. You ll find this option in your print menu.
  • Use your virtual printer when you want to send a document to a fax server for paperless faxing.
  • You can use the virtual printer when you want to convert a document to an image file like JPEG, so it may be universally read without concern for missing fonts. This is an alternative to the PDF file. Other file types for image conversion are TIFF, GIF, PNG and BMP.
  • The virtual printer may also be used to preview a document prior to printing. It can see and correct problems before you print like deleting blank or unwanted pages.
  • And, you may use the virtual printer when you add special features to a document like stationery elements or a watermark. Think of this as pre-printing; the composite document can then be sent on to an actual printer or saved by the virtual printer.

Virtual printer software is suitable for all computers and provides a valuable extension to your physical printer. When you need to go beyond creating files and print those files on paper with ink, take a look at TopTenREVIEWS printer comparisons. You ll find the best values in laser printers, inkjet printers, compact printers, photo printers and all-in one printers.

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