One of the low hanging fruits of Green IT recommendations is to replace the ‘printer at each desk’ model with the ‘fewer, higher-capacity printers shared amongst an office’ model. In my office, we’ve been trying to follow this recommendation in order to save electricity, reduce maintenance, and provide printers with increased capabilities to my users. Unfortunately, it’s not always smooth sailing and we’re often met with resistance because people don’t want to have to walk 10 feet to pick up a print job for a variety of reasons according to some people. One of the most popular reasons I’m told is because they need to print confidential documents that their office-mates can’t see. Well, here is a walk-through explaining how to have the printer hold your job until you enter a PIN to release the job.
Back in the day, a special printer hard drive was required as an accessory to allow job storage at the printer. Now, the printers are making use of their RAM and can hold the job without any accessories. Important note: Since stored print jobs are stored in the RAM, they will not persist through a power cycle.
Both of the latest models that we’ve been purchasing, the HP Color LaserJet 4700 and the HP LaserJet 4015, have this capability and the process is nearly identical for the two models though these steps may need minor modification for other printer brands or models.
Go to File, Print like you would for any normal print job…
…and then when you’re given the Print dialog, click on the Properties button.
This will pull up the document properties window. Switch to the Job Storage tab and select that this is a Personal Job. Then check the box, PIN to print and enter a four digit PIN. You can also customize the User Name if you’d like to make your job more recognizable.
Hit Ok on the Document Properties window to keep these settings and then hit Ok on the Print dialog to send the job off to the printer.
The printer might make a noise like it’s starting a job but it should whine down after a second or two. Walk up to the printer and use the buttons on the front of the printer to perform the next few steps. Hit the Menu button to bring up the Menu. With Retrieve Job highlighted, hit the Checkmark button.
The display on the printer will update to show users who have stored jobs on the printer. Select the username you chose and hit the Checkbox button.
Now under your user name, the printer’s display will show what jobs you have stored at the printer. Select the job you want and hit the Checkbox button one more time.
You’re now given the option to ‘Print and Delete’ or ‘Delete’ the job. With ‘Print and Delete’ selected, hit the Checkmark button again.
This will prompt you to enter the PIN you chose. Using the up&down arrows on the printer (or a Number pad, if your printer has one) enter your PIN and hit the checkmark to submit it.
Your job should now be printing for your eyes only.
For another Green IT tip, the Proof and Hold option in the Document properties window is another good choice even if you’re not needing to print confidential documents. It will print one copy of the print job and then wait for you to release it. This will save paper and trees by not printing multiple copies of an incorrect document and, hey, why not print duplex while you’re at it?