What is a Universal Print Driver?

A Universal Print Driver enables printers of different ages and models to work together under a single, standardised solution. Also referred to as the ‘generic’ solution, it removes the need to install or manage individual drivers for each printer you use. Choosing to integrate a universal print driver into an office environment does have its pros and cons. Although it can allow you to bring older models in line with the latest tech. With the lack of individuality can mean that you aren’t taking full advantage of the features of a newer model.

Benefits of Using a Universal Print Driver

The argument for the introduction of a UPD (Universal Print Driver) is the convenience it allows. There is a huge range of printer models available, all speaking in a variety of different languages internally. Being able to bring all of these various models together under a standardised system ensures more efficiency. This is because, rather than having to adapt to individual machines each is connected to a single driver.

There is the cost element to consider as well. Should there be an issue, the IT support costs will be drastically lower for a single driver than for multiple machines. Installation times are massively reduced too, as there is no need to code individual models differently. From an efficiency perspective, hard drive space is also increased, with only a single driver to install. Lastly, the UPD enables you to implement sustainability policies more effectively. By having all models working to default settings, you can ensure that all printers are following the environmental rules you set.

Negatives of Using a Universal Print Driver

The ‘generic’ term coined to describe this particular solution gives a good indication of what the cons can be. Although having a standardised system can bring older models up to date, it can also restrict newer, more advanced ones. Good examples are often scanning and faxing capabilities. Although a newer printer will have these features, under UPD settings it may be that they are unable to utilise them.

You may also find that some manufacturers have developed their models without UPD’s in mind. This can lead to poor formatting translation. As the characters travel from PC, to driver, to printer, something is lost. Tracking these issues down is sometimes impossible too, and instead must be taken as part and parcel of using the more convenient standardised option.

The Result

Universal Print Drivers are a fantastic addition in situations where the old and the new need to come together and deliver a standard system. In circumstances where individual machines are prevented from delivering all they can in terms of features, it can be less convenient.

At EBM, we know the difference between a solution that maximises efficiency and one that becomes a burden. By assessing your office setup and the models you currently use. We are able to recommend whether a Universal Print Driver is the ideal solution, or whether there is a more suitable option available. Simply call us on 01376 512575 to find out more.