What you need: Print Conductor; Any version of Windows (XP to 10) Time required: 25 mins
Windows offers several ways to print files, either from within the program that created them or by right-clicking the files in Windows/File Explorer. If you want to print a number of files in one go, however, you’ll end up having to browse for files and launch various programs. Free program Print Conductor simplifies this process by collecting the files you want to print (whatever the file type) and printing them in one go. It has a number of print settings to make your life easier.
STEP 1 To download the program, go to http://bit.ly/2h7lA6N and click the blue Download button. Run the downloaded setup file to install and open it (it doesn’t contain unwanted extras). Click Add Documents 1 and start selecting the files you want to print from the window that appears 2. Click Open 3 to add them to Print Conductor. The program only prints files if you have the relevant software installed, so it won’t show DOCX files, for example, if you don’t have Microsoft Word (or a similar program) on your PC.
STEP 2 Another way to add files you want to print is to drag and drop them into the ‘List of Documents’ section 1. If all files you want to print are in the same folder, click Add Folder 2, navigate to and select the folder you want then click OK 3. Print Conductor will add all the files it finds within that folder and in any of its subfolders.
STEP 3 The icons at the top let you manage the list of files to print. You can select one or more files and click ‘Remove item’ 1 to take it off the list, or remove everything at once by clicking ‘Clear list’ 2. If you want to print your files later, you can also save the list. To do that, click ‘Export list’ 3 and choose where to save them in the window that appears. You can reload this list by clicking ‘Import list’ 4
STEP 4 Your default printer will be selected in the dropdown menu 1, but you can select alternative printers. Next, click Printer Properties 2. From here, you can tweak your printer’s settings, so you can choose options like Duplex (printing on both sides of a sheet of paper) 3, what type and size of paper you want to use, and the quality of printing 4
These settings will be applied across the entire batch.
STEP 5 Click Settings 1 to set the paper source on your printer 2, determine the number of copies 3 and choose whether to print a cover page 4. The Advanced tab 5 has some extra tools, such as printing PDF annotations and choosing what you want on your cover page.
STEP 6 Print Conductor also lets you change the print settings of individual files that you’ve added. Right-click the relevant file in the list, then select ‘Item settings’ 1. You can now choose which pages of that file you want to print 2. Choose a range of pages using a dash, and separate pages and ranges of pages with commas (such as 1-5,10,15-25’). You can also print multiple copies of individual files 3, and select a paper source 4 if you want to use a different paper type that’s loaded into an alternative tray on your printer.
STEP 7 Click Start Printing 1 when you’re ready. Every time you do this you’ll see a message reminding you that you shouldn’t be using the software for commercial purposes, and telling you that it will print a log file as part of the printing process 2. Click Continue Printing 3 to proceed. The only way to avoid printing this additional (log file) page is to buy the paid-for version (for around £40). It’s a minor inconvenience and shouldn’t put you off using the free program. Click ‘Order commercial version now’ 4 if you want to do this.