Printing documents

LeanPrint has defined a separate output algorithm for Microsoft Word. This output layout has been tested and has performed well in usability studies and paper and toner consumption tests. An ideal LeanPrint Word output is a multi-column text layout.

A 4-column landscape page

The final document is economical in terms of money and environmental impact, and has a good reading experience.

Optimizing documents

LeanPrint analyzes the document structure and based on the complexity, applies transformations to create a print-optimized document. You can use LeanPrint in two modes: Super Saver and Toner Saver. In the Super Saver mode both paper and toner are saved.

Sometimes, it might not be possible to save paper: for example, if a single document page is selected for print. In such cases, Super Saver mode defaults to the Toner Saver mode.

Super Saver

Super Saver mode saves both paper and toner.

LeanPrint lays out the document in a manner that optimizes whitespace wherever possible. The output document only retains enough whitespace and dark color fills, that are necessary for good readability. Text sizes are optimized; extra-large text is scaled down. To retain readability, a relative size difference among styles is maintained, so that implied document structure is retained.

In a trade-off between saving paper and the reading experience, reading experience always wins. This focus on reading experience can manifest itself in preserving page orientation across the entire document. LeanPrint also tries to use the same number of columns on as many pages as possible. Every switch in the number of columns reduces the readability of the document, so LeanPrint keeps these transitions to a minimum. For example, if LeanPrint detects that two 4-column pages lie in a document that is otherwise 3-column, LeanPrint will trade the projected savings of these two pages for a better reading experience, and choose a 3-column layout for the entire document.

For practical purposes, most Word documents can broadly be classified into the following categories:

  • Text-rich documents: These documents mainly have textual content and are generally low complexity documents. In such documents, there is a single flow of text. For such documents, LeanPrint generally generates a 4-column, landscape output for A4/letter size sheets if the normal font size is selected.

  • Table-rich documents: These documents contain tabular data. LeanPrint treats them as medium complexity documents.

  • Mixed documents: These documents contain a mix of text, tables, images, shapes etc. The document complexity determines the amount of savings.

  • Placed content documents: These are documents containing images, shapes, diagrams, text boxes. All the content is placed on a page. Brochures are a good example of this category. Such documents are treated as very complex because it is difficult to recognize the relationships between various components.

The overall complexity of the document determines LeanPrint output. A4/Letter size text-rich documents are easily converted to the ideal 4-column landscape pages. Each extra element adds complexity to the pages. Following are some general rules about how these are handled.


If images are relatively small and inline, they are rescaled to fit inside a column. For images that are larger, they might be rescaled to span multiple columns. If an image occupies a significant part of the page, the page is left as is.

How images are handled

Shapes and diagrams

Pages that contain multiple shapes and diagrams are treated as complex pages, and are not reflowed. Quite frequently, diagrams are created by placing shapes, lines, arrows etc. It is difficult for LeanPrint to determine the relationship between the different shapes so such pages are intelligently excluded from paper optimization, and only toner saving is performed.

However, if all the constituent elements are grouped together LeanPrint treats the group as an image, and such pages are included for paper saving.

Page numbers and Table of Contents

Page numbers from the headers and footers are removed. However, the page numbers from the original document are retained and End-of-page markers are inserted at the appropriate places.

End of page marker

In case, LeanPrint encounters any object that spans more than one page in the original document, the end-of-page marker for that particular page is removed.

Table of Contents is retained. The page numbers, however, correspond to the original document page numbers, and can be referenced using the end-of-page markers.

Other features

There are other word documents that LeanPrint recognizes. A few examples are:

  • Forms - Forms are not re-paginated. Forms that you've made using underscore characters are also recognized as forms.

  • Protected documents - If documents are protected, protection is removed while generating the LeanPrint output.

  • Structured Document Types - Cover pages and Titles are recognized.

  • Documents with Track Changes are supported, but only Original and Final views can be printed using LeanPrint.

  • Footnotes and endnotes are retained.

  • If documents are encrypted, you're prompted for the password before proceeding.

  • You can optionally print comments

  • Hidden text - LeanPrint can handle hidden text

Toner Saver

In the Toner Saver mode, there are no changes to the layout, and the number of pages is the same as the original document. Empty pages and background colors, however, are removed when the toner level is set to light. Toner Saver can be run in grayscale and color modes. In the color mode, all colors in the document are retained, but lightened to reduce toner consumption.


An example of how LeanPrint works with Microsoft Word documents:

A few pages of a sample document printed conventionally and then using Adobe LeanPrint

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