10 Downloads to Power Up Your Printer

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Business Tools for Your Printer

If you run a small business, or if you use a printer frequently at work, here are a few great helpers that you might want to try. The following three utilities will print out labels, generate bar codes, and help you design and output business cards.

Avery Wizard for Microsoft Office

Avery makes labels, name badges, business cards, CD jewel-case labels and inserts, and other office paper products. But just try printing to any of them rather than writing things out by hand, and you might soon grow frustrated. The Avery Wizard for Microsoft Office solves the problem neatly. It runs as an add-in to Office, allowing you to print onto Avery labels and more from within Word.

Click the Avery Wizard button, and the wizard walks you through whatever task you want to perform. It gets the proper predesigned templates for you, and at that point you have only to enter what you want to print. The wizard even helps you perform other tasks, such as importing lists and information from Excel to populate mailing labels. You can also add your own graphics or logos.

Note that you'll have to register at Avery's site to download the program. Additionally, in order to use the software properly, you may have to enable macros in Microsoft Word; read the Avery Wizard readme.doc file for details on how to do that.

Download Avery Wizard for Microsoft Office | Price: Free

Barcode Generator & Overprinter

Do you have to print out bar codes for your small business? This program offers a simple way to create them without any special hardware. Just run Barcode Generator & Overprinter, input your bar-code data, and select the kind of bar code you need to print--the program does the rest. You can print out bar codes on sheets of paper, export the bar codes in graphic formats (for importing into desktop publishing, word processing, or other software), or paste them into other programs.

The utility's interface is straightforward, so you'll be able to create bar codes quickly. It imports data from Excel, as well. Note that when you print using the nonregistered version of the software, a "Demo" label will appear at the top of the bar code, as well as in an ISBN bar code itself.

Download Barcode Generator & Overprinter | Price: $50; free trial

Belltech Business Card Designer Pro

Having business cards designed and printed by a professional is expensive--and thoroughly unnecessary. Instead, you can easily design your own and print them yourself, with Belltech Business Card Designer Pro.

You don't need to know anything about design to create your own business card with the program. Simply enter the information you want printed, and the software handles the rest. If you're happy with the default design, you can create a business card in minutes.

Customizing your card is also extremely easy. After you choose the card size and print orientation (horizontal or vertical), you can move text, insert graphics, use drawing tools, and make other adjustments. Adding your own background and graphics is a breeze, too. When you're ready to print, the software gives you a number of options, including printing the card as is or saving it as a PDF to print later or to distribute electronically. You can also select from many different sizes and types of card stock.

Note that until you pay for and register the program, a "Trial Version" label will appear on your business cards.

Download Belltech Business Card Designer Pro | Price: $30; free trial

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