Restrict Files to Only Physical Printing With PrintOnly

PrintOnly is a free tool for Windows that restricts printing documents to physical printers. 

PrintOnly homepage

It does this by first converting the documents to their protected format (PrintOnly Format or .POF) and then opening them with the client program PrintOnlyClient.

PrintOnlyClient homepage

So to use, you would need to download and install both of them: 

PrintOnly and the PrintOnlyClient tool.

Using PrintOnly:

After installation, open PrintOnly. The interface is self-explanatory.

PrintOnly interface

Add the files or documents for which you need to restrict printing only to physical printers.

Add files to be printed physically

You can also set an expiration date for these files, a watermark as well as the number of times they can be physically printed, and the output path. The default is the Output folder.

When the print settings are finalized, click the Click PrintOnly Files (.pof) button. This will convert the documents to the protected POF format. 

Converting documents to POF format

After the conversion, you can’t open this file in any other program or view it.

POF files can only be opened with the PrintOnlyClient

Using PrintOnlyClient:

To physically print the restricted files, open the PrintOnlyClient.

PrintOnlyClient interface

Then, add the POF file for unlocking and printing.

Printing documents through PrintOnlyClient

You will see a print window appear for selecting a printer. If you choose a virtual printer like Microsoft Print to PDF or something similar and try to print, the PrintOnly client will block the printing with an error message. 

So, you can only print files and documents from this to a physical printer. This is a useful tool to protect sensitive files and ensure that they can be printed only as hard copies using a USB physical printer, with no other soft copies available.

All done.

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