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PrintMate: Getting the most out of settings

A couple of years ago, we at Sawgrass sat down and started a wish list of what we’d like to see in our Print Management software.

Written by sawgrass
on June 22, 2023
in Getting Started

A couple of years ago, we at Sawgrass sat down and started a wish list of what we’d like to see in our Print Management software.  While Sawgrass Print Manager was a great program that functioned well, we knew that there were other features and functions that our customers would want to see.  Our goal was to create a program that met the needs of the greatest number of customers possible.  

I held multiple round tables on the topic; both with the various departments in the company and with our customers.  One of the things that stood out to me was that if I talked to five people, all five needed something in the program that the other four did not.  Everyone had preferences for how the program functioned that were slightly different.  Sometimes, these differences were opposites of each other.  

As we started to build our new Sawgrass Print Management Software, PrintMate, this need for different priorities for different customers was at the forefront of our conversations.  We needed a program that allowed customers to customize their printing experience.  From my viewpoint, PrintMate does exactly that and is full of places where you can personalize your experience.

Many of these options can be found on the General tab under Settings in PrintMate.   If you are using the Print and Cut functionality, which is available for the Silhouette Cameo 3 or 4, then the first two pieces of customization on this tab are for you.  You can check the box if you want to always see the option to apply registration marks.  This does not mean that cutter registration marks will be on your prints automatically, but the option will show so you can apply them when you will be both printing and cutting the image.  

The second decision you get to make is about your workflow.  If your print and cut workflow is to print and then immediately cut, make sure and check “always prompt to cut after print.”  This means that after you print, a box will pop up to select your cutter.  Your cutter settings window will then automatically populate in PrintMate.  If your workflow is to do multiple prints before you cut, you want to leave this box unchecked.  Leave your print tabs open in PrintMate and when you’re ready to cut, you can then select that job tab and change your device to your cutter.  The print tab will now change to a cutter tab and will display your cutter setting options.

This cutter function is one of the main reasons that jobs don’t automatically close after you print. While this is a great feature for customers who are printing and cutting from PrintMate, it may not be something that every customer needs to do.   If you do not want to leave your job tabs open until you manually close them, click the box next to “close jobs after printing.”  If you select this option, once you hit print, your job tab in PrintMate will close.  

For our Mac users, if you want PrintMate to automatically start up when you restart your computer, make sure and add a checkmark.  This means that you do not have to manually open the program when you want to use it.  Like SPM, it is optimal to always have PrintMate running in the background so jobs can open smoothly.  PrintMate automatically launches after restart on a Windows Operating System.  

As you’ve noticed, many of these settings options makes it to so that you aren’t seeing features that you will not be using. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’re able to add features that you will be needing so you don’t have to go searching for them when you want to use them.  If you plan to use Spot Colors, you can enable this here.  If you leave it unchecked, you won’t see these options.  

Spot color allows you to change the values of a specific color, so it prints correctly.  For instance, let’s say you’re printing a logo that uses a certain shade of green.  If that green is not pressing correctly, you can print charts and press them to find the right values to give you the right color output.  PrintMate will then know that when it prints that shade of green, it needs to adjust to the new values.  Want to know more?  There is education in the system on this function and it is our Support Articles as well.  You can also look forward to a future blog post on the topic!

The final options on the General Settings tab are around whether you want your measurements in PrintMate to display in inches or millimeters.  Your choice will be your new default setting, but you can always change it here if needed.  

If you have multiple printers, there is a feature on the devices tab that will be very useful.  You can choose which printer is your default.  That way, every time you open PrintMate, that device will show up. If you need to use one of your other printers for a specific job, you can choose it from the device pull down list on the main page.  

Page sizes are another spot where you can make PrintMate work best for you.  On the Manage Page Sizes tab, you can choose a default paper size.  This way, no matter what paper size you use the most, that is the one that is automatically selected.  If you are printing a job that requires a different size, you can choose it from the drop-down paper size list.  

On the manage page size tab, you can also create and add new page sizes.  You also have the ability to rename page sizes, even if they were ones that we added.  This is the same for deleting page sizes, you can delete ones we added or ones you added as well.  This helps you to simplify the paper sizes to meet your needs.  Don’t worry, restore defaults will bring them all back if you change your mind!

Send to PrintMate is the function that allows you to print from software other than DesignMate to PrintMate.  In PrintMate, you can choose the settings that will be selected when you choose “Send to PrintMate” as the printer name in any program.  When the file opens in PrintMate, these are the settings you would see.  Of course, if you need different settings for a specific job, you can always change those default settings.  You’ll also notice that in the Sent to PrintMate Tab, you can choose to automatically print.  With that selection enabled, when you choose “Send to PrintMate” as your printer name and hit print, your jobs will go straight to your printer with the settings you configured on this tab without opening in PrintMate first.  

You’ll notice that on this tab there is an option to choose multiple printers.  If you have several printers and enable this option, PrintMate will rotate jobs between the printers you’ve selected.  If you choose multiple printers and select automatically print, the system will do all the work for you and will rotate the jobs between your printers without you having to manually select the printer in PrintMate for each job!

For our Mac users, you’ll be happy to hear that Send to PrintMate works for you as well!  This means you can print from any application to PrintMate without having to export the files first.  

On the left side of your main PrintMate screen, you’ll see an area called “Quick Print Folders.”  Clicking on this allows you to configure your Quick Print Folder.  Our SPM users should recognize this feature; it works the same as Smart Folders, but with easier access to settings.  These folders typically sit on your Desktop.  You can drop ready files that you want to print in them and they’ll open in PrintMate with the settings you chose.  The functionality is very similar to what you saw in the “Send to PrintMate” configuration.  You’ll choose your printer, your file settings, and if you want the file to automatically print without opening PrintMate for you to make changes to your settings.  

One thing that users often did not know they could take advantage of with SPM Smart Folders is creating multiple folders that can be used for different types of jobs.  For instance, you can have a folder where you drop mugs and a separate folder where you drop key chain jobs.  This keeps you from having to change the settings each time you print a different project type.  You have the same ability in PrintMate.  Just add folders and configure them for the job type you’ll use them to complete.  

One new feature you’ll see with Quick Print Folders is you can choose how long files stay in the folders before auto-deleting.  This way, you can save files in the folder to re-print later or delete them quickly so you’re not using computer memory storing files you don’t need.  When I was in Tech Support, I had requests for both sides of this from customers.  It’s a feature that I’m very glad we added!

That’s it!  Most of the spots where you can customize the look and feel of PrintMate to meet your individual needs.  It’s a lot, but hopefully it means that the program will work the way you want and need it to.  As always, if the program isn’t meeting your needs, or you feel we can make improvements, there are several ways you can get that request to us here at Sawgrass.  First, you can submit a ticket to our Care Team.  You can do this from right in PrintMate by clicking on the Support Button on the left panel of the main window.  In DesignMate, you can click on the Lightbulb and submit Feedback there as well.  This Feedback can be about any aspect of your Sawgrass experience.  

I hope that as you use PrintMate, you see that we listen to you, the customer, and make changes that improve your experience.  We want to make sure that our Print Management Software makes printing consistently easy and successful!