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General & Purchasing FAQ

A carefully selected tasting plate of FAQs from across the topics: product, technical, ordering, quotes, currencies, and more.

  • What is PaperCut and how does it work?
  • What edition of PaperCut do I need?
  • What do I get when I purchase?
PaperCut staff assisting with Sales, pricing, billing & licensing

The Knowledge Base

We're very proud of our industry leading KB.
A collection of questions, answers, troubleshooting tips or how-to information.

  • Hundreds of articles
  • Updated daily
  • Keyword search
PaperCut staff assisting with Sales, pricing, billing & licensing

PaperCut MF FAQ

We get lots of questions about PaperCut MF so we've given it its own FAQ.

  • What is PaperCut MF?
  • How does PaperCut MF differ from NG?
  • Why is copier control in a different edition??
PaperCut staff assisting with Sales, pricing, billing & licensing

PaperCut NG FAQ

We get lots of questions about PaperCut NG so we've given it its own FAQ.

  • What is PaperCut NG?
  • How does PaperCut NG differ from MF?
  • What platforms does PaperCut support?
Tech support staff talking to a customer

PaperCut Hive FAQ

We get lots of questions about PaperCut Hive so we've given it its own FAQ.

  • Is PaperCut Hive easy to set up?
  • Will PaperCut Hive work with my brand of MFP/MFD/printer?
  • How can I get Papercut Hive?
PaperCut staff assisting with Sales, pricing, billing & licensing

PaperCut Pocket FAQ

We get lots of questions about PaperCut Pocket so we've given it its own FAQ.

  • Who is this free trial for?
  • What size of organization is PaperCut Pocket suitable for?
  • Which type of printers do you support?

Frequently Asked Questions

Illustration of two people connecting large puzzle piece

But I don't want to "charge" my users?

PaperCut is a flexible solution and can be deployed with a number of configurations ranging from “silent monitoring” through to a full user-pays environment. Most organizations do not use PaperCut to “charge” their users. In an education-based organization, PaperCut is more often used to restrict users to a sensible quota/budget - for example $5.00 a week. In business, PaperCut can be installed in a “silent logging” mode, enabling the tracking of statistics, or billing to accounts/departments.

I'd like to evaluate PaperCut but am concerned about installing it on a production server?

It’s easy to set up PaperCut in a “silent monitoring” mode first. This allows you to play with the features and enable functionality gradually over time. If you’ve got a large or complex print environment it may be appropriate to install PaperCut on a test server or VM and get a feel for it before planning your rollout.

PaperCut screen-shots show a "$" currency symbol. My country uses a different symbol.

PaperCut fetches the currency format from the Operating System’s “locale” settings. The region can also be manually overridden if required.

How long does it take to install?

This all depends on how complex you make your configuration! At it’s simplest form, PaperCut can be installed and set-up in minutes and immediately you can start benefiting from reporting and basic print quotas or rules. Then again large complex environments such as a University often plan and test their deployments over weeks or even months, and will often leverage features such as web-print, global driver, and print scripting.

Where is my data stored?

PaperCut ships with its own internal database which allows for a very quick setup in most installations. This database lives within this application directory, so in most cases your data lives securely on the file structure of the ‘Application Server’. PaperCut also supports storing it’s data in common databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle. If you have an existing instance that’s already being managed and backed-up, this may be a great place to securely store your data.

What is secure print release?

Have you ever wandered over to a shared MFD/printer to find someone has “accidentally” walked away with your print? Have you ever ran to the printer to make sure you get that sensitive document before someone else? With a simple change in process, i.e. the swipe of a card or the entry of a PIN, PaperCut can make sure your document doesn’t start printing until you are standing at the device. Find out more about PaperCut’s Secure Print Release feature!

What is watermarking?

At it’s simplest form, a watermark is the automatic addition of a user name and data at the bottom of each page. It’s great in education environments and ensures documents can be traced back to the owner.

A watermark can be a digital signature that helps organizations identify and confirm the source of a document. Many businesses use the digital signature feature to encourage best-practice document security and handling.

Check out the tour for more details.

Is PaperCut a secure solution? My environment is extremely restrictive, and we can't run anything that isn't totally airtight!

Any distributed system that is worth considering should be designed with security in mind, and PaperCut has certainly done this! Any data PaperCut transmits between system components is encrypted using SSL, which when coupled with a signed certificate, makes communication of data secure to industry standards. PaperCut can install and function entirely within the secure walls of an organization. Additionally, the product uses minimal ports to ensure network security setup is simple and effective.

Can I backup my data/setup?

Absolutely. If you’re using one of the many databases PaperCut supports, this may already be taken care of with existing strategies. If not, the PaperCut Application Server itself provides functions to backup the system data in it’s entirety. Something for the techies; we actually save the database in standardised XML so that if there was a database disaster, we can redeploy our database to another database type entirely; i.e lose your Oracle server, we can republish our data on MSSQL. Cool right? That was a lot of words to say ‘yes’ in hindsight.

What is PaperCut?

“PaperCut is a software application designed to help organizations manage printing. It helps to:”

  • Minimise waste, save paper and toner/ink as well as encouraging end-users to improve printing behavior
  • Improve document security
  • Save the system administrator’s time

There is so much more. Jump in to the tour.

How does PaperCut work?

It’s hard to fit this one in an FAQ! The full movie’s over an hour, but here’s the trailer:

PaperCut works by intercepting print jobs as they pass into a print queue. It watches the queues and extracts job information such as page counts and uses this to implement:

  • logging, charging, control, quotas, reporting or a combination of all
  • or security features like secure print release, archiving and watermarking

Typically PaperCut is installed on a server, but also supports local workstations. Many sites compliment the solution with optional embedded software on touch-screen MFDs, and/or use PaperCut’s mobile/tablet print options.

Where is PaperCut Software (the company) based?

PaperCut was founded in 1998 by Chris and Matt in Melbourne, Australia and our HQ continues to be located there. Today PaperCut is very much a global company with teams in Portland, USA and London, UK. Our partner network reaches into almost every country. The highest level partner are Authorized Solution Centers (ASC). We refer to our ASCs as family and they help us extend PaperCut’s reach globally across many languages and regions.

Is PaperCut available in other languages?

Yes. 22 languages and counting!

Why should I choose PaperCut's products?

There are many methods of managing printing and many print management solutions out there. PaperCut’s difference in that we provide true vendor independent solutions - meaning our products support all major printer brands equally. You can change printer brands or operating systems any time. Another difference is that ease-of-use is entrenched into the PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF design. These benefits have empowered system administrators to implement print management in over 60,000 organizations.

Where did the name PaperCut come from?

The name PaperCut was our founder Chris’s idea. It was one of his great names choices and he’s proud of it… unlike the less creative “NG” and “MF” names used for the editions. By the way, NG was an internal project name for “Next Generation” PaperCut rewrite done in 2005. MF stands for Multi-function… Oh well! Hopefully “NG” and “MF” will be the last product names selected by the coders :)

What printers and multi-function devices (MFD) are supported?

This is one area we’re very proud of. We’ve strived hard over the last 15 years to support every make and model of printer. It doesn’t matter what brand you have, or what driver you’re using, our vision is that PaperCut “just works” out of the box. PaperCut supports anything from a small desktop printer all the way up to largest MFDs with advanced touchscreens. Vendor neutrality is core to our development and design philosophies.

Can I change printer brands?

Yes. In most situations you can change printer brands or models with no loss in functionality and minimal reconfiguration required. For simple printers, setup is even automatic. If you’re running MFD embedded software, setup will be required on the new devices.

What is the difference between PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF?

The short answer is that PaperCut NG is a self-download and install (DIY) product that allows organizations to implement print monitoring and control. PaperCut MF extends the functionality of PaperCut NG with a higher level of hardware integration. PaperCut MF has embedded software that installs on most leading MFD/MFP brands to support secure print release on the device’s touch screen, as well as tracking copy, scan and fax activity. This question is covered in more detail in the PaperCut MF FAQs .

What problems does PaperCut help me solve?

Many! Everything from basic print logging, all the way up to advanced print and document security. Check out the tour for an overview. Oh! And I’m sure one day PaperCut will even help you make coffee… are developers are working on that right now :)

What are the typical cost reductions/savings?

Savings depend on the features implemented and the organization type. In the education environment, most organizations see big savings and an ROI in only a few months. Businesses save up to 20% by implementing just the secure print release and find-me printing functionality. Mix in print policies to encourage duplex, or your own rules, and you’ll soon not only be saving paper but also making users more productive and doing less admin work!

Have a play with the ROI calculator to get a feel.

How do I get support?

If you’re using PaperCut NG, or running a trial, reach out direct to our support team. We’re very proud of our global support teams based in Melbourne, Portland and London. Each team is manned by sys admins and ex-customers, they all love a challenge… and coffee of course. If you’re running PaperCut MF you will have purchased the software from one of our certified partners. They usually will be the first point of contact as they know you and your system best. Check out the “About” tab in your PaperCut admin console for the most appropriate support contact.

What's with all this coffee stuff?

Yes! We love it. You’ll see references to coffee all through our manual and throughout our website. The PaperCut dev team are all certified coffee baristas and we have our own Cafe called “/dev/coffee” . Check out our about page to learn more about our coffee culture.

How is PaperCut Software licensed?

Actually, it’s pretty simple.

  • PaperCut NG is licensed per user (unlimited printers)
  • PaperCut MF is licensed per MFD (with unlimited users, site servers, advanced clients and paper-less widgets included)

There are additional license options for each product. For example: Release stations for PaperCut NG, Payment gateways integrations (popular in higher education) for PaperCut NG and PaperCut MF and many more add ons to make your life easier.

Are yearly support or maintenance fees mandatory? What are the ongoing costs?

We would love to produce software that never needed new versions. But the reality is printer drivers get updated, Apple releases the latest OSX and inevitably the day after Patch Tuesday our support team gets a call about a printers acting strange.

We charge a yearly support cost known as Maintenance & Support (M&S). This is mandatory for all new customers for the first 12 months at a flat, introductory price. This gives you peace of mind that PaperCut will continue to “just work” for you. An active M&S also gives you access to subscription based features like Scan to Cloud Storage.

It also allows us to employ developers year ‘round to produce patches, fixes and updates to solve problems as soon as you see them.

Maintenance & Support costs will only ever be a maximum of 20% of the license with heavy discounts for purchasing multiple years upfront.

My company has two different sites. How does licensing work for me?

Licensing works the same way for one site or many locations. Your license is structured for the total number of active print users in your organization. (Note: There are many ways to implement a multi-site solution, but you will only need one licence.)

Can I use my license over more than two sites?

Yes you can. We’re happy to have a single license used across multiple sites within the same organization (i.e. a true organization-wide license. Like above, your license simply needs to cover the sum of the users at all locations.

Is there a limit on the number of servers?

No. Licensing is based only on the number of users. It’s a true organization-wide license with no limit on the number of servers, workstations, or printers. If high network availability is a concern for you, take a look at PaperCut’s Site Server option. You can design your solution to provide resilient print capability in your organization.

Can I use my license with other operating systems?

Absolutely! Your PaperCut license may be used on any operating system. Multiple servers is not a problem, and each server or workstation may run any of the supported operating systems.

Do you offer special pricing for non-profit organizations?

We sure do. It’s the same as our cost-effective Education / Government pricing.


If you’re a registered charity/non-profit organization (NPO), you’re eligible for our non-profit pricing.

You’re most likely a registered NPO if:

  • You have a Charitable Registration Number (you’re likely to have it listed on your website); or
  • You’re in your country’s Charity Register Database (where applicable, you can find this out using the links below).

Depending on your country, you might be registered in another way.

Still unsure? Get in touch, and we’ll be happy to help.

How do I purchase PaperCut MF?

To ensure the seamless installation of PaperCut MF and integration with your Multifunction devices, we offer PaperCut MF through our network of certified resellers and Authorized Solution Centers. In many cases, the company that supplies you with your copiers and MFDs will also be able to supply and support your PaperCut MF solution. If you find this isn’t the case (or not an option for you) drop us a line and we’ll point you in the direction of an awesome organization to support you.

What do I get when I purchase?

After your order is placed, our speedy license team will turn around the order and send you back a license (supplied as a file). Depending on how much coffee our team has had that day, you should receive your license in a few hours.

Once you’ve got the license in-hand, adding it to your application is quick and simple. We have those steps outlined here.

Do you allow refunds or cancellations?

We encourage you to use our free 40 day trial to see if PaperCut is right for you. If by any chance you’ve purchased and the PaperCut product doesn’t live up to your expectations and our support team haven’t been able to resolve your printing issues, please do drop us a line. We’ll do everything we can to make it right. If you still want to cancel, no problem. We may deduct a small administrative fee depending on how long you’ve held the license. See our refund policy for details.

Is the price negotiable?

Well, you wouldn’t be a savvy shopper if you didn’t ask the question, right? We spend a lot of time putting fair and reasonable pricing together for our software. And we jam an awful lot of functionality in there too. Most of our customers recoup their costs in months, if not weeks - depending on their printing volume. So we keep the price consistent and avoid the haggling. Now if you have special circumstances, please contact us. We do have initiatives to help organizations in developing countries or non-profits. Our goal is to ensure that everyone can benefit from PaperCut.

Can you provide me with a quotation?

Absolutely! You can create your own formal quotation online, by visiting our online order system and selecting “Create a quotation”.

Why can't I purchase PaperCut MF direct online?

It’s a question we get asked a lot. And the answer lies in the embedded functionality on each of the Multifunction Devices (MFDs). Because of the extra complexity and the integration between the software and the device firmware, we’ve found it needs a little more care and attention.

So we’ve engaged a worldwide network of certified Authorized Partners and Resellers whose sole responsibility is to ensure your implementation goes well. These PaperCut experts will help conceive and configure your solution during the pre-installation phase. They’ll install and set up your PaperCut instance and get your devices humming. Onsite training localized ongoing support is also available from most resellers.

Why is PaperCut MF's price not listed online like PaperCut NG?

Unlike PaperCut NG - where typically a single component license is all that is needed - PaperCut MF consists of additional software and hardware variations depending on your print environment. The licensing model gets a little more involved and a lot more customized for your organization. (We’ve put together thousands of solutions that integrate dozens of hardware and software products - and we have no control over pricing for any 3rd party elements).

So a one-size-fits-all pricing table doesn’t make too much sense to us.

But we do make sure that our resellers are providing you with the highest value for money, and we maintain a global Recommended Retail Price (RRP) list. To calculate the exact price for your PaperCut MF solution, we recommend getting a custom quote from one or more resellers. And of course you can contact us directly for advice.

I've contacted a reseller and the price quoted seems expensive when compared to simple PaperCut NG. Why?

Adding hardware, professional services and more into the mix makes things quite a bit more expensive. Having said that, time and time again our customers have said that the costs of PaperCut MF are a fraction of similar featured products. And of course, by adding track and control for all printing, copying, scanning and faxing, you can quickly get substantial savings or cost recovery programs in place.

We encourage you to compare the capabilities of PaperCut MF with other similar solutions. And if you have any questions, we’re here to answer them.

I'm already using PaperCut NG. How do I upgrade? What will the cost change be?

There’s no need to purchase a whole new license. We keep the process of upgrading to PaperCut MF as simple as possible. All of your settings and configurations will be transferred, and conversion of the base license will take typically 30 minutes or so. Any additional embedded license connectors will be rolled into your new PaperCut MF license.

For anyone who is currently running PaperCut NG, you’re given a substantial credit toward the new solution. Be sure to mention your existing license to your accredited PaperCut reseller and they’ll take care of you.

Is PaperCut MF Maintenance & Support mandatory?

“Due to the added cost and complexity to offer and supply PaperCut MF with either hardware or embedded we’ve found it necessary to include the first year’s Maintenance & Support with each PaperCut MF license. This ensures your peace of mind that your installation will be well looked after - even if something happens outside our direct control. (e.g. Sometimes the firmware level requirement in your MFD changes in the first year).

With that year subscription of M&S, you get every version upgrade included in the year, and phone, email, and chat support. No question is too small! As part of an active M&S, you also get access to subscription based features such as Scan to Cloud Storage.

Maintenance & Support (M&S) is mandatory for the first year and strongly advised for subsequent years. The less-short answer: If you opt to discontinue Maintenance & Support after the first year (or any subsequent year for that matter), you won’t have access to any further upgrades. Similarly, compatibility with future driver or operating system updates cannot be guaranteed. Also, active M&S is required for any additions to an existing PaperCut MF license. And if you’re using add-on services such as Scan to Cloud Storage and OCR, M&S is required to activate these services. So, while M&S’s not compulsory, it’s pretty important and highly recommended!

In some cases, resellers and Authorized Partners may offer additional value-added support or professional services. Determination of whether you should take up these services is yours, however we can advise as needed on the value our Authorized Partners bring.”

What is the difference between an ASC and VAR?

An authorized solution center (ASC) is our most qualified reseller level. These experts are best thought of as local PaperCut specialists. We carefully select ASCs based on a set of criteria that carefully match PaperCut’s own business approach:

  • Vendor Independent - our ASCs don’t sell MFDs, and so remain focused on your solution
  • Experienced and technically proficient - Our ASCs have been in the copier control industry for many years
  • Skilled in both software and hardware, and focused on providing the right solution for you.

A value added resellers (VAR) is typically a company “in the trade” where PaperCut MF forms an integral part of their solutions offerings. Typically they are a printer or copier vendor-aligned organization such as copier/printer supplier, reseller, or MPS provider. VARs usually have in depth knowledge of the local region, and will work with your business to either supply a limited PaperCut MF option (e.g. embedded solutions on their device) or partner with a PaperCut ASC to deliver a complete solution under one roof.

How do I contact a reseller (ASC or VAR)?

A list of ASCs can be found on our website here. They can work with you to determine the right dealer for you.

What happens if I change copier/MFD/printer brands?

The answer varies depending on the type of device and interface.

Want to change your printers?

PaperCut automatically works with the vast majority of printers in the market. Changing your printers is as simple as setting up new drivers on your servers. The software will do the rest! There is no additional licensing.

Switching up your MFDs or copiers?

Embedded software designed for one brand will not work on another. We’d love to have a universal solution, but you’ll need to install the embedded software specific to each new MFD. Embedded solutions are licensed by make/brand and have license connector fees associated with them. However we do have a change-over program that allows the reseller that sold you the original embedded software to trade-in against a different embedded software at a reduced price, thereby protecting your investment. Before making the switch we recommend talking with your PaperCut reseller or Authorized Partner. They can advise on how the other embedded solution may differ in terms of end-user functions and experience, and what costs and processes are involved.

Getting new Copier Control Hardware Terminals?

The majority of cases copier control terminals will need some simple reconfiguring to connect to a different copier type. This configuration many involve some setting changes and often a new cable or connection. Your PaperCut Authorized Partner who installed your system can advise you

What is the SMB Bundle?

SMB Bundle is a product PaperCut created specificaly for commercial organizations with 5 or less embedded and 100 or less users.

Does the SMB bundle have different functionality?

No, PaperCut’s SMB Bundle is a licensing option which includes 100 users with up to 5 embedded licenses.

Why isn't Professional licensing available with the SMB Bundle?

The SMB bundle is specifically designed for commercial licenses that don’t require the advance client - you can still add the advanced client to a commercial license if not all users require this functionality.

Can I add to the SMB Bundle?

Yes - you can add to the SMB Bundle like any other license, as long as you stay within the 5 embedded license and under 100 user threshold.

How do I buy the SMB Bundle?

Ask your reseller or Authorized Partner.

What are my payment options?

Secure Online Credit Card Payment

This is the fastest and easiest way to order PaperCut. Your credit card information is sent directly to our secure credit card processor. This ensures that nobody but you and the credit card processor will see your credit card information. You can go directly to the order page by selecting your industry sector above and clicking the Buy button.

Our PaperCut NG online order system accepts purchase orders with payment via invoice on 15 day terms. Payment options include wire transfer, visa, master card and check.

To order via Purchase Order/Invoice:

  • Select your industry sector and click the Buy button
  • Follow the instructions and fill out your order details. (Optionally, enter your purchase order number when requested.)
  • Choose the Invoice option when prompted for payment method.

Once the online order form is completed an invoice is emailed to the supplied email address. We will also send a copy of the invoice via regular post if requested.

Which currencies do you accept?

We accept payments in most major currencies including USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD and NZD. If you require payment in another currency, please ask.

Can I receive a quotation and invoice in my currency?

Certainly. You can create your own formal quotation online, by visiting our online order system and selecting “Create a quotation”. You will be emailed a quotation that is valid for 40 days.

Can I pay with a check?

Yes. Place your order using the online order system and select to pay via Invoice. Make your check out to “PaperCut Software International Pty Ltd” as outlined on the invoice.

How long does it take for my license to arrive?

After placing an order via our online order system you will receive your license via email within one working day. If your license hasn’t arrived, please check your spam filter and junk mail box. (We find them to be a little overzealous sometimes).

Please contact us if you have not received your license 24 hours after placing your order.

Who processes my Credit Card payment?

PaperCut Software does not process Credit Cards directly. We leave it up to a trusted payment provider (Global Collect) to handle the transaction on our behalf. PaperCut Software will appear on your Credit Card bill/statement. Your Credit Card details are not stored on any server nor can be viewed by our staff. All details are secure and passed to the Global Collect servers via SSL/HTTPS. Any transactions are once-off payments and there is no recurrent billing.

What taxes are involved?

For our direct PaperCut NG customers from Australia and the US, we’ll include the appropriate taxes and make sure the governments get paid. All other transactions are international and no taxes are involved.

What is a print server and do I need one?

A print server is a central machine that hosts shared print queues and coordinate printer setup and driver deployment. Print servers also help centrally manage printing. Even though PaperCut does not need a print server, setting one up streamlines administration and simplifies the setup of PaperCut. A print server does not need to be a dedicated system - in many cases and existing machine can take this role.

How exactly does PaperCut tracks and control my printing?

PaperCut works by “watching” the print jobs as they pass through your print/file server (be it Windows, Mac, Novell or Linux). You don’t need any special print drivers or setup. PaperCut works by directly analyzing the Postscript, PCL or other print data as it’s being sent to the device. If PaperCut needs to take action, say deny or hold printing due a policy, the print job is automatically canceled or paused.

Can PaperCut run in the Cloud?

PaperCut needs a two-way communication with devices located locally in your network (your printers!). The majority of organizations set up PaperCut locally in their network. PaperCut is private Cloud ready as more and more organizations are moving to cloud hosted infrastructure. Private Cloud infrastructure is often implemented as a security interface on top of existing internal networks and hence two-way communication with devices on-premises is possible.

What is a global print queue?

One of PaperCut’s most popular features in medium to large organizations is Find-Me Printing. With this setup, end-users print to a single central global queue and then release their print job at any device. The print job “follows” you to the printer. The central queue is referred to as a global or virtual queue. You can read more about find-me printing in the tour.

What is PaperCut's global print driver? Do I need it?

PaperCut includes an optional global print driver. We’ve designed this driver to work across the widest variety of printer makes and models. This driver streamlines your printer setup and management and helps offer find-me printing across a mix of device models and makes.

What is the smallest site PaperCut can run on?

Many small businesses run PaperCut. In fact PaperCut NG is free for businesses with 5 users or less.

What is the largest site PaperCut can run on?

We haven’t yet found the edge of our universe. The largest site has 350,000 users. Many sites have thousands of printers spread across multiple physical locations. With options for clustering and site servers for link fault tolerance, PaperCut is designed to scale.

Can I customise PaperCut myself?

Sure. You’re the owner so you should be able to make it yours. Maybe it’s as simple as adding your own logo to end-user screens, or it’s as advanced as:

  • Using print scripting to customize pop-ups to users.
  • Using the API to push in billable account codes.
  • Mashing up the API set to interface with your student management system.

We’re techies and we’re here to help your creativity.

What platforms does PaperCut support?

The top-level answer is Windows, Mac, Linux, and Novell. The next level answer is anything that can get a print job onto these platforms. We’ve got customers using PaperCut to manage printing from anything the latest mainframes such as AS400 and custom UNIX systems, all the way down to mobile devices.

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