Print Quotas

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Particularly popular in schools, colleges and universities, print quotas are used to control and restrict users to sensible use by allocating a quota/allowance/budget.

For example, students might be allocated $10 worth of printing each week. Once this amount of printing has been used the student will be unable to print any more. (Some organizations allow students to add additional credit from their own funds. See the Recharging Balance tour section for more information.)

Flexible Scheduling

Quotas may be easily allocated on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, or on custom dates like the start of a term or semester.

Assigning a weekly quota for students
Assigning a weekly quota for students

It is also possible to specify a maximum limit on quota allocations to prevent users from "banking up" their quota.

Currency Based

The user client tool on Windows
Quota shown in real-time via optional client software

PaperCut uses a currency based system for print accounting. Each user has their own balance, e.g. $5.00, and each printer has assigned costs (which may be different for different sizes, color, duplex mode, etc.), such as $0.10 per grayscale page. There are several reasons why a currency based system is better than just counting pages (e.g. a quota of 10 pages):

  • A currency model leads to less waste, because users naturally choose the cheapest way to print.
  • Currency is familiar, so easy to understand. People understand that different items have different costs.
  • Currency is flexible. Costs can be assigned based on the cost to run a particular printer, and can be changed and tweaked at any time.

If you don't like the idea of using currency (perhaps because it implies charging or real money) then it is possible to remove the currency symbol and work in "units" instead.