Multifunction PrintersAn MFP, or Multi-Function Programmable Device, is a computerized device that integrates the functions of many different devices in one, to obtain a smaller physical footprint at home or in a small business setting, as well as to offer more centralized document management/production, central file storage and distribution/reduction in a very large-scale office setting. The term “multifunction” is not used to imply that these computers can perform more than one function. Instead, it is possible to incorporate many parts into one single unit. For instance, the keyboard of the typical MFP will allow the user to input text in either upper or lower case letters and a control key for the printer. This keyboard will also be used to select images and save files to a specified location. In this way, the user will be able to perform operations simultaneously in either letter-or-case fashion.


The majority of multifunction printers will allow users to upload documents directly from a digital camera or a scanner to a specified location via a USB port. Forms can be downloaded by placing the selected file in the designated area and then saving the document directly to the device’s hard drive. This capability allows for the convenience of keeping printed copies of documents within reach if they may be required for future reference. Depending on the device management software package that has been selected for the device, the user may want to be able to retrieve their printed copy directly from the device, without having to go through the process of uploading the file first.


If you are looking for multifunction printers that can be used to scan and copy, you will need to consider a few specific factors. As with the scanning capability, there are various ways that these devices can scan and copy documents. Suppose your preferred scanner is limited to only being able to browse pages. In that case, you may want to learn one interface for both scanning and copying and one device management software package that includes both capabilities.


Suppose you do not have access to an internet connection while in the office or home, you will need to find workflows designed to prevent extraneous data entry while still providing convenient ways to get work done. Some multifunction printers come with optional keyboard connections so that you can type in standard text formats while still being connected to the printer. Other workflows operate on different networks to ensure that only specific types of information can be printed. With the availability of portable and internet-connected multifunction printers, one can eliminate paper jams, conserve paper, and increase efficiency when working at home. With the proper workflows, one can ensure that their printer will always be available to continue to use it to its fullest extent.


When searching for multifunction printers, it will help if you can learn one interface, print from various devices, and have device management software that allows you to determine what device is capable of printing and accessing the files from any computer. Some printers can only scan and copy, making them unsuitable for companies that require high volumes of printing.