Do you ever met a situation where you have found all the information you needed for your assignment or project, and only find out that there is no printer available for you to print? Or sometimes you simply wanted to keep a soft copy of your flight ticket booking details or some information when you are in cyber cafe? Although there are number of ways to do it, eg. print screen, save the web page, handwritten (I believe it’s not so favor nowadays?), print to pdf (require pdf printer installed) etc. Some of the solutions like print screen and web-page archiving are still the most used, however there are other alternatives which is much more convenient. If you happen to use a public computers that equipped with Microsoft Office 2003 and above (not sure for lower version), there will be a chance to have Microsoft Office Document Image Writer installed.
I believe there are many computer users have chosen Microsoft Office as their primary documenting software, and there is high chance that the computer users will just ignore the Microsoft Office Document Image Writer (MODIW) that has been pre-installed along with Microsoft Office (you can find the clue from it’s name though) in their Printers and Faxes. However, this virtual printer will come in handy when you are in desperate need to capture some information over the internet in soft copy eg. Movie ticket booking details. What’s more with an additional OCR installation, you can perform OCR on the file saved and transfer the data to Microsoft Word.
How to use it?
Just print from any webpage (shortcut key CTRL+P), and if you have the printer as highlighted below, then you can print whatever you want to a file (Not ideal for photo and flash content though).
Click the Preferences button when you highlighted the MODIW, and you will have several simple options for you. Select the correct paper size, the output format you desired (see screenshot below), and you are ready to go! Just press Print and a Windows file browser will pop up for you to select the saving destination and file name. Extension will follow what you chosen earlier (.mdi or .tif). If you are saving the page in color, select MDI. TIFF will save the page in monochrome (aka black and white).
The file generated (.mdi or .tif) can be opened by just a double click on them in any computer, provided they have the MODIW virtual printer installed (Although Microsoft Office 2007 doesn’t install it with default setup). Else you can drag the file to Microsoft OneNote to open it in the event of the lacking of MODIW (Source).
Although it doesn’t seems to be a function that will be used daily, but it could come in handy when you face some rare occasions. Thus, keep this in mind and hope it can save you when you are in urgent need.