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September 13th 2008
February 23rd 2009

About Mimeo
Download and Installation
Working with Mimeo
Pricing and Support


Printing, assembling, and mailing things like PowerPoint handouts can be a tiresome process even if you have someone to take care of these things -- although they may still not be able to help you if you need it all in the middle of the night or if you are halfway around the world. Local copy shops can also be a pain since you may not get consistent output.

Mimeo.com is a online service which provides on-demand printing, finishing, and distribution for your documents from your desktop. In this review, we'll do a test print, and see how Mimeo fares.


About Mimeo.com

Mimeo.com is from Mimeo, a Memphis, Tennessee, USA based company. You can learn more about the Mimeo service from their site.

Mimeo is not just about online printing -- they also help create complex bound documents as per your exact specifications. You can choose color or black & white printing, add different bindings, covers, paper stocks and finishing options, including customized tabs, dividers and slip sheets. Delivery is quick, one or more copies can be delivered to single or multiple addresses overnight at the highest quality.

You can even store any or all of your documents electronically as part of your free Mimeo Doc Center where you can update and revise specific sections without rebuilding your entire document. Combine different files to create new documents and only print out what you need, or print as and when required.

Mimeo works through their Windows based print driver that we discuss next.


Download and Installation

You first need to sign up for a Mimeo account. Signup is free and takes a moment.

Soon thereafter, you can download the Mimeo print driver. The printer driver is available for all Windows versions from Windows 95 to Windows Vista. As of now there are no Mac OS drivers, but you can use the PDF output options built inside the Mac OS, and upload those PDFs to your Mimeo account.

Once the Mimeo driver is installed, you'll find it listed in the Printer dropdown list within any Print dialog box from any application (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Mimeo's printer driver shows up in all Print dialog boxes.


Working with Mimeo.com

Working within Mimeo.com is intuitive -- here's a typical workflow:

  1. You print from any print-capable Windows application -- in this case I decided to print handouts from a PowerPoint presentation, and chose Mimeo as the selected printer (refer to Figure 1).

  2. Mimeo then presents you with a dialog box so that you can provide a name to the document, by default this comprises the program and document names (see Figure 2).

    mimeo print uploader
    Figure 2: Name your print file

  3. Mimeo then compresses the print file so that the documents can be loaded faster to the Mimeo servers later.

    Compress the print file
    Figure 3: Files are being compressed

  4. You then need to sign into your Mimeo account (see Figure 4). If you don't already have a Mimeo account, you can sign up through the Sign-up now button. This launches the sign-up page on Mimeo.com.

    Sign-in to Mimeo
    Figure 4: Sign-in, or sign-up to create a new Mimeo account

  5. One you sign-in, Mimeo uploads the print file to your account library on Mimeo's servers.

    Transfer print file
    Figure 5: Transfer the print files

  6. When the transfer is complete, you need to click the Continue button on the Mimeo interface to continue to the next step (see Figure 6).

    Figure 6: Print files have been transferred

  7. This opens your Mimeo account in a browser window (see Figure 7).

    Figure 7: Your documents are now within your Mimeo library

  8. You click the Continue button (not visible in Figure 7, above) to proceed with printing the active document. Next you choose whether you want to print in color or black and white -- or if you want to print on one or both sides of the paper -- look at Figure 8, I like the fact that you can see the cost of your prints even at this stage.

    Figure 8: Choose basic printing options

  9. In the next screen, you see an online proof, and add finishing touches -- choose the paper stock, binding type, the hole punch type, and the cover finish -- this itself lends to dozens of possibilities -- I'm glad the Mimeo folks made this so intuitive to use (see Figure 9 ). Note that all times, your total cost is displayed on the top right. When you are done, click the Add to Shopping Cart option.

    Figure 9: Add finishing options

  10. You can now opt to save your printing and finishing options -- thereafter, the experience is like any other shopping cart -- you can choose one or more recipients, quantities, shipping options, etc.

    However, there are small touches that make the experience better -- you can maintain an address book so that frequent recipients on the list are easily accessible. You can also customize a greeting for the packing slip.

    Finally, you add funds to your Mimeo account as required through your credit card -- once you are done, Mimeo provides you with a tracking code via email for the shipments.


Pricing and Support

Mimeo pricing depends so much on the many combinations of quantities, printing, finishing, and shipping charges.

Support is through a live chat option on the Mimeo site, a toll free number, email, and online demos.



I found pricing for Mimeo services to be competitive compared to copy shops, and the output is very professional. If you travel often, or if you frequently need good finishing options for your documents, Mimeo provides you with a very well thought of, and complete solution.

Here's a picture of the document I received as part of my test order.

mimeo output
Figure 10: Mimeo output and packaging

I do wish Mimeo opens newer centers worldwide other than the US so that users can print and ship economically to recipients worldwide.


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