WWF Document Format Doesn't Give You A Choice But To Save Paper

Mac OS X: PDFs are great, but constantly printing out endless amounts of documents wastes a heck of a lot of paper. The World Wildlife Federation has created their own PDF format that is unprintable in an effort to end that.

Right now, the file format is only savable and readable on Macs, but a Windows version is coming soon. The software is a plugin that allows you to save anything as a WWF file from the print menu in Mac OS X. It's basically the exact same thing as a PDF, except you can't print it out. It also adds a small explainer to the bottom of each WWF document.

I have to say, despite how annoying some might find being sent an unprintable document, it is an interesting idea. Being on a college campus, I see people go through endless amounts of paper every day for what seems like no reason, and even as someone who's not much of an environmentalist, it seems like a huge waste. Even of money, if nothing else. What do you think of the format? Do you think it will catch on, and if it does, would it drive you crazy? Or do you think it would help tone down our paper-wasting habits? Hit the link to check it out, and share your thoughts about the format in the comments.

Save as WWF [via #tips]


    Cars are great, but constantly driving to and fro wastes a heck of a lot of fuel. Ford Motor Co. has created their own new car that has no fuel tank whatsoever in an effort to end that.

    Interesting idea. Be also interesting to see how easy it is to undo the restriction. I wonder if its a PDF with security policy on it or if the restriction is just the reader application.

    This is retarded. Someone will make software that prints it in no time.

      ... effectively returning it to a PDF

      Yup. there's no serious way to enforce it. It'll be a line in the spec saying something like 'also, you shouldn't be able to print this'. Their selfmade editor might obey that, but nobody else would be stupid enough to.

      It's a publicity stunt and nothing more. Only microsoft has the force behind it to make people adopt crippled formats on such a large scale.

    File > Save As > PDF > File > Print

    Also, what if your paper is 100% recycled?

    Plus, aren't Macs made from blood minerals and child laborers? FULL BARS!

    Hey LH, next article indicate how to enable security settings on PDF to disallow printing. Then comment how it is similar to this.
    Then another article about how to use some tools to get around not being able to print a PDF.

    It all sounds very "tree huggy" and will prolly make you feel all warm and fuzzy at first, but I suspect it will get used once or twice before you get pissed off because you locked yourself out of the printer that you will never use it again. :]

    Environmental Charities... it's not about actually making a difference. It's about feeling like you are making a difference.

      Oh right I get it now, just like hybrid cars!

    I think that a lot of people print things out because they have a hard time reading things on computer monitors or they need to compare things side by side and don't have enough monitors to do that with or need to write things on the document. Until there are solutions and/or easy and unified approaches to do this with electronic documents, people will continue to print to their heart's content.

    Good intentions, horrible lack of insight and execution of said intentions.

    Some people just never "get it" though...

    I have a guy here at work that continually prints out emails, then walks over and hands them to me.

    How about a printer driver that forces printing to two or four to a page instead? Something easy to install and no other options. And an easy way to undo this to convert back to one per page.

    the last 4 comments are hilarious - the dork at work who hands you printed-out emails - the 'it' he doesn't get is 'actually enjoying reading stuff from a screen'.

    please find me someone who prefers flickery pixels to lovely paper and ink.

    its why uncle steve invented the ipad of course. so we might actually enjoy reading stuff on pixels.

    well he tells us that; it doesn't have anything to do with replacing the pc with something that he owns, mwahahahahahahaa

    and yes, environmentalists - we all trust them to use technology to make our lives easier don't we?

    when there's a car crash we all shout for a trauma counsellor and an aromatherapist don't we?

    paper is a useful tool for lots of things - exactly as DK says. the technonerd obsession with doing everything on a bloody computer is annoying and pointless. the issue is choice - choose the tool you need to do a particular job.

    which is what email printout bloke is doing, of course. he's surfing the attention economy in his ecosystem, dudes.

    he only prints out the stuff he WANTS YOU TO PAY ATTENTION TO. or he was before it just became an annoying habit.

    me? I'm really virtuous - I force myself to read stuff on the screen all the time. but if I actually want to pay something some actual proper attention I print the damn thing out

    oh and paper? we're worrying about paper?

    newsflash - paper is the most recycled and recyclable stuff we have. we grow trees specially to make into paper. then we reuse the paper and make crappier paper out of it and reuse that. then we make 'kraft board' [my dad was an engineer in a paper machine making company, these guys are very focussed] which is that corrugated stuff - usually brown on the outside but the corrugations inside are grey because they is recycled - but not bleached - used newsprint. then we reuse the boxes to store stuff. the paper industry is a paragon of recycling virtue [except for those mofos who make the glossy coated magazine paper - they are antichrists]

    so why do we obsess on recycling a few sheets of 80 gram copier paper?

    grrr. drives me bonkers. why ?

    why this dead tree obsession?

    surely its obvious - as WT says: " it’s not about actually making a difference. It’s about feeling like you are making a difference."

    WWF - hmm. I always misread it as WTF.

    Well, some people do "life hacking" other people do "bit hacking". Guess who wins in this case? Right:


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