If you have an ID Card Printer and you want to print cards, whether they’re ID cards membership cards or anything else, the easiest way to do it is by using ID card printing software.
The software allows you to design a card specifically to the correct size and manages the printing process for you, which is a great deal easier and simpler than trying to print off a PDF or JPEG for example (this way, you can expect a lot of trial and error, and thus wasted cards).
ID Card printing software also allows you to hold details of all of the cards you’ve printed in a database (subject to the maximum number of records it can hold) so if you’re running a ID programme for staff, this is where you’ll keep a record of your cards.
Which version of ID Card Printing software do I need?
All Card Printing Software packages come with different versions, from basic entry-level right up to sophisticated professional versions. As you’d expect, the price increases as you move through the versions and add in different features and functionalities.
Which version you need will depend on:
- What you need to print on the card
- Whether you need to encode any smart chips or magstripes, and
- How many records you want to hold in a database in the software.
Basic ID Card printing software
Most ID card printers come bundled in with introductory card printing software when you buy them. This will be the basic version of the software range but may do exactly what you need it to do without the need to upgrade.
Basic ID card software comes with pre-designed card templates for easy set-up and basic design features, including a built-in image editor. Many will allow you to set up and print barcodes in 1D and have an internal database (albeit with basic functionality).
So if you’re printing low volumes of cards with a simple design, the basic level of software will probably suffice.
Do check how many records the database can hold: EasyBadge Lite for example holds a maximum of 100 records.
The more expensive the version, the more features you get
If you need Magstripe encoding or smartcard encoding capabilities, you’ll need to upscale to a more expensive version of the card printing software.
Compare the different versions carefully; if you’re using MIFARE DESFire® cards for example, this isn’t likely to be covered by a general ‘smartcard’ capability.
Upgrading will also give you more options when it comes to security and database connections.
NB: Check that your ID card printing software is compatible with your operating system. EasyBadge for example cannot be used with MACs.
Two of the best known and reliable ID Card Software packages on the market are CardPresso and Card Exchange. Both ranges come with different versions, from the basic model right up to Professional.
Not sure which version is right for your needs? Get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.