The German branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has launched a new campaign (website, facebook) to save trees by encouraging people to print less documents by using a new file format: .wwf. This new file is a clone of the PDF with the only exception that it disables the print function of the application used to open it.
The software (download here), for now only available for Mac OSX (but they say that it’s coming for Windows too) simply adds the “Save as WWF” option so that documents can be saved as .wwf instead of PDF. By default each document created includes an extra page at the end explaining what the campaign is about (the addition of this page can be disabled).
The .wwf documents can be opened with almost any PDF reader (I used Adobe Acrobat with no problems while Preview in the Mac refused to open it). The software also installs it’s own PDF reader called Skim.
Will this format earn it’s share in our daily life? I doubt it but if the campaign goes viral it might help making people more aware about the amount of unnecessary documents that are printed everyday and thus make them print less.
In my case I’ve reduced substantially the amount of printed documents thanks to the iPad, a godsend for reading files that before I preferred to print, together with apps like Highlighter that allow me to annotate PDFs and keep them for reference.
I’ll try using .wwf documents in the following weeks to help spread the voice and see what happens.