DOWNLOAD - Latest is v0.30, October 17, 2002
Thanks to James Klicman for the 0.30 release!
WARNING Please be sure that FreeCheck produces a MICR line exactly like the one on your bank checks. If it doesn't, please let me know.
FreeCheck is a free check printing utility. You can use it to print your own checks on blank check stock [amzn], available at office supply stores and various places around the web. To do this right, you also need magnetic / MICR toner [amzn] to print the MICR line at the bottom of the check. Using normal toner may result in hand-processing by the bank, which may cost you money. (Other people have reported that normal toner works just fine.)
I only have information on US bank drafts, and a little on Canadian bank drafts. FreeCheck does not yet support any other bank draft format (for example, those used in the UK). If you have any documentation on these formats, I will try to add support.
FreeCheck has not been thoroughly tested. There are a lot of subtleties that go into printing checks, and professional testing costs too much. If you submit malformed checks to your bank or to a retailer, you may be charged a fee. If you decide to use FreeCheck, please examine the printed checks closely, and don't use your first try to pay your rent. :) That said, I have sent a handful of checks through the bank with no problems.
FreeCheck is Perl based, so it should work fine on any platform to which Perl has been ported. FreeCheck generates a PostScript file which can be saved to disk, printed, or converted to PDF using GhostScript. By default, the PostScript goes to STDOUT, so it should work well in a scripted environment.
There's a fair amount of work to do yet, including the ability to fill out the checks with payee, amount, etc. A GUI to wrap around this would be nice, too.
To use FreeCheck, you will need a Type 1 MICR font. Luckily for you, I have one available... see my GnuMICR page.
Words of caution - this application is in development. If your bank complains, charges you, or cancels your account for printing malformed checks, that's not my problem. I have every reason to believe that the output is fine, and I have sent a handful of checks through my bank without incident. However, I can't guarantee your results. You have been warned. :-)
The mailing list is no longer available for FreeCheck (or GnuMICR).