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"print to file" Question

Posted on 1998-10-16
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
Hi,

I have a slow Deskjet printer connected to my machine. Often I would prefer to print the output on another printer (laser) that is not connected to my machine (but to a networked system of computers). I was always under the impression that the "print to file" option in many programs allows one to write the printable ouput to a file and then allows one to print the file from any other machine, even if it does not have the application that created the file. I tried it but had no success. I'd appreciate any help in terms of advice on syntax etc.
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Question by:irina
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11 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:ewilson
ID: 2012908
Install the printer that you would like to use locally on your machine, when it asks what port tell it print to file.  when you print to this printer on your computer it will prompt for a file name, type one in.  Copy this file to a disk and take it to a workstation that can print to this printer.  Make sure the workstation you are printing from has the printer captured to an LPT port (control panel/printers/properties for that printer/details/capture port).  Go to Dos and use the type command to pipe the file to the printer port that is captured.
Ex:  Type a:\test.prn >lpt1
note: substitute the lpt1 with whatever lpt port you have captured for that printer.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:duckers
ID: 2012909
ewilson has not considered some vital considerations. There are broadly speaking two main types of printer driver, PCL and PostScript. One needs to use a print driver to create the print file that is compatible with the printer you aim to print to. Eg if you save a PS file you will just get gobledegook out of your printer if it is PCL only printer. Also one should simply copy the file to the appropriate port i.e. copy a:\test.prn lpt1. This is a easy and straightforward task which I have do on a regular basis. 200 point is an overkill for this question.
Have fun
James
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 2012910
just a few comments that i have to add :)

if your machine is networked, why not just print straight to the printer that is hooked on already? maybe the person doesn't want to share the printer or something.. not sure.

anyways, you could just print striaght to that printer, or print to a file and then print to that printer. i have save a batch file called print.bat in a directory c:\print. i print to file all my documents with numbers there and then when i'm done i just go "print x x x x x x" where x are the document numbers.

the batch file is
@echo off
copy %1 /b \\machinename\printername
copy %2 /b \\machinename\printername

and so on, you can place as many as you like.. as to why i don't just print straight to the printer, i prefer to do all my printing at one shot and then go and collect it.

by the way, you can always edit the batch file to suit youself, like if you want to use it from the machine straight.

bush
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:duckers
ID: 2012911
Fully agree with bush. Like the batch file idea. The copy syntax bush suggests better suites the original question which did intimate that the printer you eanted to print on was availible over a network.
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Author Comment

by:irina
ID: 2012912
Bushhead's suggestion worked. Please repost so that I can credit you the points.

Thanks all.

irina
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Author Comment

by:irina
ID: 2012913
How do I find out the name of the Printer (especially on a Foolproofed system)?
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
bushhead earned 800 total points
ID: 2012914
thanks irina.

with regard to your question, what is a 'foolproofed system'? under normal circumstances, just check the printer name of the other computer under printer settings then \\comp\printer

:)

bush
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Author Comment

by:irina
ID: 2012915
Thanks
0
 

Author Comment

by:irina
ID: 2012916
Hi Bush,

Actually, I was asking about a network which is secured using FoolProof 95.  However, I have the printername I need. How do I find out the printername for a WindowsNT (protected) machine?

Thanks,

Irina
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Author Comment

by:irina
ID: 2012917
Hi bush,

By the way, I was playing around with your batchfile syntax and found that one can use wildcards, i.e one can print multiple files using the following command:
copy *.prn /b \\machinename\printername

This way one can have all the prn files in one directory and print them all at once.

Irina
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 2012918
sorry i haven't been around for so long.. :) been busy with other stuff..

your tip about *.prn is good, but usually i spool differnt documents to differnt printers :) like colour*.prn to colour printer and bw* to laser printers :) thanks anyways

bush
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