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Manageing printing multiple copies, different forms and paper.

Posted on 2004-08-31
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In brief: I need a solution that will allow users to easily send documents to different printers and trays, including situations where the first page is on one tray and the rest is on another printer, and where the one document needs to be printed  in duplicate on a combination of printers and trays (coloured) paper.


Ideally I was looking for a printerserver solution, with a simple (for the user) interface..... however most solutions I can find are concerned with costs and after the fact reporting.

Solutions I have looked at include word macros & templates, but though these may work for word etc, I need something that will work with multiple less flexible systems (AKA Accounting packages).

Any help appreciated.

PS: i know I could build the system I want in ~6 months but the client cant affort it:-).



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Question by:alp55
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by:hdhondt
hdhondt earned 125 total points
ID: 11949637
The only thing that comes to mind is a VB script - but even that will not necessarily work across different printers: tray assignments may differ, some printers allow you to specify paper type while others don't, etc.

Some printers let you specify a different tray for the first page but not many do - and anyway, you seem to want more control than that. In fact, even a VB script will need to be very complex to allow for all your variations.
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wyliecoyoteuk earned 125 total points
ID: 11958905
Fabsoft`s Reform will do this
http://www.fabsoft.com/
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by:hdhondt
ID: 11959121
I looked up Fabsoft's web site as I had not heard of the package. From what I can see it does give great flexibility in printing, but it does this by inserting text into forms. alp55 asked for something more flexible, but this may work for him.
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by:alp55
ID: 11960407
I am looking at the Fabsoft product, and wiull lokk deeper....., it does initially seem more suited to an enterprize situation and reformating/routeing text based output..... My view of what I am looking for invlves configuring multiple virtual printers on the server, and having the client chose/configure the different applications to go to diffirenet printers.

ie.    Client letter ould go to "client printer" which at the server would produce a first page letterhead rest white plus a second copy on blue, without the user need ing to do any thing but seledct the correct virtual printer.

This is all in an XP environment... I have seen some other solutions that use forms and routing from mainframe and unix environments  (I used to work with these systems)

so keep the suggestions comming.

On the VBscript suggestion... would work for MS office programs, but need to also cater for a range of others that do not support scripting or do it differently.
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by:wyliecoyoteuk
ID: 11968578
The fabsoft product can also route to different printers depending on content.
e.g. a file with "service" at the top of the form  can be routed to the service printer,
We have 4 different virtual printers with different layouts, they are selected by data in the print stream.
There is also a scripting language that can send multiple copies to different printers or trays, fto mimic multipart forms.
Another useful product is traction software`s batch`n print pro.
http://www.traction-software.co.uk/
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by:alp55
ID: 12108813
After looking at the products listed, and some others, I found there was nothing to do execctly what I wanted.

I ended up defineing 3 virtusl printers fopr the same printer each defaulting to a seperate tray.... this worked fine for new documents and no MS office documents that didn't over ride the settings. As the worst offender were old word documents I created a macro which forced the documents to the correct papper size and tray (We use A4, many of the older documents were set to letter, causing the pri nter to swith to the default manual feed tray)   This has producted a workable solution for most instances (though not foolproof).  

Splitting points to the two helpful sugestions.
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