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How do I create a NULL printer that really doesn't print.

Posted on 2004-10-06
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a program that generates an ASCII copy of a printed output, but I don't want the hardcopy.  I could pause the printer and empty the queue occassionally, but I'd rather create a Null printer which I could print to without the queue filling up.  Does anyone know how to create a virual printer that doesn't kick out error messages and doesn't put ink on paper?

I have seen a wiring diagram for a 25pin adaptor that immitates a printer but just ditches the print job, I was wondering whether there is a sofwtare solution.  Using Windows 2000 / WinXP.

Thanks,
Graeme.
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Question by:BleedinFingers
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11 Comments
 
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by:visualcoat
ID: 12238278
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by:ilovemykeyki
ID: 12238670
What about adding a dummy printer??? Or what you called a dummy printer...but this one prints the document on a file?

Go to this link.

http://www.docunetworks.com/print_univ/printme.html

Regards.
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Author Comment

by:BleedinFingers
ID: 12238811
Hi.

I liked your link ilovemykeyki, but its not what I need.  I don't want a graphic or any other file output from the printer as the program I'm printing from creates an ASCII output with appropriate filenaming.  I need Windows to think its finished printing without actually printing.  I don't want popup prompts or a build up in my print queue.

Any other ideas?
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by:turn123
ID: 12239456
BleedinFingers,

I currently do something similar with the pdf995 and PdfEdit995 http://www.pdf995.com/.

I have it set up to print the file to the one PDF file each time.  There are no prompts, warnings, or things building up in the print queue.  The last print job is saved as a PDF file on your system.  Is this something that would work for you?

Turn123
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by:RobMurota
ID: 12239627
Postscript level drivers will allow you to print to "file" as an option rather than to "printer" leaving the printer que empty as if it had printed to the printer. This leaves a .ps file somewhere of your choice.
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Author Comment

by:BleedinFingers
ID: 12240788
Hello again.  Interesting answers but not what I'm looking for, all the answers so far invlove the creation of a file instead of hardcopy.  I was wondering if Windows was able to copy with the concept of a printer that doesn't exist rather than queue the print jobs for ever until someone plugs some hardware in.

I tried making an adaptor as described here http://www.hut.fi/Misc/Electronics/circuits/nullprint.html but it didn't work, perhaps my soldering isn't too good...

Any more suggestions?

G.
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by:Andrewhsia
ID: 12242229
Why can't the print to file work for you. Select where to print to, and have a win at job delete the files in that folder every hour. No build up. If the other program will leave the name the same, then worst case you have one file to delete.
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Accepted Solution

by:
moorhouselondon earned 500 total points
ID: 12242719
You nearly answered your own question!

There is a port called NUL:

In Printers create a new local port called NUL.  (Not sure whether this works for W2K or XP, I'm sitting at a W98 pc at the mo and it works for that).
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by:SunBow
ID: 12243693
I agree with moorhouselondon, you want null, use null

from early DOS it was named NUL
you could redirect as in
> NUL
Print MyFile >NUL
I think PRN would equate to it as well, but since windows days of more space, I haven't tried either.
You can try to print to file named nul (print config) but I think some OS may actually create the file due to some bug or "feature"

>to copy with the concept of a printer that doesn't exist
This, IMO is in SW as an LPT1, for which you may have port but need no printer, due to assignability, definitions either in the .ini or .reg entries.
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by:SunBow
ID: 12243710
> I tried making an adaptor as described

fun game, if you want simple null hw on the cheap, why not go like radio shack? get prebuilt cheap little plug, use time saved to go surf.
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by:BleedinFingers
ID: 12246631
Excellent.  Thank you very much.
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