Solved

Automating the Generic / Text Only Printer Driver

Posted on 2006-10-28
16
873 Views
Last Modified: 2007-12-19
I need to print to a text file in WinXP.  The Generic Text Only printer driver works great, but it always asks for a file name.  I'd like it to either create some new file with an automatically generated name or append to a single file.  

Or maybe there is other software out there?  I tried miraplacid, but just couldn't get it to work.

I also saw this solution, but I don't have the time to program steps 2 or 3
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Programming_Languages/Visual_Basic/VB_Controls/Q_21142139.html?query=printer+%22generic%2Ftext+only%22+prompt&clearTAFilter=true
0
Comment
Question by:spathiphylum
  • 7
  • 6
  • 2
16 Comments
 
LVL 38

Assisted Solution

by:Herman D'Hondt
Herman D'Hondt earned 150 total points
Comment Utility
It's easy to have it automatically print to a preset file name. Under the Ports tab in printer Porperties, click on Add Port. Select a Local Port as the type, and click on New Port. For the Port name, enter a fully qualified file name, e.g. c:\temp\test.txt

Unfortunately, if you want a different file name each time, or want to append to the same file, this will not help you. I don't know of a simple way to do this. Of course, a It's easy to have it automaticaally print to a preset file name. Under the Ports tab in printer Porperties, click on New Port. Selct a Local Port as the type, and click on Add Port. For the Port name, enter a fully qualified file name, e.g. c:\temp\test.txt

Unfortunately, if you want a different file name each time, or want to append to the same file, this will not help you. Of course, a VB script could be written...
0
 

Author Comment

by:spathiphylum
Comment Utility
ok.  how would i do the VB script?
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
Comment Utility
You've got me there - that's way outside my expertise. You could ask the experts in the Programming TA.

Ask a moderator to move your question. If you do need automatic file name creation, or appending, then my answer is not what you want, but it may point a programmer in the right direction.
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
Comment Utility
Or you can create a 20 point "pointer" question in the Programming TA, pointing to the url of this one ( http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Printers/Q_22041005.html ).
0
 
LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
thoffman earned 350 total points
Comment Utility
You can use hdhondt's suggestion, then use a utility that monitors your folder for new files and renames/copies them as they appear. There are plenty of shareware and freeware apps that will do this. This Google might get you started.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=folder+monitor
0
 

Author Comment

by:spathiphylum
Comment Utility
oh that sounds like a good idea.  i will try that next week
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
Comment Utility
You're right, thoffman, that could do the trick without any fancy programming.
0
How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

 

Author Comment

by:spathiphylum
Comment Utility
well actually i couldn't get that to work -- i used foldmonkey but it doesn't grab/rename the file quick enough before the second one gets printed on multi-page documents, they always get overwritten by the last page
0
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:thoffman
Comment Utility
What application are you using? A multi-page document should show up as a single job, not multiple jobs.
0
 

Author Comment

by:spathiphylum
Comment Utility
yeah, you would think, but this application prints out each page individually
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
Comment Utility
That does not sound like a Windows application. Is this an in-house app? In that case you may be able to change it so it a creates a different file each time.
0
 

Author Comment

by:spathiphylum
Comment Utility
it's a weird third-party application.  we don't have any control over the source code
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
Comment Utility
You can try this application:

http://www.printdistributor.com/

It lets you print to file with file names set by some simple rules, which can include username, date, etc. Even a unique serial number can be added, so it should have no problems with pages generated one after the other. It's available for 30 day trial, and the price seems reasonable: $149

Note that I have not tried this...
0
 
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Herman D'Hondt
Comment Utility
Hi spathiphylum

Any luck with Print Distributor?
0
 

Author Comment

by:spathiphylum
Comment Utility
No.  Those programs handle the rules fine, but don't duplicate the Generic / Text Only Printer functionality.  They have a "Print to File" option, but this just puts out a bunch of binary junk.

Here's what I ended up doing:

1.  Setting up FoldMonkey to move the files automatically to a different directory
2.  Print to the Generic / Text Only printer driver, and when prompted for a file name, just type "1", "2" for the next page, and so on

It's not so bad because usually by the time it's ready to print the second page, the first one has already been moved / renamed by FoldMonkey so I keep my fingers on the 1 and 2 keys.  Still ugly, but I guess there's not really a good solution
0

Featured Post

Why You Should Analyze Threat Actor TTPs

After years of analyzing threat actor behavior, it’s become clear that at any given time there are specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that are particularly prevalent. By analyzing and understanding these TTPs, you can dramatically enhance your security program.

Join & Write a Comment

This seems to be a very common error related to the Samsung printer driver. First, this is the error we're talking about: Log: System Type: Error Event: 7000 Agent Time: 3:37:24 am 22-Apr-09 Event Time: 6:07:24 pm 21-Apr-09 UTC Source: Se…
Printers have changed substantially in the last 30 or so years, not just in technical capabilities but in cost and usage as well.  Printers were originally used for interfacing with the operator, not necessarily for printing copy or pictures. In …
It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
Polish reports in Access so they look terrific. Take yourself to another level. Equations, Back Color, Alternate Back Color. Write easy VBA Code. Tighten space to use less pages. Launch report from a menu, considering criteria only when it is filled…

772 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

10 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now