Posted on 2007-08-02
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Does anyone know if it is possible and how to setup multiple printers so that each one prints from different software every time? Default printer for diferent software.
Any software or hardware available to do that?
Question by:npasic
    LVL 37

    Assisted Solution

    I think that is application dependent. Some packages remember the last printer used, or let you select a printer, while others start up with the system default printer.

    As far as I know there is nothing in Windows' printer setup that lets you do that, and I can't think of any hardware to do it either.

    For those applications that default to the system default printer, you could use a VB script: first set the required printer as the default, and then start the application. Even that could cause problems, as some apps go to the default printer each time you print, others keep the printer that was the default when it started. Hence, if you change the default printer after starting the app, the result may be unpredictable. That still won't work with those apps that keep their own default printer though. Using a script to select in the application is problematic as well, as you then need to consider how each application handles printing. That should work though, if you only have one app that requires a specific printer.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Hardware wouldn't be able to do this, as it cannot determine the currently running job (app). However, software might.
    But as hdhondt suggests, some programs DONT print to the default printer, so a simple script isn't enough. You need to capture the print, and process it according to some rules that you predefine (program x prints on printer y).
    A good print/output management software can do this. But which one to choose depends on the size of your wallet. I dont know of any free ones, but you could ofcouse check and see if you might not be able to find one that suits your needs, and/or has a demo version that is sufficient to do what you want.

    Author Comment

    can you please suggest and/or give names of such print/output management softwares curently available on the market regardless of their price?
    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    Well, AFAIK, streamserve is the "market leader". At least they used to be. This is the only "toy" I've worked with among these. It's quite good, and also has the ability to convert output to eg. include logos if it sees that it's a letter you're typing, and add the watermark "confidential" if it sees the adress as being your lawyers office, or similar stuff. It's also event driven, så you can actually make it start the coffeemaker by sending it an email (well, THAT requires extra hardware.. including a coffeemaker.. but you get my point). It's also very highly configurable.

    HP has something called "HP output management solution"

    Then there's "Optio", also a VERY large player in the market. They integrate into various popular business apps directly, no need for configuration.

    These are hust the high end ones, there are also other players in the market (IBM, CA, Barr systems, BTA etc.) , but I dont have a handle on all of them. As for the small programs, shareware, freeware and such... Well, I haven't tried any... So I wouldn't know which ones exist... But I'm sure there's at least one or two that'll be happy to replace your windows print manager. A quick search yileded a few results: I'd wager or has something that's shareware, or try-before-you-buy. How well it works, or even if it suits your needs.. I dont know.

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