Printing a Cover Sheet with Every Print Job

Posted on 2007-10-09
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I used to work at Microsoft, and every time I printed something the first page was a cover sheet that included my name and date & time of print.  I am working on a information protection project here at my new company, and I mentioned the cover sheet to the team, and they asked me to do some research on it.  So my questions are:
1) What specifically is this feature called, so I can do some research on it?
2) How easy is it to implement?
3) Besides paper costs, is it free; i.e. is it something that can be setup in Windows domain policies or something like that?

As you can tell, I will not be the person setting this up, I only need to bring them some information on the topic, so they can make an educated decision to have the IT department implement it.  Thanks in advance for your help, Jon
Question by:JBredensteiner
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    What you are refering to are called Separator Pages, they are accessed from the actual printer properties on each machine.  Go to Control Panel -- Printers(right click properties) -- Advanced(maybe different) -- Seperator Pages and my printer asks me to find the seperator page.  Here you have three options

    1.  pcl.sep  -- this is supported for PCL printers, it prints separator page before the document
    2.  pscript.sep -- This is for postscript printers, but does not put a separator page in.
    3.  sysprint.sep -- This is also for postscript printers but this actually does print the separator page.

    All these files are found under your system32 directory.

    if you want to get creative you can actually go in and make the separator print specific things using the following method.

    1.  Enter the escape codes for the functions you want, and then save the file with an .sep extension in the Windows SYSTEM32 subfolder.
    2.  In Print Manager, select the printer that you want to use the separator page file with, and then click Choose Properties on the Printer menu.
    3.  Click Details, specify the name of the desired separator page file in the Separator File box, and then click OK.
    The following list describes the escape codes that can be used in a separator page file and their functions:
    "@N: Prints the user name of the person that submitted the job.
    "@I: Prints the job number.
    "@D: Prints the date the job was printed. The representation of the date is the same as the Date Format in the International section in Control Panel.
    "@T: Prints the time the job was printed. The representation of the time is the same as the Time Format in the International section in Control Panel.
    "@Lxxxx: Prints all the characters (xxxx) following it until another escape code is encountered.
    "@Fpathname: Prints the contents of the file specified by path, starting on an empty line. The contents of this file are copied directly to the printer without any processing.
    "@Hnn: Sets a printer-specific control sequence, where nn is a hexadecimal ASCII code sent directly to the printer. To determine the specific numbers, see your printer manual.
    "@Wnn: Sets the width of the separator page. The default width is 80; the maximum width is 256. Any printable characters beyond this width are truncated.
    "@U: Turns off block character printing.
    "@B@S: Prints text in single-width block characters until @U is encountered.
    "@E: Ejects a page from the printer. Use this code to start a new separator page or to end the separator page file. If you get an extra blank separator page when you print, remove this code from your separator page file.
    "@n: Skips n number of lines (from 0 through 9). Skipping 0 lines moves printing to the next line.
    "@B@M: Prints text in double-width block characters until @U is encountered.

    you can do a quick search for MS Separator pages online and get a lot of this same info.  Best of luck with your research.  
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I went and tried the 3 different version of Separator pages, I found that all of them work but it is based off your printer I assume because using the sysprint with my HP C3180 gave me two pages of code, that could easily be edited with the above stuff.  But the pcl and the pscript actually did the same thing.  So again best of luck

    Author Comment

    Wow, I wasn't expecting that much help, so I raised the points :)

    When I open the printers folder and follow your above directions I do not find anything about Separator Pages in the Properties page; however, I am running Windows Vista, but the rest of the company is running Windows XP.  It would be nice for me to be able to do the above, but I am really looking for a way to set the group policies (or whatever the correct terminology is) so that all employees have the same settings; i.e. every print job in the company will have a separator page printed before the actual print job.

    Any suggestions?  Thanks again, Jon

    Author Comment

    Were you saying to right click in the Printer folder's blank space and select Properties, or were you saying to open the properties of a printer?  I actually performed the first one, as I want a general solution to include all printers (if possible).  Thanks, Jon

    Author Comment

    I was able to find the four print separator files in the System32 folder.  Also, after reading a couple of other forums I was able to find out that the registry key that controls it is:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Print\Printers \<printername>\Separator File

    However, this is a by printer setting, and I would like to use a group policy to set all of the users' network printers to print a separator page.  Is this possible, or is it more likely that Microsoft had their network printers setup to print a separator page instead of using a group policy?

    I'm going to raise the points again, because I am raising the dificulty level.  If you would rather I create a new question, and give you points now for answering the original question I can do that too.  Thanks, Jon
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I guess that it may be printer specific but under properties on different printers there is an advanced tab and somewhere in that tab is separator pages I maybe wrong, this is just what Im seeing on a few different printers.  (Mine is easy to get to....Start --> Control Panel -->  Printers and faxes --> right click on printer --> Properties --> Advanced Tab --> Button on bottom saying separator pages

    Ok back to your network question.  I personally have never done this across a domain, just simply with one printer, BUT with a little research on Microsoft it looks to me that by setting the properties of this printer it makes it so everyone prints separator pages.  This is done via domain controller so I assume that what it is saying is everyone should have this privledge if it is set at the top level.  Once they have the printer installed on their machine.  

    Im doing some testing to see if it works using my virtual windows on my mac.  I will let you know but the above is actually writen on the micorsoft websites about the Separator Pages

    Author Comment

    Thank you again for your help, Jon

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