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save .ps files then send them to physical printer...

Hey Guys,

I'm writing a program in which I'm using PDFCreator to create a multi-page PDF. Part of the requirements for this program is that it also have the ability to print directly to a physical printer without creating a pdf.

Because of the application I'm doing, I'm using the initial run through a set of AutoCAD drawings to print out the .ps files using PDFCreator. I am then going back through and using those .ps files to create the various sets I need for each multi-page pdf without having to back through AutoCAD and print each set again.

My dilemma comes with the physical sets that need printed WITHOUT creating a pdf (so the  print after saving setting from PDFCreator is not applicable).

Ok... so my question:
Does anyone know of a way that I can still use the .ps files that I'm creating and send those to a physical printer??
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LittleOleMeDesigns
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LittleOleMeDesigns
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Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
PostScript is  device dependent format, so it's in general not a good idea to use a file that was created for one purpose and send it to a device that it was not created for.
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LittleOleMeDesignsAuthor Commented:
I'm not sure exactly, but from my understanding, I can change the PDFCreator printer to the desired Print Device and then use it to create the .ps file.  So the file will be created for the device it's intended to go to, but I want to hold that .ps file and give the user the ability to modify the list of what to print before going to the printer.  After the user has modified the list to their desired set of drawings, then I want to send the .ps files to the printer.

I'm hoping to do it this way because of the very tedious process of looping through AutoCAD drawings to read block attribute data to determine what criteria various sheets inside one file fall into.  Field Print, Machine Print, Detail Drawing.. etc.  Currently I have to go through all the drawings once and gather this information, display it to the user, then go through all the drawings again to actually print.  What would be ideal would be to generate the .ps files during the first pass through AutoCAD and then just print from those.
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Karl Heinz KremerCommented:
I am not familiar with PDFCreator, so I can only give you some generic information.

If you change the printer driver when printing to the PDF generating application, you are again creating device dependent PostScript, which will result in PDF that is not truly "portable". There is a reason why the Adobe PDF printer installes a specific PPD that creates a PostScript file that is optimized for creating PDF (but not for printing to a physical printer).

But, you should be able to do what you want to. Again, I'm not familiar with PDFCreator, so my assumption is based on what I know from working with the Adobe solution. Adobe allows you to automate the PDF generation from a PostScript file, so what you need to do is a two step process: In the first step you print to a PostScript file by selecting a PostScript printer driver that allows you to select to print to file. Of course, you would select a driver that would create the best possible PostScript for the task of PDF generation.
Once you have the file, you would move it to an area where you save all the PS files for a given job. You would also run the PS2PDF conversion step to create a PDF file (that is the second step in the process). It depends on how PDFCreator works to determine how that needs to be done.

Does this make any sense?
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LittleOleMeDesignsAuthor Commented:
Thank-you for that information...

With PDFCreator it is designed to be able to generate several formats, .ps, pdf, jpg, tiff, etc... and several other file formats.  It also has the ability to print to a physical printer from the .ps file automatically after saving it into one of the other formats.  So it already has the ability to send a .ps file to a physical printer and there are not adverse affects to the quality or scaling of the print when it does this.  Generating the pdf file from the ps file is not the problem at all... that's easy.  It's the scenario where I do not want a pdf.. I want just physical prints without the pdf file... in this case I need to find a VB.NET method to send .ps files directly to a physical printer.  If I can do it through PDFCreator, that's great.. but not necessary.  

So, PDFCreator aside... with VB.NET... is it possible to send a .ps file directly to a printer?
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LittleOleMeDesignsAuthor Commented:
While this didn't really help me, it did give me a more thorough understanding of how ps files work.  What I ended up doing was setting PDFCreator to print after saving and I'm basically saving the ps file back on top of itself to kick start PDFCreator's print after saving without waiting on a PDF to be generated.
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