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Cheapest solution to batch print PDF files

Posted on 2012-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-09-11
I have a client who prints ledger blue prints.  They spend a fair amount of time doing this, opening several pdfs, printing them, then closing them.  These PDFs are generated out of their architect software, and are being read in Adobe Reader x (foxit works fine too).  In any case, these PDFs number about 100 a day.  Needless to say, it takes them about 45 min- 1 hour to do them all on a almost daily basis.

I see there are some pdf applications that do handle batching, but we just need them to open file and then print, and close, and pdf in a given network folder.
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Question by:tsaico
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Expert Comment

by:SandS_es
ID: 38379074
Dear tsaico,

I guess you are working with Windows. Have you tried selecting the files in the File Explorer, right clicking them and selecting "Print" from the context menu?
Watch out that the printing settings to be used are the default ones, so you should change them in order to comply with the ones needed for the jobs to be printed.

If the files are in different folders, you would probably have to create shortcuts to them in a single folder in order to be able to click "Print" only once.

At last, have to say that if the files are big, the process will take some time to complete as Windows will go "opening Adobe Reader and printing" for each file.

Hope this helps.

Best,
David
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Author Comment

by:tsaico
ID: 38381036
We have tried doing it in this manner, and it seems to take forever, longer than if we opened them individually, tying up the computer in question for 3-4 hours.  I found this, which is a simple application that can run on the server (unfortunately not as a service) http://www.technocomsolutions.com/Batchprinting.htm that will do what we want, which is tye up the computer at a scheduled time and just print whatever is in a given folder.
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Accepted Solution

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SandS_es earned 2000 total points
ID: 38382098
If you are looking for the cheapest option, you could check
http://sourceforge.net/projects/darkstormsbph/

It works good and the source code (.NET) is available so you can even adapt it for your specific needs.
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Author Comment

by:tsaico
ID: 38383343
This looks very promising.  The other application constantly crashed in Win 7 64 bit in our test box.

Do you know if there is any way to schedule the jobs?  The guy who normally handles the day to day printing of these documents is part time, and spends half of it working around other people print jobs to get these out.  If we could schedule these to print in the middle of the night it would be perfect.
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Expert Comment

by:SandS_es
ID: 38383666
I think you have two options now:
First: (A patch :-)) You can crete an AutoHotKey script (you could use it to open and print, to ;-)) combined with Windows Task Scheduler.
Second: One could enhance (modify the source) the BPH letting a user to load the parameters from a file passed using the command line, and then use the Windows Task Scheduler to run the software whenever you want. We could have a look at this...

The best part of using Windows Task Scheduler is that it already runs as a service...
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by:tsaico
ID: 38383923
Personally I like the second option.  It would ease the user interaction with the application, and I am fine with running it through Task scheduler, in fact, probably prefer it, so another service doesn't need to run.  I guess the next question would be any .net developers out there that can help with this or how to find them?
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Author Closing Comment

by:tsaico
ID: 38387275
That is an excellent find.  Thank you so much for it.
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