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shd and spl analysis

Posted on 2016-11-15
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Last Modified: 2016-11-21
are there any specialist tools to analyse print spool files, i.e. shd and spl.

And does anyone know what kind of information they will contain, i.e. is it purely metadata such as user, print date/time, filename, printer, etc or does it give any clues on content of the print job?
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Question by:pma111
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by:McKnife
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It's the print job itself in a form the print server understands. Having these files means having the data you print out - making it readable will not be a big problem, I guess.
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My understanding is that:

.shd files are 'shadow' files, used to hold job-level meta-data.
.spl files are 'spool' files, used to hold data related to what is actually going to be printed; it may be raw data, or it may be in the form of a (proprietary) EMF (Enhanced Meta File) format.

The format of raw data will depend on the Page Description Language generated by the printer driver (and which the target printer hopefully understands!).

Common PDLs are PCL5, PCL XL, PostScript, PCL3GUI, PCLm/PCLmS, Esc/P, etc.
So you'd need parsers able to understand all of the potential PDLs in use in your system.

To analyse the content of .spl files which contain PCL5 or PCL XL print data, use the PRN File Analyse tool in the PCL Paraphernalia application, available via http://www.pclparaphernalia.eu
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by:McKnife
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I guess you'll agree that if someone gets hold of the .spl files, he can replay the print job, so those are as good as the data itself.
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