Custom Virtual Printer – Questions and Answers


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  1. What types of EMF files are generated?
  2. Can the driver handle portrait and landscape in the same document?
  3. Does generated EMF image file contain printed graphics objects?
  4. What programming tools are needed to build drivers from a source code?
  5. What programming tools are needed to build your own MSI-package?
  6. Does EMF driver support different color modes?
  7. Can the printer be used to print from the Terminal Services session or Remote Desktop connection?
  8. I found an error in the generated PDF document. What should I do?
  9. Do we need Adobe Acrobat or 3rd party software for creating a PDF with an EMF virtual printer?
  10. How can we integrate an EMF virtual printer with our client application? Do you have samples?
  11. How to share a virtual printer?
  12. How can I install a virtual printer silently?
  13. How can I specify installation directory for msi-package?
  14. How can I change temporary folder for a virtual printer?
  15. How can I uninstall a virtual printer?
  16. Can I install two or more virtual printers on a single server?
  17. How to test your software? Where can I download it?
  18. What are the limitations of the demo version?
  19. We need the ability to open our software when printing to the virtual printer and thus displaying the printed document in our program.
  20. How to turn off spool file pooling?
  21. Have you ever ventured into Bluetooth Printing Profiles that iPad/Android tablet POS systems use to print receipts?
  22. Would you be interested in working on an iOS/Android based driver that would stream receipt printing data to other devices?
  23. How many print jobs can manage the Virtual Printer Driver?
  24. How do I check the watermark display?
  25. When using ESC/POS printing, the following message is displayed in the document: “Incorrect command set or text encoding”.
  26. How do I increase the font of the ESC/POS receipt?
  27. Can ESC/POS receipt parser output a Chinese character, for example: 冰 ?
  28. Is it possible to set for the Virtual Printer an icon that will be displayed in the Windows system menu?
  29. How to print a spool file with SPL extension to the Virtual Printer?
  30. How to check which paper sizes are set to be used by the Virtual Printer Driver?

 

  1. What types of EMF files are generated?

    Generated EMF is operating system specific: EMF 1.0 in Win9x, NT EMF 1.003 in NT4, NT EMF 1.008 in Win2k/XP. Generated EMF files are intended for local converting/viewing only, not for using on another computers because they contain environment-specific fonts and graphics. To preserve fonts and graphics, you can use PDF format as your output file format. PDF is supported by our virtual printer technology as well.
     

  2. Can the driver handle portrait and landscape in the same document?

    Yes. Client application can get information about document orientation, resolution and title from the virtual driver.
     

  3. Does generated EMF image file contain printed graphics objects?

    Yes. Such objects are embedded in EMF in the device-independent format with color information provided by the source application.
     

  4. What programming tools are needed to build drivers from a source code?

    Software requirements:

    • MSVS 2013, 2015
    • WDK 7600
    • WiX Toolset
    • NSIS
    • InnoSetup
  5. What programming tools are needed to build your own MSI-package?

    WiX toolset http://wixtoolset.org
     

  6. Does EMF driver support different color modes?

    EMF is independent from display color modes. All embedded graphics are stored in the device-independent format. All necessary color transformations must be performed by the client application.
     

  7. Can the printer be used for printing from the Terminal Services session or Remote Desktop connection?

    The virtual printer is compatible with Terminal Services and Remote Desktop Connection.
     

  8. I found an error in the generated PDF document. What should I do?

    Please send us the generated PDF file, its source EMF file and the original document (if possible). We will fix the bug as soon as possible.
     

  9. Do we need Adobe Acrobat or 3rd party software for creating a PDF with an EMF virtual printer?

    No, you don’t. We use our own library, PDF Creator Pilot, for creating PDF files.
     

  10. How can we integrate an EMF virtual printer with our client application? Do you have samples?

    Integration of your application with a virtual printer is an easy process. We have several samples. The full package, which you will receive after buying the printer, includes the samples as well.
     

  11. How to share a virtual printer?

    When you share the printer on Windows Vista and later you need to uncheck “Render print jobs on client computers” at the ‘Sharing’ tab of printer properties dialog.

    When you share the printer on XP, use the following procedure to enable the “Always render print jobs on the server group policy on each client machine”:

    1. From the Start menu, select Run (on Windows Vista Run can be found in the Accessories menu) and type gpedit.msc;

    2. In the group policy object editor, open Computer Configuration, then Administrative Templates, and then Printers;

    3. Select Always render print jobs on the server and click Enabled;

    4. Make print spooler service restart.

    See more details on how to share virtual printer…
     

  12. How can I install a virtual printer silently?

    You can install MSI-package with using “msiexec” tool with “/quiet” key “msiexec /i product.msi /quiet”. Also you should have an administrator privilege rights.
     

  13. How can I specify installation directory for msi-package?

    You can set an “INSTALLFOLDER” property for “msiexec” tool “msiexec /i product.msi INSTALLFOLDER=path_to_install”.
     

  14. How can I change temporary folder for a virtual printer?

    By default the virtual printer uses User temporary directory from “TEMP” or “TMP” environment variables for temporary files. You can change this behaviour by setting “VPD_TEMP” environment variable to a required temporary directory.
     

  15. How can I uninstall a virtual printer?

    You can uninstall the virtual printer via “Start” or “Programs and Features” menu. If you have an error during the uninstallation process you can try to uninstall it with using “Fixit” tool from Microsoft http://support.microsoft.com/mats/Program_Install_and_Uninstall.
     

  16. Can I install two or more virtual printers on a single server?

    Yes, you can if they have a different names.
     

  17. How to test your software? Where can I download it?

    You can download demo builds from our web-site.
     

  18. What are the limitations of the demo version?

    The demo version places notification messages inside the generated documents.
     

  19. We need the ability to open our software when printing to the virtual printer and thus displaying the printed document in our program. Does the EMF virtual printer have any feature that makes it possible to launch an .exe following the virtual printer receiving a print job?

    Yes, you should specify your application in printer properties tool (“Application” tab) or setup it via registry settings directly “{HKLM, HKCU}\Software\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Application\Postconverter”. For more information please check here.
     

  20. How to turn off spool file pooling?

    On Windows NT/2000, find the files by name xxxxx.spl where xxxxx was the JobID returned by the EnumJobs API.

    However, XP and 2003 create spool files named FPnnnnn.spl where nnnnn is no longer the JobID.

    This is the side effect of file pooling. You can “turn off” Spool File Pooling by keeping printed jobs or specify a different spool directory. The workaround to this is as below:

    To Turn Off Spool File Pooling on a Per Printer Queue-basis:

    1. Click “Start”, click “Run”, type “regedit” in the “Open” box, and then click “OK”.
    2. Locate the following registry subkey, where <printername> is the name of your printer:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Printers\<printername>
    3. In the right pane, right-click “SpoolDirectory”, and then click “Modify”.
    4. In the “Value data” box, type the location where you want the spool files to be stored. For example, type c:\windows\system32\spool\printers as the default location.
    5. Quit Registry Editor.
    6. Restart the “Print Spooler” service.

    All new jobs will be of the form XXXXX.SPL and XXXXX.SHD and will be numbered consistently with their JobIDs.

    To Turn Off Spool File Pooling for All Printers:

    (Note: This method only works on Windows 2003 Server. This method does not work for Windows XP.)
    1. Click “Start”, click “Run”, type “regedit” in the “Open box”, and then click “OK”.
    2. Locate the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
    3. On the “Edit” menu, point to “New”, and then click “DWORD Value”.
    4. In the “New Value #1” box, type “DisableServerFilePooling”, and then press “ENTER”.
    5. Right-click “DisableServerFilePooling”, and then click “Modify”.
    6. In the Value data box, type 1 to turn off spool file pooling, and then click “OK”.
    7. Quit Registry Editor.
    8. Restart the “Print Spooler” service.

    All new jobs will be of the form XXXXX.SPL and XXXXX.SHD and will be numbered consistently with their JobIDs.
     

  21. Have you ever ventured into Bluetooth Printing Profiles that iPad/Android tablet POS systems use to print receipts?

    We have not yet tested the operation of a virtual printer with Bluetooth, POS systems for iPad/Android tablets.
     

  22. Would you be interested in working on an iOS/Android based driver that would stream receipt printing data to other devices?

    The solution of such tasks is not planned yet.
     

  23. How many print jobs can manage the Virtual Printer Driver?

    We have tested the operation on 200 print jobs. However, a large number of print jobs requires the operating system to allocate a large amount of space. A lack of memory can cause slowdowns and program crashes. Therefore, when performing such tasks, it is desirable that a sufficient amount of RAM is installed.
     

  24. How do I check the watermark display?

    To enable watermark display, set:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\Watermarks\Enabled = 1

    Using registry settings, you can add several different watermarks. For each watermark, a subkey is added to the registry. For example, installing Two Pilots Demo Printer adds two keys to the registry, one for demonstrating the creation of a Wt text watermark, and one for a WI picture watermark. These parameters are recorded in the registry Watermarks\WI and Watermarks\Wt accordingly.

    To display an image, specify the full path to it in the registry parameter: Watermarks\WI\Image path.
     

  25. When using ESC/POS printing, the following message is displayed in the document: “Incorrect command set or text encoding”. How to fix it?

    This message is displayed if an incorrect character encoding is set. Most often POS printers use ASCII encoding, so it is specified by default.

    This value is written in the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\POS\Encoding = ASCII

    This encoding cannot display all the variety of Chinese characters. Therefore, you should find out in what encoding your application generates a print job. Set the desired value of the Encoding parameter in the registry.

    Suppose your text is written in UFT-8 encoding. The following value must be entered in the registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\POS\Encoding = UTF-8
     

  26. How do I increase the font of the ESC/POS receipt?

    The ESC/POS receipt parser parameters are set using the registry. To increase the font, you can use the following values:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\POS\FontA Size = 8

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\POS\FontB Size = 10

    Read more about the POS parameters in the Manual.
     

  27. Can ESC/POS receipt parser output a Chinese character, for example: 冰 ?

    Yes, it is possible to output the character 冰. The fact is that this character is not present in all fonts. After I specified the “MS Gothic” font, this character began to display correctly.

    For the correct printing of this character, the code was set: e5 86 b0 in UTF-8 encoding, and the following registry settings were called:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\POS\Encoding = UTF-8

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\POS\FontA = MS Gothic

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Two Pilots Demo Printer\Converter\POS\FontB = MS Gothic
     

  28. Is it possible to set for the Virtual Printer an icon that will be displayed in the Windows system menu?

    In the current version of Virtual Printer Driver, it is not possible to set the printer icon for the Windows system menu. This feature is included in the development plan.
     

  29. How to print a spool file with SPL extension to the Virtual Printer?

    First of all, you need to assign a shared resource name to the printer. To do this, you need to open the printer properties. On the Sharing tab, assign a Share name.

    Below is a screenshot for an example of Two Pilots Demo Printer:

    Sharing tab - Two Pilots Demo Printer

    After that, you will be able to send SPL files to print using the command:

    copy 00019.SPL \\NamePC\DemoVPD

    Where:
    00019.SPL – the file name;
    NamePC – the name of your computer on the network;
    DemoVPD – share name of the printer.
     

  30. How to check which paper sizes are set to be used by the Virtual Printer Driver?

    Paper formats can be viewed using the utility:

    C:\Windows\System32\printmanagement.msc
     

 


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