Chapter 3 - Printfil configuration

Printfil configuration is stored in the PRINTFIL.INI file.
It is usually managed by the Printfil configuration dialog (right clicking the trayed icon), but, if you want, you can also edit it with a simple text editor. Please note that in the second case Printfil has to be restarted to activate the changes.

At Printfil startup, the PRINTFIL.INI file will be searched in the current path. If not found, it will be searched in the Windows standard directory, which normally is C:\Windows or C:\WinNT in client systems (Windows 9x, ME, NT, 2000, XP), C:\Users\Your_UserName\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Windows in Windows Vista / Seven / Eight / Ten, and %HOMEPATH%\Windows in Terminal Server environments (Windows 2000, 2003, 2008 Server, 2012 RC2).

The configuration can even be Exported (for backup purposes) and Imported (for example to easily move Printfil between 2 machines) by the Printfil's menu items that appear by right clicking the trayed icon.

Optionally, a second ASCII file (FILENAME.CFG) can be created to store specific information, which can differ from print job to print job.
This file is optional, but it's very useful to have a deeper control over certain jobs. For example, you can use it to send a job to a specific printer instead of sending it to the default selected one, or you can set specific margins for a particular print job. If you want to use it, it has to be created manually (usually by the same application that creates the file to print).

PRINTFIL.INI

All the configuration setting are included in the [Config] section. For example:

C:\WINDOWS\PRINTFIL.INI

[Config]
FileName=F:\Spool\FileName.txt
Font=Courier New

Here is the meaning of its entries:

FileName

This is the name of the ASCII file(s) to print. That file can be created directly by the source program or by Printfil itself, when capturing a LPT port or COM port, as described on Chapter 7 of this manual.

This field can contain wildcards (? , *) to check for multiple files simultaneously, and an optional path (i.e. F:\SPOOL\FILE*.TXT).

It can contain environment variables also, to check for multiple files and/or directories simultaneously. (for example, [e:HOMEPATH]\filename.txt , which is the default value when Printfil in installed on NT-based systems (Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 2012, Windows 10), makes Printfil checking, for example, c:\document and settings\Administrator\filename.txt or c:\document and settings\user\filename.txt, depending by which user is currently running Printfil)
Environment variables must be included in brackets and start with e:. For example: c:\dir\[e:ENV_VAR]\file.ext

Filename cannot have the extension .CFG .
Therefore, if you want to use the optional cfg file (please see below in this chapter), wildcard "*" cannot be used in the file extension (file*.txt is acceptable, but file.* is not because in the second case Printfil would try to print the optional file.cfg also, while it's used for the configuration)

Capture ( LPT1: ... LPT9: , COM1 ... COM9: )

If you want to automatically capture the output sent to a parallel port or serial port, you can insert the port name here.
On Windows 9x/ME systems you cannot capture COM ports, and to capture LPT ports you also have to create the "Printfil" virtual printer into the Windows Control Panel, as described on Chapter 7: "Capturing the parallel port's output and serial port's output"

CapMode ( 0 , 1 , 2 , 3 )

If Printfil is running on a NT-based system (Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 2012, Windows 10), you can capture the output sent to a parallel port in 4 different modes. For more information please see chapter 7: "Capturing the parallel port's output and serial port's output"

On Windows 9x/ME only the 1 value is allowed.

Printer

This is the name (not the port) of the Windows printer to use without user intervention if Choose=.F. (see below)

You can select one of the printers installed in the Windows Control Panel and available for the current Windows user or a special (virtual) printer named FILE: that doesn't produce any print job at all, but exports the captured data into a TXT file.
The user normally is asked for the name of this TXT file as soon as Printfil has captured a source job, unless you've enabled the "Archiving print jobs" option that makes Printfil keeping a copy of each captured job without user intervention. In this case, after FILE: in the GUI configuration dialog is shown even the archiving path.

Choose ( .T. = true , .F. = false )

If set to true, when PRINTFIL detects a file to print, it ask the user for the desired printer.
The user can also modify the standard printer properties (copies, form size etc.).

WTSnoSes ( .T. = true , .F. = false )

If set to true, on Windows Terminal Servers, the session no. after the printer name is ignored (for example: HP LaserJet (from REMOTE-PC) in session 1" becomes just "HP LaserJet (from REMOTE-PC). This is an alternative to the "Choose" option above to make the printer name consistent between different RDP sessions. Please find out more in the article: How to capture DOS print jobs on Windows Terminal Servers

RAW ( .T. = true , .F. = false = GDI)

This option enables RAW printing vs. GDI mode.

When printing in RAW mode, the source print job will be sent to the choosen printer AS IS, without going through the Windows printer driver and without making any change to the embedded escape sequences. This allow very fast printing to dot-matrix printers (like in the DOS days, even if the printer is USB), printing jobs containing graphical printer commands (graphs, drawings etc.) and sending particular escape sequences to special printers (cut labels, open cash drawers etc.)

In RAW mode, the job must be already formatted with the right control codes for the destination printer. All printers can be used, including USB ones, but GDI printers (printers that do not accept an input RAW file) and virtual printers like FaxModems (WinFax etc.) and PDF writers (Acrobat Distiller etc.)

If set to .T. all the next settings in this chapter will be disabled, but Timer.

Preview ( .T. = true , .F. = false )

If set to true, the preview window will be shown before printing the file.

PrevZoom ( .T. = true , .F. = false )

If set to true, when opening the preview window the page will be shown already zoomed. If it's = .F. print preview will show the entire page on screen.

Font

This is the name of a font installed on your Windows system.

There is no need to set the size of the font because it is automatically resized to fit the entire page (see below).

NOTE: Theoretically you can use any font on your PC, but if your report was designed to run on a dot-matrix printer, you should use a fixed-width font (like Courier New or Lucida Console), or your columns will not align properly.

Color

This is the RGB decimal number of the text color. By default Black (RGB 0,0,0 = decimal 0) will be set.
To calculate the RGB decimal number you can use the following formula:

RED x 256 ^ 0 + GREEN x 256 ^ 1 + BLUE x 256 ^ 2

For example:
BLACK
=RGB 0,0,0 = 0 x 256^0 + 0 x 256^1 + 0 x 256^2 = 0
RED
=RGB 255,0,0 = 255 x 256^0 + 0 x 256^1 + 0 x 256^2 = 255
GREEN
=RGB 0,255,0 = 0 x 256^0 + 255 x 256^1 + 0 x 256^2 = 65280
WHITE
=RGB 255,255,255 = 255 x 256^0 + 255 x 256^1 + 255 x 256^2 = 16777215

AnsiConv ( .T. = true = Ansi , .F. = false = OEM )

This setting tells PRINTFIL if it has to do OEM or ANSI conversion to the font Character Map. OEM conversion is particularly useful if you want to print boxes or other special characters using a PC8 font like the aSwIt Mono 437

Timer

This number is used to set the number of seconds PRINTFIL must wait to check if a file to print is present. It's not good to set too small a value because PRINTFIL could start printing a file that your application hasn't finished generating. Usually 2 seconds is a sufficient time to reach the end of the file without annoying the user. Note that if your software performs long actions during the generation of the file (for instance, long select times over a very large database), your print file could pause for more than 2 seconds and PRINTFIL could start printing too soon. In this case you could even print to a temporary file, then, when the job if finished, you could copy the temporary file on the final one.

This timer does not have to be set as long as the print job creation, but as long as the longest pause during the source printing process.

UM

Unit of Measure - Centimeters or Inches - CM or IN

Top , Left , Right , Bottom

These are the margin settings (in the chosen U.M.)

Please note that is not a good idea to set some margins to zero, because normally all the printers need a minimum margin on each sheet's side to take it (hardware).

Rows

Number of rows per page. A page will be break at the specified amount of rows or whenever a Form Feed character is encountered inside the print job (see Chapter 5: Control Codes).

The font will be autofitted to the page. The height of the selected font will be set according to the height of the paper, as set in the printer properties.

CutRows

This parameter tells Printfil how many rows it has to "cut" after each page. It could be useful if your original application was printing an additional band after each page, but you want only the main page to be interpreted by Printfil.

For example, if your source app. is printing to 16" sheets (96 lines), where the first 12" (72 lines) are containing an Invoice and the remaining 4" (24 lines) are used for a separate band, you can set this Rows=72 and CutRows=24 to obtain only the Invoices printed on A4 sheets, without having to modify the source application.

A "Form Feed" control code into the ascii file will cause to stop the line-counting for this section and to start a new section/page.
For more information see Chapter 5: "Control Codes"

Columns

This is the maximum number of columns in the print job (i.e. the length of the longest line in the file). PRINTFIL will autofit the font changing its width according to the width of the paper indicated in the printer properties.

If there are more characters in a row than the given value, the exceeding characters will be ignored.

If you set this parameter to 0 (zero), PRINTFIL will use the maximum value found in the first page to print.

AutoLand

In this field you can set the number of characters per row that PRINTFIL will use to automatically set the page orientation to Landscape.

For instance, if it is set to 100, an 80-column file will be printed in Portrait, while a 132 column file (the typical compressed A4 in DOS, or the normal A3), will be printed in Landscape.

If it is set to 0 (zero), PRINTFIL will not do the auto-orientation. However the user can set the preferred orientation using the Windows printer dialog box (if Choose=.T.).

 

FILENAME.CFG

This file is optional. It's usually created by your application with the file to print, but you can also create it with NotePad. This is a simple ascii file, without .ini format

Without this file, or some rows in it, PRINTFIL will use default values.

The FILENAME is the same as the file which Printfil is currently printing, including path. The extension must be .CFG.
For example, if in PRINTFIL.INI FileName=C:\Spool\file*.txt, and Printfil is currently printing file0001.txt, then this file must be named C:\Spool\file0001.cfg

It can have 14 rows:

1) PRINT NAME

This is a description that will be displayed on the title of the preview window (if it exists) and in the list of pending spooler processes.

The default value is "Preview" (in your local language)

2) NUMBER OF ROWS | CUTROWS

If present, this setting overrides the Rows setting in the Printfil.ini file.

Optionally you can set a second parameter, separated by a "pipe" ("|" , ascii 124) to override also the CutRows setting in the Printfil.ini file

For example, if your source app. is printing to 16" sheets (96 lines), where the first 12" (72 lines) are containing an Invoice and the remaining 4" (24 lines) are used for a separate band, you can set this row in the CFG file as:

72 | 24

to obtain only the Invoices printed on A4 sheets, without having to modify the source application.

3) NUMBER OF COLUMNS

If present, this setting overrides the Columns setting in the Printfil.ini file.

If you insert 0 (zero) in this row, PRINTFIL will use the maximum value found in the first page to print, independently by the value stored in the Printfil.ini file

4) BACKGROUND FILE

In this row you can specify the name(s) of the graphics background file(s) to be eventually included in the page(s) of the print job.

If the file is .BMP, .JPG, .GIF, .PNG or .PDF, you can also add some parameters to control its dimensions and position on the pages. See Chapter 6.

5) NUMBER OF COPIES

This is the number of copies of the document PRINTFIL will print.

If it’s not specified, the default value is 1.

If the Choose=.T. in PRINTFIL.INI (or in the 8th row in this file, see below), the number of copies PRINTFIL will print is the number specified in the printer setup dialog.

6) PAGE MARGINS

This row can contains the margin settings and the U.M. used (Unit of Measure - Centimeters or Inches), separated by commas, as follows:

U.M., Top, Left, Bottom, Right

If the row is present this margins will be applyed to the current print-job only.

If the entire row is not present, PRINTFIL will use the default margins (set on PRINTFIL.INI)

If only some values are not specified, PRINTFIL assume them to be 0 (zero). For example: CM,1,0,2,0 and CM,1,,2 are equals.

Please note that is not a good idea to set some margins to zero, because normally all the printers need a minimum margin on each sheet's side to take it (hardware).

7) PRINTER

This is the name of the Windows printer to use to send this print-job only.

This works only if Printfil is configured to not ask the user for the desired printer ( Choose=.F. - in PRINTFIL.INI or 8th line in this file )

If the row is not present, or it contains an invalid name, PRINTFIL will use the default printer set on PRINTFIL.INI

8) CHOOSE PRINTER

If present, this setting overrides the Choose setting in the Printfil.ini file. See above.

9) PREVIEW

If present, this setting overrides the Preview setting in the Printfil.ini file. See above.

10) NUMBER OF CHARS TO AUTOMATICALLY SET THE ORIENTATION IN LANDSCAPE

If present, this setting overrides the AutoLand setting in the Printfil.ini file. See above.

If you want a single print job to be surely Portrait you can set this value to 9999. If you want it surely Landscape you can set this row to 1. Setting it to 150 means that if the job is 150 columns wide, it will be Portrait, while if it's wider, it will be automatically Landscape oriented.

11) RAW

If present, this setting overrides the RAW setting in the Printfil.ini file. See above.

It's usually used in combination with the row 7 to send complex jobs to dedicated printers or to print very fast to dot-matrix printers.

12) E-MAIL

If present, this row is used to send the print job via e-mail in PDF format. Please see Chapter 10.

It can contains 5 values, separated by "pipes" ("|" , ascii 124)

Show | e-mail | Subject | Body | Attachment

Show = .T. (true) or .F. (false) - Whether to show the e-mail message to the user before being sent. If it's .T. and the user don't click the Send button, the message will be closed without being sent.

e-mail = Destination address(es). If not provided, Show is always assumed as .T. , so that the end user can insert it before sending the e-mail.
You can specify multiple recipients separating them by ";". Each single address can be specified either as user@domain.com or as Name <user@domain.com>
If Printfil is configured to send out mail via smtp (please see EMailClient on Chapter 4) you can specify e-mail addresses even in Cc (Carbon Copy) and Bcc (Blind Carbon Copy), such as cc:user@domain.com or Name <bcc:user@domain.com>

Subject = Mail subject.

Body = Mail body. It can be a simple text or a file name (with optional path) containing the text. If a file name is specified, and the file exists, then it's content will be used as mail body.

Attachment = Optional attachment. In addition to the print job as a PDF file that's automatically attached by Printfil, you can specify another file name. If the file exists, then it's attached too.
This is particularly useful if you wish to attach a fixed image, a document, or another file created by the source program when creating the print job itself (for example, in some countries, when sending out a PDF/A invoice via e-mail you need to attach even a XML file describing the invoice content).

Either the subject or the Body will be converted in Ansi / Oem format, depending by the AnsiConv setting in Printfil.ini

Please note that even though setting this row simply as .F. is sufficient to tell Printfil the PDF file should be sent by e-mail, if you want to send it without user intervention, you have at least to specify it as .F.|user@domain.com , otherwise the e-mail message will be shown on screen.

Even thought now this row is used only when Printfil is set to print to its own virtual printer, don't insert it if you don't want to send the job via e-mail because in future Printfil versions it may be used even in other cases.

EXAMPLES

.T. - After the job will be printed as a PDF file, an e-mail message will be automatically shown to the user. The user can complete the message and send it or not.

.F.|user@domain.com - After the job will be printed as a PDF file, it will be automatically sent to user@domain.com without user intervention

.F.|user@domain.com|My Subject|My Body - After the job will be printed as a PDF file, it will be automatically sent to user@domain.com without user intervention, with subject "My Subject" and body "My Body"

.T.|user@domain.com|My Subject|C:\Path\MyBodyText.txt - After the job will be printed as a PDF file, it will be shown to the user, who has then to choose whether to send it or not. The message is already filled with the destination address user@domain.com, subject "My Subject" and the content of the C:\Path\MyBodyText.txt file as body.

.F.|John Doe <john.doe@domain.com>; Jane Roe <jane.roe@domain.com>|My Subject|C:\Path\MyBodyText.txt - The job above is sent either to John Doe or to Jane Roe without user intervention.

.F.|John Doe <john.doe@domain.com>; Jane Roe <bcc:jane.roe@domain.com>|My Subject|C:\Path\MyBodyText.txt - The job above is sent either to John Doe or to Jane Roe without user intervention (but John will not know the message has been sent even to Jane if Printfil has sent it directly via smtp).

.F.|John Doe <john.doe@domain.com>; Jane Roe <bcc:jane.roe@domain.com>|My Subject|C:\Path\MyBodyText.txt|C:\Path\Attachment.Doc - Like above, but in addition to the print job as a PDF file, C:\Path\Attachment.Doc will be attached too (if existant).

13) PDF FILE NAME | OPEN

If you are creating a PDF file without user intervention through the "Printfil" virtual printer (Please see Chapter 9), you can insert the destination file name in this row, with an optional path and extension.

If the PDF is created succesfully, you can also choose to automatically open it by using the standard PDF reader (for example Acrobat Reader)

  • If you don't specify a path, the PDF file will be created in the current directory
  • If you don't specify an extension, .PDF will be added to the specified file name
  • If you'll specify an extension different than .PDF, it will be changed to .PDF
  • If you don't specify nothing, the PDF file will be named as the corresponding TXT file, with .PDF extension

    For example: If the spool file name is c:\spool\printfil.txt , then the corresponding PDF file will be created as c:\spool\printfil.pdf

You can even insert the parameters [D] and/or [T] to make Printfil automatically inserting the current date and time in the file name. In this way you can manually create a single static CFG to generate different PDF's rather than overwriting the same one each time.

After the file name you can optionally insert a parameter (.T. or .F.), separated by a "pipe" ("|" , ascii 124), to open the newly created PDF file by using the standard PDF reader.

EXAMPLES

c:\spool\MyFile - The PDF file will be named c:\spool\MyFile.pdf, independently by the name of the ascii spool file.

c:\spool\MyFile.pdf|.F. - Same as above.

c:\spool\MyFile.pdf|.T. - After creating the c:\spool\MyFile.pdf file, it will be automatically opened by using the standard PDF reader.

c:\spool\MyFile-[D]-[T].pdf - The PDF file will be named c:\spool\MyFile-20150418-103015.pdf if now is 18 April 2015 at 10:30:15

|.T. - The PDF file will be named as the corresponding TXT file, with PDF extension. After creating the PDF file, it will be automatically opened by using the standard PDF reader.

14) DELETE THE CFG

If this line contains .T., the CFG file is automatically deleted by Printfil after the corresponding TXT file will be printed, otherwise it will stay in place. Deleting the CFG might be useful if the source program creates it just for some print jobs (to include a specific BMP background for example), while you should never setup this line to .T. if the CFG file is manually created (statically).

15) CALL EXTERNAL PROGRAM

In this line you can specify the name of third party program Printfil will invoke as soon as it has captured a print job, but before it's processed.

The captured print job is stored into a temporary file on disk, whose name is passed to the external program by a command line parameter (%1). This way for example a programmer can write a "plugin" that modifies the print job (or copies it somewhere), then Printfil will process the resulting print-job-file.

For example, line no.15 in the CFG may contain: C:\Windows\Notepad.exe and the captured print job will be shown inside the Windows Notepad before it's processed by Printfil to be sent to the choosen Windows printer.

   
   
   
   
  17 Nov 2016  
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