Chapter 8 - The Printfil virtual printer

The "Printfil" virtual printer is useful to:

  1. Capture data sent to a parallel port by a DOS or Windows application in Mode 1, 2 or 3 (Old Windows 9x/ME systems; Mode 0 does not use the virtual printer)
  2. Export your print jobs in PDF format via GhostScript

You do not need to create it unless you want to do one of the above things.

We usually refers to it as the "Printfil" virtual printer because Printfil is the default printer's name, but you can also use a different name, by the PFPrinter option in the Printfil.ini file (Please see Chapter 4)

You can create the virtual printer simply by clicking the "Help -> Create Virtual Printer" Printfil's menu entry. Once the virtual printer has been created, the menu entry will disappear.

The first time you choose to capture an LPT port by the Printfil's configuration dialog, if the virtual printer has not been created before, the creation procedure will start automatically.

On 32/64 bit Windows systems, the creation procedure will ask you to specify a temporary file name used internally by the virtual printer. Normally you just need to confirm the default file name. If you want to change the file name, please choose a path which is writable by the user who's running Printfil without restrictions.

On Windows Terminal Server the temporary file must be located on the virtual disk which contains the user's specific data (usually named W:). If this disk is not already configured on your server, Printfil will advise you and will ask you if you want to run the automatic Windows configuration procedure.

If you are running a 32/64 bit Windows system (NT/2000/XP/2003/2008/2012), there's nothing else to do.

A common mistake is to change the printer's name or port by the Windows Control Panel (configuring it on LPT1: or USB001:). Don't change the automatic settings. The LPT port to be eventually captured must be specified in the Printfil's configuration dialog, not in the virtual printer.

If you are running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10

During the creation of the virtual printer one or two additional "authorizations" may be asked you by Windows itself to run the function "as Administrator". In this case please confirm the task, otherwise the virtual printer will not be created.

On some of the above systems ...

... the default driver used by Printfil may not be installed. In this case you'll be requested to specify a driver. Please select the "Ricoh" or "HP" manufacturer in the left frame, then any color printer driver whose name ends with "PS" in the right frame. For example Ricoh Aficio ColorXXXX PS or HP Color LaserJet XXXX PS

Only if you are running a 16 bit Windows system (Win 9x/ME), once the virtual printer has been created, you must also:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel (Start -> Control Panel) or (Start -> Settings -> Control Panel)
  2. Click on the Printers folder
  3. Right-click the Printfil virtual printer and choose Properties
  4. Go to the Details tab
  5. click Add Port
  6. Select Other -> Local Port and click Ok
  7. Insert the Port name as c:\temp\printfil.txt and click Ok
    (make sure the temp folder exists on the C drive, or create it)
  8. Click New Driver
  9. Select the HP Color Laserjet 5/5M PS model and click Ok
    (If the driver is not already installed on your system, you'll be required to insert the Windows cd-rom)
  10. Apply your changes.

If you only need to export your jobs in PDF format, there's nothing else to do. If instead you want even to capture the LPT output:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel (Start -> Control Panel) or (Start -> Settings -> Control Panel)
  2. Click on the Printers folder
  3. Right-click the Printfil virtual printer and choose Sharing
    If this entry is not present, please check the previous chapter.
  4. Enable the sharing option and insert as Share Name: Printfil
  5. Apply your changes
  6. Open the Printfil's configuration dialog
  7. In the "File to check" field insert: c:\temp\printfil.txt (as specified in the previous step #7)
  8. Apply your changes
  28 Jan 2016  
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