Frequently Asked Questions

How do I configure Printfil to capture dbDOSv / dbDOS PRO print jobs ?

dbDOSv and dbDOS PRO are DOS emulators, derived from the popular DOSBox and vDosPlus projects, with some additional features, like printing support (that doesn't work in the original DOSBox build) and running multiple DOSBox configurations in the same machine.
Some Customers do use them to run their DOS programs; mainly on 64-bit Windows systems (that cannot run 16-bit software, like DOS, natively).

You've two ways to capture DOS print jobs run inside dbDOSv and dbDOS PRO, depending on how your DOS program produces them:

  1. The DOS program "prints to file" itself.
  2. The DOS program prints to a parallel port (from LPT1: to LPT9:) or a serial port (from COM1: to COM9:)

In both cases, as soon as the DOS program finishes printing, Printfil will capture the print job and will show it on screen, if Preview is enabled at Configuration -> Standard, or will directly send it to the chosen Windows printer.

1) The DOS program "prints to file" itself

In this case you just have to point Printfil to the very same file name produced by the DOS program, by the "File to check" field at Configuration -> Standard
There's no need to select any COM Port or LPT port to capture in the Printfil configuration dialog.

2) The DOS program prints to parallel ports (from LPT1: to LPT9:) or serial ports (from COM1: to COM9:)

If instead you already have dbDOSv or dbDOS PRO up and running on your machine, the newer Printfil version automatically detects them at startup, or when selecting an LPT port or COM port to capture at Configuration -> Standard and asks you if you want to automatically configure itself to capture dbDOSv / dbDOS PRO prints in those configurations specifically made for Printfil, as described below.

dbDOSv 2

dbDOSv 2 printing configuration

dbDOSv 2 can capture 9 parallel LPT ports and 9 serial COM ports, despite the GUI configuration allowing selecting only 3 LPT and 4 COM ports.

  1. Open the dbDOSv 2 Command Center and click the Edit Config button
  2. Click Next until you reach the Printers and Finalize Configuration dialog
  3. Click Standard Print Settings
  4. Select the Printer Port you wish to capture and check just the /DUMMY option
  5. Manually delete the /SEL option as in this screenshot.
    The Printer Command: should be LPT1 = /DUMMY
  6. Update the settings

If you have a DOS program that prints to LPT5: (for example) and wish to redirect data sent there to Printfil, you need to edit the dbDOS configuration manually, as described above.

We noticed that when printing from dbDOSv 2 sometimes you have to click Win+CTRL+T to proceed. We haven't found a way in dbDOSv 2 to avoid it so far.

dbDOSv PRO 7

dbDOS PRO 7 printing configuration

dbDOS PRO 7 can capture only 3 parallel LPT ports (from LPT1: to LPT3:) and 4 serial COM ports (from COM1: to COM4:).

  1. Open the dbDOS PRO 7 Configuration Manager and select your configuration
  2. Click Next until you reach the Select your Printer Settings dialog
  3. Select This configuration uses "Enhanced Printing"
  4. Do NOT check the This configuration uses a pre-defined Printer checkmark
  5. Click Next until you reach the Finish button to save your settings

We noticed that when printing from dbDOS PRO 7 the Standard Windows choose printer dialog pops up before Printfil captures the job, so, you have to click Cancel to let Printfil do its job. We haven't found a way in dbDOS PRO 7 to avoid it so far.

So, in order to capture print jobs sent to the LPT1: , LPT2: , LPT3: , LPT4: , LPT5: , LPT6: , LPT7: , LPT8: , LPT9: , COM1: , COM2: , COM3: , COM4: , COM5: , COM6: , COM7: , COM8: or COM9: port by a DOS program within dbDOSv or dbDOS PRO you just have to:

  1. If you're using a previous Printfil version, upgrade your Printfil copy
  2. Edit your dbDOS(v) configurations as described above
  3. Go to Configuration -> Standard, select the LPT port or COM port you want to capture and click OK
  4. When you're asked if you want to Configure dbDOSv / dbDOS PRO to capture the LPT1: port click Yes and follow the onscreen instruction.

If you prefer to configure Printfil to capture dbDOS(v) prints without using the standard configuration dialog, you can do it by the command line parameters from the Windows Command Prompt as described in the manual, Chapter 13.

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