Printfil is a stand-alone software, it runs in background and doesn't need to be started by the application that creates the print jobs. This is why it can be used in several different applications.

Here are some examples of working configurations:

MS-DOS Application on a Single Windows PC, USB printer and Faxmodem

computerPrinterFax modem

In this example there is a single PC (Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11 or Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022) on which is running a MS-DOS software to print to a USB printer and to send the print jobs via fax using the modem.

With Printfil installed on the PC, is sufficient to set the MS-DOS software to print to a file (for example c:\printfil\file.txt) or set up Printfil to capture the LPT1: port (where most of the DOS programs are hardcoded to send their print jobs). Printfil is continuously listening for the file or the LPT1: port and will send the data to the USB printer or by fax using the faxmodem and a specific printer driver provided by external software (Microsoft fax, Symantec Winfax, and others).

MS-DOS Application on a Windows Network, network printers


In this example, there are several networked Windows PCs and some shared printers. The MS-DOS software can be installed either on all the PC (the case above) or on a single PC acting as a server and providing the application to the clients (please see How to install Printfil on peer-to-peer networks and How to install Printfil on Terminal Servers).

The DOS software will be configured to print to the file c:\printfil\file.txt (each pc will have his one) or the LPT1: port and Printfil will automatically send the job created by the application for that specific user to the desired printer: local or remote.

Please note that it's not necessary to have Printfil running on every PC of the peer-to-peer network, but only where the MS-DOS software is running. If a single PC doesn't need to use the MS-DOS application, but it shares a local printer, Printfil on the others PC can always access this printer through the network.

Apple II Application on a Windows Network, network printers, USB and PDF writers


Some Apple II applications, specifically designed to run on an Apple PC (and usually on an Apple Imagewriter or Laserwriter printer) can be run on a Windows PC using an emulator, like Apple II Oasis, also known as A2O

Using Printfil together with this emulator allows you to print from these Apple 2 applications to any Windows device, either local, USB, networked or virtual (for example "PDF writers") without having to modify the original Apple application.

Unix & Linux applications, Windows Clients via telnet

Application ServerPrinter
Application Server

Fax ServerFax modem
Fax Server


Windows Clients


In this example there is an integrated network where the Application Server is a Unix host (or Linux), the clients are Windows PC's which uses the applications by the Telnet protocol, prints over the several network printers and sends faxes through a Unix / Linux host using an HylaFax Server software or other commercial softwares.

A directory on the Application Server's File System is shared with the Windows users by specific softwares such as NSF, Samba, SCO Vision-FS and others.

The host application must be configured to print to different files: one for each client PC: /usr/share/file1.txt , file2.txt etc. This can be easily obtained by setting an environment variable in the user's .profile using, for example, the IP address of the remote pc (remotehost), or the logname (if the user always works on the same workstation) etc.

Printfil will search the file on \\AppServ\share\filexx.txt. Once found, Printfil will read the file even if it is in the Unix / Linux format, than it will send the print job to the desired printer or the fax-server.

Please find other ways to capture *nix prints in the article: How to print from Unix/Linux/host programs to Windows printers).

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