Chapter 2 - Getting started with Printfil

The fastest way to try Printfil is by using the guided configuration to setup the basic parameters, needed to capture the print jobs created externally.

If this is the first time you run Printfil on this machine, the guided configuration will be started automatically, otherwise you can start it manually, by right clicking the Printfil's trayed icon (in the bottom right corner, near the Windows clock) and choosing Configuration -> Guided

After answering the questions shown on screen, the guided configuration will automatically run the Test function.

This function creates some testing pages which will be shown on the preview window (if enabled), so that you can print them on your own printer by clicking the "Print" icon.

At this point, if the configuration has been made correctly, you can print directly from your source program obtaining the same result.

Now you only have to open the standard configuration dialog by choosing Configuration -> Standard in the Printfil's menu to setup the last details: preview, page margins, text color etc.

If then you want also to manually test some Printfil details, then follow the steps below. They probably makes sense only to advanced users and programmers.

Let's start:

Right click the Printfil's trayed icon and choose Configuration -> Standard, then check which file name is inserted in the "File to check" field. Let's say it's c:\program files\printfil\filename.txt

Now open the "Command Prompt" or "MS-DOS Prompt" and navigate to the directory corresponding to that file. In our example:


Tip: If the "File to check" field starts with [e:HOMEPATH] or [e:TEMP], then the right path is the user's home or temporary directory (for example c:\Documents and Settings\Administrator or c:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Temp). In this case probably the Command Prompt is already positioned in the right directory, otherwise please type CD %HOMEPATH% or CD %TEMP%

Now type:


After a few seconds, you will see a preview of the contents of the directory.

Now close the preview and type:


The preview window appears again, but now the print job is narrower and PRINTFIL has scaled the selected font to fit the page.

Now we can create the optional configuration file. Type:


Type (or cut & paste) the following 3 lines into the empty file:

My First Print Job

Make sure you press ENTER after the 3rd line, then save the file and run the DIR /B > FILENAME.TXT command again.

The preview window will now have 10 rows per page and the selected font will be taller than before. It will be also narrower to accommodate 80 characters (max) per page.

Now we can add another two rows to the configuration file, thus:

My First Print Job with background
c:\program files\printfil\backgr.bmp

then run the DIR /B > FILENAME.TXT command again.

This time we will obtain the same preview, but with file BACKGR.BMP added as a background. If you click on the printer icon, 2 copies will be printed (as indicated on the 5th row of FILENAME.CFG)

Tip: If the bitmap is not merged, then Printfil is not installed in that directory. In this case please insert the correct path in the 4th row or make it pointing to another bitmap on your disk,

Now change the 4th row to read as follows:

c:\program files\printfil\backgr.bmp|2|3|7|-1

and again run the DIR /B > FILENAME.TXT command.

This time the bitmap will have different dimensions. To try other effects related to the background files please see chapter 6.

You can repeat the print jobs run so far even by right clicking the Printfil's trayed icon and choosing the desired job by the "Redo Last Print" menu option.

Now choose Configuration -> Standard from the PRINTFIL menu.
Select the RAW printing engine instead of GDI and choose a real printer (not a virtual printer, like a PDF writer)

Click OK to apply your changes and select "Redo Last Print" from the PRINTFIL menu.

This time the preview window does not appear and the job is printed directly, unless your printer is a GDI (Windows-only) model.
All the GDI stuff (the background, font, margins etc.) are not included in the job because the file has been sent to the printer AS IS, bypassing the Windows printer driver.

Please reselect the GDI printing engine in place of RAW now, otherwise all the subsequent jobs may not be printed correctly in the following tests.

Testing the LPT capturing option is relatively easy. In Configuration -> Standard

  • select the LPT port you prefer (from LPT1: to LPT9:)
  • ensure the Mode field is set to 0 (zero)
Tip: If you're running Windows 95/98/ME, Mode 0 is not available. In this case you'll have to complete some additional configurations, as described in Chapter 7

Once Printfil is configured for capturing a parallel port you can simply:

DIR > LPT1: (or any other port you've selected in the configuration dialog)

The directory content will be shown on screen if the Preview option is enabled, otherwise it will be sent directly to the chosen printer.


Will do the same (in DOS PRN: is just an alias for LPT1:).

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