Using printer features not directly supported by PDF2PRINT

PDF2PRINT is a flexible tool that offers a variety of options for printing documents. But you may want to generate print jobs with settings that PDF2PRINT does not offer.  For example, you may have a high-end printer at your workplace that allows you to staple collated documents. You don’t use the staple feature very often, so it is normally turned off in the settings for this printer. But you would like to be able to send a report to this printer using PDF2PRINT and staple each copy as it is printed.

The normal way to do this would be to access the printer preferences for the device in Windows and manually turn on the staple setting. Then, you would send the print job to that printer. After the print job has completed successfully, you would return to the printer preferences and turn the staple feature off again.

That works, but it’s clumsy, especially if you need to use the feature a lot. And what if you want to run an automatic batch process with PDF2PRINT every night to print and staple this document? What if dozens of other batch print jobs are sent to this same printer each night, and yours is the only one that uses the staple feature?  How do you automatically change the printer preferences before your batch job, and then change them back when the print job is complete, so that you don’t cause problems for the other jobs sent to this printer?  And what if you want to run five different batch processes each night using PDF2PRINT, and each using its own unique printer preferences?

You can create a copy of an existing printer in Windows and change the preferences. This printer copy would have its own unique name but would work just like the original, and you could include the name of this printer in a PDF2PRINT command line statement.  But you could apply a unique and permanent preference setting to that printer.  In this example you could turn on the stapling setting in printer preferences for the printer copy.  In effect you have a Windows printer that is permanently set up to staple print jobs, and you would only use that printer with a single batch process run using PDF2PRINT. Everyone else at your workplace who uses the same printer hardware would use the original Windows definition of that printer, where the staple function is always turned off.

We describe how to create a duplicate Windows printer in the steps below.

Note that these steps have nothing to do with the PDF2PRINT software product.  Also, the purpose of this approach is probably to allow you to take advantage of printer features that are not provided in PDF2PRINT because they are rarely used, like stapling pages, or printing cover sheets for print jobs, or directing a printer to fold the pages of a document as they are printed.

Follow these steps to make a copy of one of your existing printers in Windows.

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Select Devices and Printers.
  3. Click “Add a Printer.”
  4. Click “The printer that I want isn’t listed.”
  5. You will see a window that helps you to find the printer you would like to copy. You can search for an existing printer using the IP address, for example, or browse for the printer by name.
  6. If you are prompted to select a version of the driver for the printer, select the option “Use the driver that is currently installed.”
  7. The process will ask you to provide a name for the printer. The new printer must have a unique name.  Enter a name for the printer that makes it easy to identify. Remember, you are creating a copy of an existing printer, so you might want to give the printer a name to indicate that.  For example, you could create a printer and call it “HP LaserJet Accounting 2 for printing with staples.”
  8. Continue to press Next until the printer appears on the Devices and Printers panel.
  9. Open the Printing Preferences dialog for this printer and change the print settings you wish to control.
  10. Add the name of this printer to the PDF2PRINT command statement.