Printing Methods – Windows

This page is referenced from Printing Methods.

Linux, via such packages as kprinter and gtklp, can "pass" files to the user to afford further control (including job cancellation) prior to printing. Windows unfortunately provides no such package.

Options left to Windows users include:

  • configuring Windows boxes to use the lpr command per Microsoft documentation, noting:
    • Windows machines are typically unable to themselves host CUPS, until adding components
    • the Windows LPD daemon and perhaps even the LPR command may not support spaces in the printer's name
    • see
  • alternative methods, such as redirecting the file(s) instead to be opened by a Windows app, are referenced further down

Windows' hosting of CUPS

From the Frogmore Computing Services article:

Windows Xp does not by default install print services for Unix... this needs to be done through

Control Panel > "Add or Remove Programs applet." "Add/Remove Windows Components" icon on the left of the window (opens the "Windows Components Wizard". )

Browse through the list for "Other Network File and Print Services", select it then click the "Details" button.

Check "Print Services for Unix" and then click the "OK" button to exit the dialog".

Click the "Next >" button to install the service and "Finish" to finish.

By default the service will be configured for manual startup so we need to change that using the Services control. To do this go back to the Control Panel and select the "Administrative Tools" applet.

Start the "Services" program.

Select "TCP/IP Print Server" in the list of services, then double click on it to configure the service.

Change the "Startup type" to Automatic and then click on the Start button to start the service. The LPD service is now configured and ready to accept print jobs from your host. Configure the queue on the host using the IP address of your Windows machine as the print server and the printer name as the queue name. There are a couple of potential issues you may come across when using the service:

When configuring the printer, try and avoid printer names with spaces in them as the LPD service will reject them.

Alternative methods

Compiled from various web postings:

To open a file it's: 
AcroRd32.exe <filename>
The following switches are available: 

/n - Launch a new instance of Reader ever if one is already open
/s - Don't show the splash screen
/o - Don't show the open file dialog
/h - Open as a minimized window
/p <filename> - Open and go straight to the print dialog
/t <filename> <printername> <drivername> <portname> - Print the file the specified printer.

# optionally uncomment one of these (untested)
# from
#for each PDF in a list
# CALL START /MIN AcroRd32.exe /h /p [filename]
# or
# in case of memory allocation problems with a long (>30) list
# FIRST launch Adobe Reader using
# CALL START /MIN AcroRd32.exe /h
# and then later in the script just call (without using CALL START)
# AcroRd32.exe /h /p [filename]
# or see
# or to actually open the file
# cmd /c adobe.bat
# cmd /c drive:\path\acroread.exe FileToOpen.Ext

Windows apps

Free, supports text, postscript, unsure about PDF:

Free, but unsure if suited to purpose:

Nonfree: FinePrint? for Windows apparently $50:

Shareware $12:

Miscellaneous notes
   The CUPS driver for Windows downloads currently only support 32-bit Windows clients and must be combined with the Microsoft PostScript driver as described on the cupsaddsmb(8) man page.

Ubuntu CUPS cross-platform printing reference

Debian and Windows Shared Printing mini-HOWTO

" &#8230; a free solution to generate PDFs (not sure about print dialog) seems to be a combination of a *.pdf printer driver and PdfBklt"

HOWTO: Print to a USB Printer from DOS in Windows XP

Topic revision: 16 Jan 2010, JamesBusser
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