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Print to Any Windows Printer: Alternate Ghostscript Method


Consider other methods | An alternate standard Ghostscript method | Main Ghostscript page | Home page


Consider using other methods first

Since this page was first posted, other methods have been devised for printing from WPDOS to any Windows printer. Some of these methods are easier to set up than this one, and some are more flexible. Consider using one of this site's other methods before you take the trouble to set up this one.


An alternate to this site's standard method of printing to Ghostscript

This page presents an alternative to this site's standard method of printing from WPDOS to any Windows-supported printer. In most instances, this method is faster than the standard method; the standard method is only faster if your printer allowed you to select a printer-specific Ghostscript devicename (and if you do not understand this sentence, then you certainly did not select such a driver). Do not attempt this method until you have tested the standard method and were able to print a document, with or without error messages.

All references below to the "standard method" refer to the method on the page devoted to this site's basic Ghostscript and PrintFile method of printing from WPDOS to any Windows-supported printer. You should have both pages open at the same time, or print both pages for easy reference.

Before you begin: You must be able to print from Windows applications to your printer. If you have not tested your printer, press Ctrl-P now and print from this page to your printer. If nothing prints, then stop and install the software that came with your printer. When your printer works with Windows applications, return to this page.

First, download and install GSview, a PostScript viewer program designed to work with Ghostscript; the version you want is the version named something like gsv49w32.exe (but perhaps with a different number than 49 in the middle of the filename). GSview typically installs in a folder named C:\Program Files\Ghostgum\Gsview.Write down the name of the directory proposed by the installer; you will need it later.

Run GSView (it is on your Start Menu's Programs list, under Ghostgum), and perform the following steps: (a) On the top-line menu, choose Options, and click Ignore DSC so that a checkmark appears next to it. (b) On the same menu, click Save Settings Now. (c) On the top-line menu, choose Media; by default, the A4 paper size is selected; if you normally print to A4 paper, leave this setting as it is, and close GSView; if you use Letter (US Letter) paper, or any other paper size, click on the size you prefer so that it has a checkmark next to it. (d) Return to the Options menu, and, again, click Save Settings Now. Now close GSView.

Do not remove or modify your Ghostscript installation; it must be installed for this method to work. Both Ghostscript and GSview are free for personal use.

You should already have completed steps (1) and (2) in the standard method; you must download and install Ghostscript, even with this alternate method, and you must download and install PrintFile. Now perform the following steps, which are similar to the steps with the same numbers in the standard method:

(3) Run PrintFile, and press the Settings button. In the PrintFile Settings dialog, make sure the Ghostscript settings that you created for the standard method are displayed. In the Current Settings field, type "GSprint" (without quotation marks) and click the Save button to save the settings under a new name. The Settings dialog will close; press PrintFile's Settings button again, return to GSprint in the Current Settings field (if you are not already there) and under General, make sure that a checkmark appears next to "Enable spooler function," and remove the checkmark (if any) next to "Show printer selection dialog." I recommend adding a checkmark next to "Show icon on the taskbar." It does not matter which printer you select under Printer, because, with this method, PrintFile will not send anything directly to the printer. 

(4a) Still in the PrintFile Settings window, click the Conversion button. In the Conversions Settings dialog, use the down arrow to display PostScript files, and add a checkmark next to "Enable conversion of".

(4b) Still in the Conversions Settings dialog, go to the Program field, click on the Browse button; a dialog box headed "Open" will appear, with the top field labeled "Look in". Click on the down-pointing arrow to the right of the "Look in" field, and navigate to your drive C: (or whatever your Windows drive is), then to the directory in which you installed GSview (this is the directory name you wrote down when you installed GSview, perhaps something like C:\Program Files\Ghostgum\Gsview). Click on the program named gsprint.exe.  Click on Open. The Program field should now display the full path and filename of this program, something like (but not necessarily identical to) C:\Program Files\Ghostgum\Gsview\gsprint.exe. Remember that you must absolutely, positively not try to use the filename shown here if it is different from the actual filename and pathname on your system! The example provided is only an example of more-or-less what the correct filename may or may not look like! Read these sentences two or three times to make sure that you fully understand the concept of an "example"!

(4c) Still in the Conversions Settings dialog, in the Parameters field, replace any existing entry and enter the following string (note the hyphen at the start and the two characters ampersand-i at the end):

    -color &i

(If you want to print only in black and white, omit -color, leaving only ampersand-i.) Still in the Conversions Settings dialog, you must check the checkbox next to "Conversion program handles printer", and, in many setups, you should also check the checkbox next to "Show conversion program window." (Note that these settings are different from the ones specified in the standard method.) Click OK to close the Conversions Settings window.

Notes:   If you wish to print to a specific Windows printer, use this string in the Parameters field (you may either include or omit the -color parameter):

-printer "Name of the printer" -color &i

The "Name of the printer" must be surrounded by quotation marks, and must be exactly the same as the name of the printer as it appears in the Print dialog in Windows applications, for example: "HP DeskJet 720C". (Yes, this name can be the name of a fax driver; this method allows you to print from WPDOS to a Windows fax program. See this site's separate page on faxing from WPDOS to Windows fax software.)

Other options that may be used in the Parameters field in the Conversions Settings dialog in PrintFile are listed in the file gsprint.htm, which may be found in the same folder as gsprint.exe. Do not start experimenting with them until you succeed in using this method with the simple options listed here.

(5) Back in the PrintFile Settings window, in the Current Settings field, make sure that "GSprint" appears. Click the Shortcut... button. In the Create PrintFile Shortcut dialog, choose the Desktop type; the Storage directory defaults to a subdirectory named Shortcuts under the PrintFile directory, and need not be changed. Note that this directory should not be the spool directory that you created when you performed step (6) in the standard method. Click OK to close the Create PrintFile Shortcut dialog. Exit the main PrintFile dialog. Find the new "PrintFile -GSprint" shortcut that has now been created on your desktop; you will return to it later.

(6) You should already have performed this step in the standard method.

(7) Right-click on the new "PrintFile - GSprint" desktop shortcut that you created in step (5), and select Properties. Make sure the command line in the Target field ends with "...GSprint.exe". Click at the end of the existing line in the Target field. Type a space after the quotation mark at the end of the existing line, not inside the existing quotation marks, and then add the following string:

/s:C:\WPSPOOL \output.ps

Remember to add a space before (to the left of) this string, and be extremely careful when typing the string itself: do not add any quotation marks, and please note that the string begins with a forward slash, followed immediately (no space) by the letter s and a colon, followed immediately (no space) by the directory name and filename (using backward slashes). The pathname in green should match the folder you created in step (6) in the standard method. Close the Properties dialog but do not launch the shortcut.

Note for experts only: You can use *.ps or *.* (or any other file specification) instead of output.ps. You may want to write macros that use more than one filename for the output file that is specified in step (11).

Now, assuming that you already performed steps (8) through (10) when you set up the standard method, proceed with steps (11) through (13) from the standard method (but copy the "PrintFile -GSprint" shortcut instead of the one specified in the standard method. When you perform step (12), your document will be printed from gsprint.exe directly to the default Windows printer or to the printer you may have chosen to specify in step (4).

If all goes well, you may remove the shortcut you created when you set up the standard method, and continue to use the shortcut you created and tested in setting up this alternate method.

If nothing prints, or if you see any error messages, return to steps (3) through (7) and make absolutely certain that you have followed the instructions exactly, but with the devicename and folder names suitable to your system. If you see repeated errors, it may be necessary to close PrintFile and remove any files in your C:\WPSPOOL directory before trying again.

Note: Under WPDOS 6.x, when printing files that contain bitmap graphics, you may get better results if you set the graphics' Dither Method to "device" instead of "application." This setting is located under Alt-F9/Graphics Boxes/Create or Edit/Contents/Image or Image on Disk/Image Editor; then, in the Image Editor, under Edit/Print Parameters/Dither Method, where you should choose Device. This setting forces the printer (in this instance, Ghostscript) to render bitmap images instead WordPerfect. Unfortunately, even if you make Device the default setting by modifying the printer driver with the WPDOS 6.x Printer Definition Program, PTR.EXE, you may need to uncheck the Default box in in the Print Parameters/Dither Method dialog for each file, no matter how unintuitive this seems. The problem may result from a bug in WPDOS.  (If you want to experiment, use PTR.EXE to open the .ALL file for your printer; select your printer, then Edit/Graphics/Miscellaneous/Rendering, and set the Default Dither Source to Printer. Exit and save the .ALL file. Open WPDOS 6.x, use Shift-F7/Select/Update to make the new setting available to WordPerfect. )

Return to the standard-method Print to Any Windows Printer page.


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