Consider other methods | An alternative to the Ghostscript method | Set up RoPS for printing from WPDOS | Use RoPS for faxing from WPDOS to Windows fax software | Home page
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.
The methods on this page will allow you to print from WPDOS to any printer supported by Windows. As in this site's other methods of printing to any Windows printer, this method will be useful to you only if your printer is not supported by a full-featured WordPerfect printer driver. See the Ghostscript page for further details.
One limitation of this and all other any-printer methods is that it does not let you select different paper trays for different pages in your print jobs. All pages will be printed from the default input tray (which is defined by the Windows driver for your printer).
This method combines two programs, all free, the other distributed as shareware: the superb freeware program PrintFile, by Peter Lerup, and the freeware/shareware PostScript interpreter RoPS, by Roger Willcocks. As in this site's Ghostscript method, WordPerfect is set up to use a PostScript printer driver, and "prints" to a printfile on disk instead of to a physical printer. The PrintFile program sends the file to RoPS, which rasterizes it (turns it into a bitmap image) and prints it.
Compared to this site's Ghostscript method, the RoPS method has these advantages:
But the RoPS method also suffers from these disadvantages:
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.
(1) Download and install RoPS. (The 5.3 version is free; later versions cost $45 to register.) Launch RoPS, choose File/Print Setup; if you intend to print in color, remove the checkmark next to Monochrome printing. Choose Edit/Settings, and confirm or change all settings, especially Paper Size. Exit RoPS.
(2) Download and install PrintFile. When installing, you should probably choose the options to create a Start Menu item and to create a desktop shortcut, but you do not need to associate any file types with the program.
(3) Run PrintFile, and press the Settings button. In the PrintFile Settings dialog, in the Current settings field, type "RoPS Print Settings." Still in the PrintFile Settings dialog, under General, add a checkmark 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 settings name in header" and "Show icon on the taskbar." All the other check boxes should be empty. It does not matter which printer you select under Printer, because, with this method, PrintFile will not send anything directly to the printer.
(4) 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". In the Program field, enter (or browse to) the full path of the RoPS program, which should look something like c:\Program Files\RoPS\rops.exe. In the Parameters field, enter the following string:
Do not put a checkmark next to "Show conversion program window"; but add a checkmark next to "Conversion program handles printing". Click OK to close the Conversion Settings dialog.
(5) Still in the PrintFile Settings dialog, 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. Click OK to close the Create PrintFile Shortcut dialog; press Esc to close the PrintFile Settings dialog, and Exit the main PrintFile dialog. Find the new "PrintFile - RoPS Print Settings" shortcut that has now been created on your desktop; you will return to it later.
(6) Create a new folder to use as a spool directory for the WPDOS print files that you will print through RoPS. I suggest creating a folder named C:\WPSPOOL. The name of the folder must not be longer than eight characters. You should not use this directory for anything other than print spooling from WordPerfect, because any files you place in the directory may be deleted by PrintFile's spooler function. This directory must not be the PrintFile Storage directory that you used in step (5).
Note: If you also use one this site's methods for printing to a USB printer that uses a spool directory, or if you use this site's methods for faxing from WPDOS to Windows fax software, you may use the same spool directory that you use for those methods, but do so with caution, and test the results first.
(7) Right-click on the new desktop shortcut that you created in step (5), and select Properties. Make sure the command line in the target field ends with "... RoPS Print Settings.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:
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 (C:\WPSPOOL) should match the folder you created in step (6). Close the Properties dialog but do not launch the shortcut.
(8) Run WordPerfect for DOS, press Shift-F7/Select/Add Printer (in 5.1, Additional Printers), and select a PostScript printer. You may use one of the special Ghostscript drivers available from this site, or you may use almost any standard PostScript driver that shipped with WPDOS (see the notes on drivers elsewhere on this site), or you may use almost any standard PostScript driver that shipped with WPDOS. A safe choice for monochrome printing is the Apple LaserWriter IINTX; another is the Xerox DocuTech 135 driver, which gives access to many different sheet sizes. For color printing, try the Tektronix Phaser ColorQuick driver. If you do not see any of the original WordPerfect PostScript drivers on the list of additional printers in your copy of WPDOS, you can install the drivers from the original WordPerfect installation disks, or download from Corel's page for WPDOS 5.1 printer drivers or its page for WPDOS 6.x printer drivers.
(9) After selecting and installing the PostScript driver, you must direct the printer output to a file. The procedure is slightly different in different WPDOS versions. In WPDOS 6.x, use Shift-F7/Select, and make sure the highlight is on your PostScript printer driver. Select Edit, and in the Edit Printer Setup screen, select Port, then Filename, and enter the pathname C:\WPSPOOL\OUTPUT.PS. In WPDOS 5.1, use Shift-F7/Select Printer, and make sure the highlight is on your PostScript printer driver. Select Edit, and in the Select Printer: Edit screen, select Port, choose Other, and enter the pathname C:\WPSPOOL\OUTPUT.PS. With either version, the directory in the pathname shown in green (C:\WPSPOOL) should be the folder you created in step (6).
(10) Now "print" a document from WPDOS and make sure that a file named OUTPUT.PS is present in the C:\WPSPOOL folder. Delete the file.
(11) Launch the "PrintFile - RoPS Print Settings" desktop shortcut that you modified in step (7). The PrintFile icon should appear in your system tray (at the far right of the Windows taskbar).
(12) Return to WPDOS and "print" a document as you did in step (10). After a few seconds, you should see a message box in which RoPS displays its progress in printing the file, and the document should print from your printer. If you were using WPDOS in full-screen mode, you will be taken back to the Windows desktop and you can use Alt-Tab to return to WPDOS.
If nothing prints, or if you see any error messages, return to steps (5) through (9) and make absolutely certain that you have followed the instructions exactly, but with the devicename and folder name suitable to your system. If you see repeated errors, it may be necessary to close PrintFile and delete any files in your C:\WPSPOOL directory before trying again.
(13) If all goes well, make a copy of the "PrintFile - RoPS Print Settings" desktop shortcut that you modified in step (7) and add the copy to your Startup group in your Start Menu, so that it will run whenever you boot into Windows.
If nothing prints, or if you see any error messages, return to steps (3) through (9) and make absolutely certain that you have followed the instructions exactly. If you see repeated errors, it may be necessary to close PrintFile and remove any files in your C:\WPSPOOL directory before trying again.
With slight variations, this method can be used for faxing from WPDOS to any Windows fax software that installs a printer driver, including the built-in Windows fax software in Windows 2000. Further information and alternative methods may be found on this site's separate page on faxing to Windows fax software.
To set up RoPS for faxing from WPDOS, begin by finding the exact name of the fax "printer" used by your fax software. Use Start/Settings/Printers, and carefully note the exact name of your fax printer (perhaps "Fax" or "WinFax Printer" or "Symantec Fax Starter Edition" or "MightyFax Printer Driver" or some similar name).
Next, follow the instructions in the section above, with the following exceptions:
In step (3) use the name "RoPS Fax Settings" (instead of "RoPS Print Settings"), and look for "RoPS Fax Settings" (instead of "RoPS Print Settings") in later steps.
In step (4), in the Parameters field, instead of entering the string /p &i enter the string:
/pt &i "Name of your fax printer in quotation marks"
Note you must enter /pt instead of /p and that you must add the exact name of your fax printer, within quotation marks. With some fax software (for example, MightyFAX), you must add a checkmark next to "Show conversion program window"; with other software (for example, WinFax), you should leave the checkmark blank. But you must have a checkmark next to "Conversion program handles printing."
In steps (7), (9), and (10), use the filename FAXOUT.PS instead of OUTPUT.PS. And in step (8), when installing a PostScript printer driver, give it a unique descriptive name like "PostScript fax driver."
When you "print" from WPDOS, you should see a dialog box pop up from your fax software in which you can enter a fax number and other details for sending a fax.
You can use RoPS to print and fax from WPDOS during the same session by running both of the PrintFile shortcuts that you created. One instance of PrintFile will send the file FAXOUT.PS to RoPS and then to your fax printer; the other will send OUTPUT.PS to RoPS and then to your Windows default printer.
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