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Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Print PDF to any printer - Without Acrobat

The previous post showed how you can print to any printer with some "secret switches" passed to Acrobat Reader®. Here is another way to print PDFs without using Acrobat at all. This is a far more efficient way of printing as it doesn't need to load Acrobat.

For this to work, your printer must support direct printing of PDF/Postscript (nearly all Postscript Level 3 printers support this).

Create a file called AutoPrintPdf.bat using a plain text editor (notepad, do not use editors like MS Word!), and enter the following inside the file:

rem ignore files that do not have a PDF extension
IF "%WD_FILE_E%" NEQ "PDF" GOTO :EOF
rem ignore all events, except FILENEW (a new file is created)
IF "%WD_REASON%" NEQ "FILENEW" GOTO :EOF
rem send it to printerport "raw" on server "server"
LPR -S server -P raw "%WD_FILE%"

Replace server with the name or ip address of the server to which the printer is connected.
Replace raw with the name of the printer. If this name contains spaces, surround the name with "quotes".

Create a new watchDirectory task, select the Run an existing .bat file plugin.
Click the "EXBAT" variable, and browse/select the AutoPrintPdf.bat you have just created.
On the Filter Events page create a filter so this task will only process files with a PDF extension.
On the Events page, only select the FILENEW option.

Or just use Foxit Reader

The current WatchDirectory release has a new task that uses Foxit Reader to print PDF's. Please see this blogpost.

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