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Daisy-Chain Printing with OP4W Terminal
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This item was originally published on the OfficePower web site on
7th May 1999
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Daisy-Chain Printing with OP4W Terminal

Daisy-chain printing allows OfficePower applications to print to a printer connected to your PC (or to another networked PC) as if it were a server-connected printer. Using this facility requires configuration tasks on both the PC and the OP server.

Configuration on the PC

  • Install the Windows printer driver for the type of printer you wish to use. This is done using the Printers icon in Control Panel (or you can use Settings:Printers from the Start menu) - click on the Add button in Windows 3.11, or double-click the Add Printer icon in Windows 95, 98 or NT 4, and follow the normal Window procedures to install the appropriate driver.
  • If the printer you wish to use is connected to another PC, and will be accessed using Windows Networking, you will identify the appropriate PC and printer in the Printer Port settings whilst installing the driver under Windows 95, 98 or NT 4. In Windows 3.11, you must use Print Manager and Select Network Printer after installing the printer driver.
  • For Windows 95, 98 or NT 4, you must also check the Spool Settings. Select Settings:Printers from the Start menu, right-click on the printer, select Properties, click on the Details tab, and finally click on the Spool Settings button. Change the Spool Data Format setting to RAW - for some printer types this may be the only option, but HP and other printers offer another setting, EMF, which cannot be used with OP4W Terminal. Click on OK, then on OK again to close the printer window.
  • Select the printer you have now installed as your default printer (OP4W Terminal will only print to your default printer). In Windows 95, 98 or NT 4, select Settings:Printers from the Start menu, right-click on the printer, and select Set As Default. In Windows 3.11, start Print Manager, click on the printer, and select Set Default Printer from the Printer menu.
  • At this point, you should be able to print to the printer from a Windows application, and it is well to check this before going further. Start Notepad, type a few words, and select File:Print.

Configuration on the OP server

  • Your system administrator must use Printers:Update/Create Printers to create a suitable printer definition. This definition must (a) use a printer model compatible with the type of printer you intend to use - for example, use the HP4 model if you wish to use a Laserjet 4 printer, and (b) define the printer usage as Daisy Chained. (For complete information, see the OfficePower Administrator's Guide.) Note the name of the printer as defined by the system administrator - by convention, it is convenient if this name is something mnemonic like daisyLJ4.

Using a daisy-chain printer

You are now ready to use daisy-chain printing. In a Terminal window, select any printing function - for example select word.print from the menus and select a document to print. When the printer form is displayed by OP, select the printer name (e.g. daisyLJ4) of the OP printer created above, and press Accept. After a pause whilst the printer data is sent to your PC, the Terminal window will return to the OP menu, and the printed document will appear on your printer.

Problems with certain Windows printer drivers

If the printout fails to appear, it may indicate that the Windows printer driver does not support the Passthrough facility used by OfficePower to send pre-formatted data to the printer - in some cases OP4W Terminal can detect this problem and will display a suitable error message. Many newer drivers are now omitting this facility - for example, HPs recent Deskjet and Laserjet drivers (including those for Laserjet 6) are affected.

In this case, you can still use daisy-chain printing by installing a second driver - as a default, install the Generic / Text Only printer driver supplied with Windows (look under Generic in the list of manufacturers). Set the Printer Port to the same value as for the original driver, and make this (second) printer the Default Printer. Now attempt to print from OfficePower as in the previous paragraph.

In the case where you are running OP4W under Windows NT4 Workstation, but the printer is connected to an NT server, you must install the second driver as if for a local printer (i.e. one connected to "My Computer") and specify any suitable port (e.g. LPT1). Then change the port to the correct network address after installing the drivers, but before trying to use the printer.

If installation of a second printer driver is necessary, you will need to select the second driver as your default when printing from OfficePower, but select the original driver as default when printing from Windows applications.

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Page last updated 31/May/2004 All rights reserved. Copyright © Brightkite Limited 2004
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