Setting up Print Distributor with many printers

17 Aug 2010

One of the tasks that used to be rather unwieldy in Print Distributor was setting up multiple virtual printers with each printer pointing to a physical printer. This is quite a common requirement for customers who need to archive everything that goes through a print server. With version 5.1 we have introduced global actions which make the task easier. Typically you would configure and test the physical printers first, in this case we will name them _Paris, _London and _Madrid. These printers aren’t shared, they will only be printed to by Print Distributor.

Now we can define our virtual printers in Print Distributor, this time labelling them Paris, London and Madrid. We won’t add any actions to the printers at this stage. These printers will be shared and will be what the end user prints to.

Finally using the Tools->Global Actions->Before Actions we can add our actions. We can’t use the standard RePrint action as it won’t expand variables (yet) so we will handle the reprint using the Script action, just add a Script action and paste in the following code:

RePrint PrintFilePath, "_" & PrinterName, DocumentName

You can add any other actions you need to run for every printer such as Write File to save an archive of the raw file or Distiller to write a PDF.

The order of processing is:

  • Run global before actions
  • Run printers own actions
  • Run global after actions

Hopefully this should save you a lot of work if you have many printers on your print server.