How to use QPCPrint as a virtual printer driver, and how to capture all output sent to LPT1
QPCPrint is designed to work as a print filter called directly by a program which sends Epson® printer output to the filter, for QPCPrint to convert to any installed Windows printer driver. However, QPCPrint can also be installed as a virtual printer driver, enabling it to capture all output sent to a specific port (such as the parallel port LPT1), in which case it can be used with any DOS program or emulator which attempts to send Epson printer output directly to the parallel port.NOTE: QPCPrint cannot currently output to a printer attached to the device which it is set up to capture. Therefore if your printer is physically attached to LPT1, you will need to set up your programs to output to LPT2 instead and read these instructions with LPT2 substituted for LPT1.
In order to set up QPCPrint as a virtual printer, you need to follow these instructions carefully.
- Copy QPCPrint.exe to your hard drive. We will use C:\QPCPrint\QPCPrint.exe in this example.
- Download and install the freeware program redmon from http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/redmon/
- Now go to Start on your PC and click on Printers and Faxes
- Select Add a Printer – this will start the Add Printer Wizard.
- Click on Next and ensure “Local Printer Attached to this Computer” is selected – click on Next Again
- You will now be given the options to select a Printer Port. You need to select Create a New Port and ensure that the Type of Port is set to “Redirected Port”.
- Click Next.
- You will now need to enter the name of the redirected port – we shall presume that this is RPT1.
- Click OK
- You will now be prompted to Install Printer Software. We would recommend that you choose the driver for an Epson Stylus Colour 640 ESC/P2 – this driver should be built into Windows (or you may need to insert the Windows CD-ROM into the drive in order to install this printer software.The driver which you install at this point is only really important if you intend printing to QPCPrint from within a Windows program – QPCPrint expects its incoming data to be in Epson format.
- Click on Next.
- You will now be prompted to name the new printer – do not accept the default name (Epson Stylus colour 640), but enter the name as QPCPrint.
- Ensure that this is not set as the default printer and click Next.
- You will now need to finish the wizard – you will need to share the printer with the name set to QPCPrint.All other options can just be ignored – keep clicking Next until you get to Click Finish to install the printer – click Finish.
- You should now see the QPCPrint printer icon appear in the Printers and Faxes Window.
- Right click on the QPCPrint printer icon and select Properties
- Once the Properties Window opens, go to the ports tab. Ensure that RPT1: is selected (as shown) and click on Configure Port.
- Set “Redirect this port to the program:” to the full path and name of QPCPrint.exe installed at step 1 – this would normally be:
- Set the “Arguments for this program” to – (a single dash)
- Ensure Output is set to “Program handles output”
- Select the box for “Run as User”
- Click OK
- You will be returned to the QPCPrint Properties Window – click OK to exit this and then close the Printers and Faxes Window.
That completes setting up the QPCPrint Virtual Printer Driver.You now need to set up the device capturing from DOS. Open a DOS command prompt and enter the command:
net use lpt1: \\%computername%\QPCPrint
NOTE: the LPT1 port will only be redirected to use QPCPrint after you have issued this command.
If you get an error when you issue this command, then you may want to enter the command:
to get a list of any pre-existing redirections on your system. You will then need to decide whether to redirect another printer port to QPCPrint (such as LPT2) or whether to remove the existing redirection first – see below.
If you want to ensure that all output is captured by QPCPrint (even after resetting the PC), then you would have to issue the following command in the DOS command prompt:
net use lpt1: \\%computername%\QPCPrint /persistent:yes
To remove the redirection again open a DOS command prompt and issue the command:
net use lpt1: /DELETE