Ever tried printing on a dot matrix printer through Windows? Just compare the printing speed with a DOS based application and you’ll find out the motivation for me behind writing this article!
I recently came across a situation where an institution wanted to print receipts on pre-printed stationery on dot matrix printers. They have a DOS based application right now that prints at a speed of some 10 seconds, and our Windows XP based application takes 26 seconds! Now just imagine a huge queue at the receipt counter, with people eagerly waiting for their turn to come. And that is precisely the reason that this insitution did not want to use our software.
We thought a lot, tried various alternatives such as changing the fonts to dot matrix printer friendly fonts such as Roman, Draft, Courier, Sans Serif etc, but to no avail. One reason for this may be was that our output was HTML, which typically doesn’t support these fonts.
Here is a solution that worked… Use a Generic/Text Only printer driver
Follow these easy steps for installation:
1. Go to Start -> Settings -> Printers & Faxes -> Add Printer
2. Select “Local printer attached to this computer”
3. Make sure “Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer” is unchecked
4. Select port “LPT1:”, or you may use “FILE:” to test it with text file as output
5. Select “Generic” in the list of manufacturers, and printer as “Generic / Text Only”
6. Give a name for this printer, for example “Text Printer”
7. Follow the remaining steps as you wish
Now whenever you want to print to the dot matrix printer just select the “Text Printer” from the select printer dialog and you are done.
Coming back to the problem, our application now prints on dot matrix printer in 9.6 seconds!
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