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Setting the default printer on a per-application basis


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03-Apr-2009, 03:09 PM #1
Setting the default printer on a per-application basis
I'm not familiar with any way to do this, but I'm hopeful. In my retail shop, I have several computers set up, each with a receipt printer attached. For the POS software to print receipts and reports, the receipt printer must be set as the default.

Attached to a network computer is a regular-sized printer for printing memos and so on. My problem is that when I open emails in Outlook 2003, it is VERY difficult to change the page size (since receipt paper is much more narrow) and the email comes out in a single narrow column. After some tinkering, I can get it to print full-page, but I can't train all my employees to do the same every time I send a memo out. Is there a way to set a default printer for Outlook only, while keeping the receipt printer as the default Windows printer?

I also have one other program for which I wish to do this, but it isn't necesary.

Using Windows XP Professional SP3 on all machines
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03-Apr-2009, 05:42 PM #2
I think this might help you out. Change Printers in Outlook 2003 I can't test this as I only have one printer.
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04-Apr-2009, 09:09 AM #3
That's another bug I've worked around already, though just as annoying. I just want employees to be able to click "Print" without changing any settings, since I will have already set them up for each application.
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04-Apr-2009, 01:21 PM #4
Other then the option in my post, I don't think that there is an option the set multiple default printers that are application specific. There might be software out there that'll do the job, but not that I have seen anywhere. Sorry, maybe someone here know a trick or two a bought this.
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04-Apr-2009, 02:02 PM #5
You could do what you want using a batch file or script, but would need to start Outlook from a batch file or script (instead of from the Outlook icon).

The default printer information is stored in the registry in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows.

You would need to export that key to a REG file for the receipt printer set as the default. And export the key to a different REG file for the regular printer set as the default.

Create a batch file that Opens Outlook and runs the reg file for the regular printer. It needs a loop that checks to see if Outlook is still running. Then run the reg file for the receipt printer if Outlook is no longer running.

Edit: This isn't going to work if Outlook is left running all day.

Last edited by Frank4d; 04-Apr-2009 at 02:22 PM..
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04-Apr-2009, 02:16 PM #6
I also remember using a command line utility to do the same thing when my kids were very young. I added a command to shortcuts so when they ran their little Thomas the Tank Engine games, the default printer was set to a phantom printer using the 'NUL' port so they could not print.

The 'defprint' utility I used is attached below. I seem to remember it only worked with printer names that were 8 characters or less.
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File Type: zip defprint.zip (12.0 KB, 353 views)
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04-Apr-2009, 02:33 PM #7
Here is a good place to start. Beginners Guides: Understanding and Creating Batch Files It'll give you a good base line to start from.
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office, outlook, printer

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