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Setting the default printer on a per-application basis

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by amcole, Apr 3, 2009.

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  1. amcole

    amcole Thread Starter

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    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
     
  2. Lance1

    Lance1

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  3. amcole

    amcole Thread Starter

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    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.
     
  4. Lance1

    Lance1

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    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.
     
  5. Frank4d

    Frank4d Trusted Advisor

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    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. :(
     
  6. Frank4d

    Frank4d Trusted Advisor

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    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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  7. Lance1

    Lance1

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