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Thread: Default Printer

  1. #1
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    Default Printer

    Hello everyone.

    I have this problem: in the company we have network printers, one of which is the printer I set as my default (HP LaserJet 4050). But sometimes when I print to either color printers (HP Deskjet 950 / 970 Series) or PDF Writer, after the print I find out the printer I sent the print job to has set itself as the default printer.
    This may happen several times during the same day, having to reset the original printer as default time after time.

    Any clues on what causes this to happen? More important, any clues on how to solve it? <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Thanks a lot!!!
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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Default Printer

    I have an idea this is fairly standard procedure - for example - when you change your printer in Word or Excel it becomes the default in other applications.

    I don't usually suffer from it as all printing to non-default printers I do using macros. Simply record a macro to change to another printer, print the current document then change back to your required default. With a button to run it on your tool-bar, it will save time in the long run too.

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    Re: Default Printer

    Leif, thanks for your prompt response.

    From my experience using windows I understand that whenever you print in one application (e.g. Word), the printer you select will remain the active printer FOR THAT APPLICATION until you close the current session with it. Then it resets and the default printer becomes the active printer again. Same happens with other applications: PPT's, Excel's, and any other non-office application's active printer doesn't depend on which printer Word has been working with, or at least it shouldn't. Please correct me if I'm wrong, what I'm telling I tell from experience.

    So running your macros may come in handy for example if you're working with several Word documents at a time and you want to print one to a printer other than the default, then print the following doc to the default printer, then a last document to a third printer without closing the current Word session. It would save you lots of time for sure.

    In my case, things are a little different - the printer remains the default printer for ALL applications. I don't believe this happens with only one file, but I'm not sure...

    Besides, my toolbars are chock-full of zillions of customized buttons, so cramming a couple more for quick printing doesn't seem to be a good idea <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>.


    Any other clues?
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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Default Printer

    I have a recollection that changing the printer in one app changed it in another, but I can't replicate this now, so I'm going to have to back down on that idea! It may have been caused by a malfunctioning macro that was changing the default printer and failed to reset it . . .

    Have you thought about creating a new menu if you are out of toolbar space for buttons?
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    Re: Default Printer

    Yup, hadn't thought of that... I mean, I knew I could create a new menu, but I had never put the feature to a real good use.

    I'm more interested in knowing what causes a non-default printer to autoset as the default printer, though, because this not only affects office apps (which I can "fix" with a cople of macros as you described) but also non-office programs, and it's a reeeal pain to go changing default printers <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39>.

    Anyway, come to think of it, it would be useful to have this new "Printing" menu. But I'm not friendly with VBA... would you drop me the lines of code that worked for you? Maybe I can work out a bunch of suitable macros for me... There shouldn't be any trouble, should there?

    Thanks again
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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Default Printer

    What would be easier than sending you my code would be to tell you how to quickly create it yourself.

    Word:
    With a blank new document and starting with your default printer selected...
    Tools > Macro > Record New Macro
    Give it a simple name like "Print1" and select it be saved in your Normal.Dot
    Click OK and a little Stop Recording button will appear.
    File > Print
    Select the Printer you want
    Print
    File > Print
    Select your default Printer
    Select Close

    Click on the Stop recording button

    Right_click on your Menu bar > Customize
    Commands >
    Select New Menu from the left pane, then drag the New Menu from the right pane to your Menu bar
    Select Macros from the left pane, find your new macro in the right pane and drag it to the new menu item you just created.
    Right_mouse on your New menu and a menu will drop down allowing you to rename it
    Left_mouse on your new menu, the list will drop down and you can right_mouse and rename your new menu item.
    Close the customize window and you are away.

    Make sure you save your Normal.dot.

    Excel
    More or less identical to the above, except the Macro should be saved in personal.xls.

    Is that enough to get you going? If you want to view or edit the macros, hit Alt_F11 when in the application and the VBA editor will open for you to play around with.


    If you have any applications that will not allow you to change the printer - i.e. they have no Print Dialogue window - let me know and I'll post a link to a neat prog that allows you to redefine your default printer from a desktop shortcut. I use this method with our accounts prog - saves going the Start > Settings > Printers route to create a 1-off pdf.

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    Re: Default Printer

    Hey Leif,

    It worked like a breeze!!!! The only gotcha is that if I want to set another printer as my default, I'll have to edit all the macros in order to get them work right (i.e., set the new default printer as the active printer when the printing job is done instead of setting the old default printer as the active printer). But I can live with that <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.

    I'd like to give your program a try. Many apps I use don't show the Print dialog box, and a shortcut to redefine printers would be a very welcome addition to my Win98 survivor workarounds pack <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    Thanks
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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Default Printer

    You could simply make the macros select a specific printer and print it, then when you quit Word or whatever, have the default printer set back to what you want as it closes.

    The default printer program does not seem readily available although I can still find links to it as freeware and have therefore taken the liberty of attaching it. The only issue I have with the brief instructions is that I could only get it to work by using the printer sharename.

    To create the desktop shortcut, write a batch file similar to the following in Notepad and save it with a .bat extension (e.g. Printer1.bat) and save it somewhere like your C: drive. Make sure defprint.exe is in your windows folder.

    defprint /D "AcrobatP"
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    Re: Default Printer

    Lefi, thanks for the app.

    Unfortunately it's not working properly or I'm not running it the way I should. I write the batch file using the printer's shareneme, but to no avail. I believe I'm not mistyping, because when I make a typing mistake the DOS prompt will go:

    "Found [N
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    <img src=/S/flags/Argentina.gif border=0 alt=Argentina width=30 height=18> <big><font color=4682b4><font face="Comic Sans MS">Diegol</font face=comic></font color=4682b4> </big>

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Default Printer

    From what it is reporting, it sounds like it is running correctly.
    I've only ever used it on NT4 and W2K - it is possible that it is not going to run on W98. I'll see if I can get it running on another machine here later...

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    Re: Default Printer

    Diego could try "PrinterExpress" by South Bay Software.
    Works like a charm!!
    Download from: http://www.southbaypc.com

    Have a Great day!!!
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