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  1. #1
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    Optimise multiple documents printing speed (All)

    Hey,
    I have a procedure for printing out all files described in a recordset. Right now, I would like to use the procedure for (some thousands of) Word documents. This comes in very handy when you want to have them in a certain order (based on name & optionally certain metadata), as Windows NT tends to print out a selected number of documents in a rather mixed up order <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/groovin.gif border=0 alt=groovin width=21 height=21>).
    Now a practical problem occurs <img src=/S/scratch.gif border=0 alt=scratch width=25 height=29>: as print commands tend to pile up in the printer window (they appear in the window, they do).... they get eventually processed very irregurarily, with (sometimes quite long) brake each time a bunch (mostly, lucky us) of documents is done. This seems to get worse when the number of files to be printed increases.

    Does anyone know
    - if (too) many print commands can effectively slow down the processing? Then, might this be solved by sending the commands e.g. with one every 5 seconds? (Personally, I doubt it...)
    - how the processing speed of a printer driver can be optimised?

    Relavant (?) Word printing options checked are (I hope I translate them right):
    - background printing
    - change format in A4/letter when needed
    - included: drawings
    Standard printer drawer: use printer settings

    Relevant (?) printer properties checked are
    (a) printer window - File menu 'properties' - tab 'Planning'
    - priority: lowest (current priority: 1) or highest (current priority: 99)
    - place print documents in waiting list so that the program can print then faster = checked
    - immediately start printing
    NOT checked: print directly to printer, print documents in waiting list first,...
    ([img]/forums/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] printer window - File menu 'default properties for document' - tab 'Job retention'
    - Job retention mode = off

    The problem occurs with both our network printers: "HP LaserJet 4100 PS" & "Oce 3155-3165 PCL Mailbox 3.1.1". The latter is the worst...

    Thanks for any feedback!
    Hasse

    ps Too bad printers can't empty their 'basket' themselves so now and then, so they could print all night through... haven't found a solution for that yet.
    ps If I manage to contact HP or Oc

  2. #2
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    Re: Optimise multiple documents printing speed (All)

    ps I supposed this problem occurs in all versions, but just in case the solution depends on it: I'm using Access 97 SP2 on a Windows NT workstation (and I think a unix network).

  3. #3
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    Re: Optimise multiple documents printing speed (All)

    Printing thousands of documents doesn't seem to be an environmentally sound idea. Whoever is going to read thousands of documents? Do you have shares in the paper manufacturing industry? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Printing that many documents is going to cause all kinds of problems apart from ruining forests, printers in a standard office environment just aren't built for that. Sending them to a professional printing company is probably a better and in the end cheaper solution. Most nowadays accept documents on CD-ROM (e-mail is probably impossible with such a large number of documents.)

    If you must do it in your own office, try sending the documents to the printer in small batches, say of 5 or 10 documents, with some time in between. You could use the On Timer event of a form to regulate this.

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    Re: Optimise multiple documents printing speed (All)

    Thanks, Hans, for the advise.
    Indeed, thousands of documents seems like quite a waste. It's all part of an evaluation procedure we coordinate, with all Word documents (more than 200 files * 2 sets * more then 5 topics, varying between (mostly) one to several pages) coming in, of course, rather short before the deadline. The order in which they arrive doesn't allow printing them as they come in, without the risk of drawning by numbers & getting pretty <img src=/S/nuts.gif border=0 alt=nuts width=15 height=15> while sorting <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.
    We try grouping them as we can but then, still, there's enough of them to stick with this problem. I'm dreaming too about concatenating them into one big document which could be printed two pages/side but also there, too many practical & programming issues must be dealt with. (Probably we can, once, hand this over to a nice database + on line web application).

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    5 Star Lounger jujuraf's Avatar
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    Re: Optimise multiple documents printing speed (All)

    I agree with HansV about this being too many pages to print and the odds of them actually being read is pretty low, isn't it? I certainly hope you're at least printing double sided. Why not print them to PDF and let people read them on their computers? I see so many sheets of paper sitting by the printer at my company that never get picked up. What a waste!

    I use FinePrint http://www.fineprint.com and love it!! It is a driver that sits between your printer and the program that created the doc to be printed (Word, Excel, whatever). It has a preview window so that you can view what you're about to print in case of errors AND (here's my favorite feature)... it lets you selectively delete pages from being printed. It also has the standard feature of print multiple pages to one physical page (2, 4, 8 sheets per page). It's not free but it's certainly cheap and good program.

    Deb

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    Re: Optimise multiple documents printing speed (All)

    jujuraf,
    Thanks for the tip, though we're lucky to have printers available with drivers which already allow double sided and multiple pages on one sheet printing (Oc

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    Re: Optimise multiple documents printing speed (All)

    <img src=/S/flatcat.gif border=0 alt=flatcat width=61 height=21>
    FYI... the network appeared the speed limiting factor: it only let through like limited number files at one time (maybe depending on the trafic at the time).
    When I connected 'locally' to the HP 4100 printer we have, files were processed and printed out immediately (leaving the user the responsability to provide a break now and then for cooling down).

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