- Database applications.
- Automatic imposition for printing plates.
- Print previewing.
- Printer control and management.
- Delivery to a service bureau or quick printer.
- Data logging.
- Printer driver testing.
- Email automation.
- Forwarding to a distilling or ripping application.
- Document management and archival.
- Open your Devices and Printers folder and select the printer you would like to capture.
- Using the right-click menu, Select "Printer Properties".
- Go to the Ports tab and click "Add Port".
- Select "Alphatronics Virtual Port" and click OK.
- A dialog is displayed allowing you to enter the port name. Enter a port name such as "AVPMon:".
- Select the Output Directory in which you would like the resulting printer output files saved.
- Configure other options as desired. Context sensitive help is available by pressing F1, or using the "?" icon in the upper right of the dialog.
- Additionally, you may select a post-print application. The application you select will be executed after the file has been completely written, appending the output filename to the command line, which causes most applications to perform the "open" function on the file. This feature allows program authors to create applications that operate on printer files.
- Click OK in the dialog, then OK in the Printer Properties. Now when you print to that printer, files will go to the selected output directory, being named automatically.
Most printer output is understood by printers only.
The exception to this rule is if the printer driver is designed to produce image data or text.
Standard Windows drivers do not produce image data, but the "Generic/Text Only" driver will produce text.
Also, graphic design programs allow placement of EPS files. This requires a Postscript printer driver with the Postscript Output Format set to Encapsulated Postscript (EPS).
This format does not produce a preview of the file and may not work as expected.
Yes, but if the physical port actually exists, the Windows port monitor gets control of it before Virtual Port Monitor can, so you may need to disable the port in the BIOS setup.
To create a Virtual LPT1: port:
- If the computer has a physical 25 pin female printer port, you will need to disable it in BIOS setup, otherwise plug and play will continue to find and install it.
- Boot into Windows, and delete LPT1: from the device manager.
- You may also need to delete the port you want to capture from the list of ports Windows supports by using the registry editor:
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Ports.
- Each port is is a REG_SZ value with no data assigned. Delete the LPT1: value.
- After removing the port from the registry, you will need to restart the spooler service or the computer.
- Select a printer, get the properties for it, and create a Virtual Port called LPT1: (including the colon).
Windows still calls it a "Local Port" in the ports list, because it starts with "LPT".
As of Version 18.104.22.168, LPT1..LPT9 devices are captured directly by the Alphatronics service so the port is available as long as the service is running. Previous versions routed the port through the Windows print spooler, which will close ports the subsystem deems idle or unused.
There are some DOS programs that will never work properly with Windows because they attempt to operate directly on the hardware, and the hardware does not exist.
No. The resulting file is a binary copy of all data sent from the driver.
Some drivers change their output based on data collected from the printer (i.e.: choose not to download fonts installed in the printer).
Since a Virtual Port is not bi-directional, this query cannot be performed, so there may be a difference in the data output from the driver because of this.
Virtual Port Monitor is installed as an extension to the Print Spooler service and as a service.
The service is used to send print files to their output directory, run post-print applications, and to facilitate configuration.
To troubleshoot a spooler problem you can use Virtual Port Dashboard (VirtualPortMonitor.exe) to de-activate Virtual Port Monitor for troubleshooting purposes.
Once the problem is isolated, you can re-activate Virtual Port Monitor using the same utility.
There are no known problems with Virtual Port Monitor crashing the Spooler Service.
No. The software is installed on one computer.
If you need to install the software on more than one computer, then more licenses would be required. Our Site license allows you to install Virtual Port Monitor on every computer at a single location.
Yes. Enable and configure the TCP/IP Printing feature for the desired Virtual Port.
If a security context is not entered on the Security Page:
- The Virtual Port operates as LocalSystem.
- The Virtual Port is restricted to resources on the local computer.
- The profile used is the default for the system.
If a security context is entered on the Security Page:
- The Virtual Port operates as the selected user, and can access any resources the login allows.
- The users profile is loaded, which may include network mappings.
- Make sure you can log on to Windows on the computer that Virtual Port Monitor is installed with the credentials supplied on the security page.
- Make sure you can access the resources that you expect Virtual Port Monitor to access.
- Turn on Debug Reporting for the port and check for any issues.
Yes, and it's free! Install the Alphatronics PS driver (or some other Postscript driver) and browse for gswin32c.exe on the post-processing configuration tab, then add command-line switches as required.
For other types options, modify the command line in the post-print application edit box as required.
The following example will cause Ghostscript to emit a PDF file:
"C:\Program Files\gs\gs8.60\bin\gswin32c.exe" -r1152 -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sOutputFile="%AVPPath%%AVPBaseFileName%.pdf" %1
This example will create a 96 DPI TIFF file:
"C:\Program Files\gs\gs8.60\bin\gswin32c.exe" -r96 -sDEVICE=tiff24nc -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sOutputFile="%AVPPath%%AVPBaseFileName%-%02d.tif"
%1 is replaced at runtime by the output filename created by Virtual Port Monitor. The other environment variables, such as %AVPPath%, are also replaced at runtime.
Go to Change PC Settings\General\Restart Now\Troubleshoot\Advanced Options\Startup Settings\Restart and click Disable driver signature enforcement.
Once the compauter has been restarted, you can install using the add printer wizard.
Virtual Port Monitor does not limit the number of ports based on the type of license.
The number of ports is limited only by system resources.
Cmd.exe no longer seems to work in session 0 in these Windows versions.
Virtual Port Monitor uses the CreateProcessAsUser() API function, which in previous versions of Windows, would not execute anything but exe files.
Now CreateProcessAsUser() seems to use a built-in command interpreter that uses the PATHEXT environment variable to execute batch files directly.
Instead of using "cmd.exe /c C:\MyFolder\MyBatchFile.bat", use "C:\MyFolder\MyBatchFile.bat".