Windows 9x - Speed up repetitive printing chores

You can print in a jiffy by saving the printing instructions to a file and creating a shortcut that sends the instructions to the printer whenever you need a copy. One caveat: this tip will not work with Postscript printers.

Open the document in the application you usually use to print it. Choose File-Print to open the Print dialogue box, and check the Print to File option. Some applications, including Notepad, don't have a Print dialogue box, and others don't have a Print to File option. In such situations, choose Start-Settings-Printers. In the Printers window, right-click the icon for the printer you normally use, and choose Properties. Then look for an option that specifies ports; frequently, it appears on the Details tab. From the Ports list, select FILE: (Creates a file on disk) or the equivalent. Then click OK.

Return to your application, and choose the Print command. Click OK in the Print dialogue box. The program should prompt you for a place to save the print file. Select a convenient location, and type a name (such as printme.prn); then click OK, and exit the application.

The next step is to create a shortcut that sends this file to the printer. Right-click the Start button, and choose Open or Explore. Navigate to the folder where you want to keep your document-printing shortcuts. If you have several such documents, consider making a new folder in the Start Menu folder so that the shortcuts are available from the Start button. After opening the proper folder, right-click an empty area and then choose New-Shortcut. When the Command line prompt appears, type command.com /c copy /b "C:\My Documents\printme.prn" lpt1:. The name and path of your print document may differ. Be sure to use quotation marks if any part of the path uses spaces or long file or folder names.

If you print to a port other than lpt1, you'll have to change this part of the example to match your printer's port. To identify the correct name, return to the Ports listing in the printer's Properties dialogue box, as explained above. Common port names are "com1:" or "com2:" for serial printers, or entire paths (usually beginning with \\) for networked printers. Once you've entered the proper command line, click Next and type a name for your shortcut. This name will appear on your chosen menu within the Start menu. When you're done, click Finish.

To add some finishing touches, locate the icon you just created, right-click it, and choose Properties. Click the Program tab. Your command line is shown here, in case you need to edit it or correct a typo. From the Run drop-down list, choose Minimized to hide the DOS window that appears when the file is sent to the printer. Make sure Close on exit is checked. If you like, you may click Change Icon and select a different icon to give your shortcut a distinctive or more meaningful look. When you're done, click OK as many times as necessary to close the dialogue boxes. Thereafter, whenever you need a copy of your document, just choose your new shortcut from the appropriate menu on the Start menu.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scott Dunn

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?