Kermit 95 Printer Setup and Troubleshooting

Contents:

As of: Kermit 95 2.1.3

Kermit 95 supports both host-directed and local text-mode printing for one printer at a time, selected by the SET PRINTER command.

Kermit 95 sends text directly to the printer without any preprocessing or reformatting beyond what might already have been done to it already by the terminal emulator (e.g. character-set translation). So if your printer can't accept plain text, you need to install a standard input/output print filter.

To clarify the preprocessing comment: If you Print-Screen (\Kdump) or use the Windows Print Screen key, the characters are taken "from the screen" and so have already been formatted and possibly translated by the terminal emulator. The same is true for host-directed autoprint, print-screen, or print-line operations. BUT... host-directed transparent print operations redirect all the bytes from the host straight to the printer, including escape sequences and untranslated characters, completely bypassing the screen and terminal emulator.

When configuring a printer you may choose to use its DOS name, such as PRN or LPT1, or its Windows queue name; the choice implies totally different drivers and spooling mechanisms. When printing to a DOS Device name the data may be converted by the underlying printer drivers to the necessary format. When using the Windows Printer Queue mechanism the output from Kermit 95 is treated as raw data and is not altered before being sent to the printer. This means that if you are using a WinPrinter (a printer designed for use with only Microsoft Windows operating systems) you will be unable to print to the printer via the Windows Print Queue method.

It's usually not possible to know which method works with which printer, so in general, try using a Windows Print Queue first; then if that doesn't work, try a DOS Device name.


Postscript Printing

If you are using a Postscript only printer, the raw data output by Kermit 95 will not be understood by the printer. Kermit 95 provides a built-in Text to Postscript filter which can be used to convert a plain text file to postscript so it can be understood by the printer.

  SET PRINTER /POSTSCRIPT /WIDTH:80 /LENGTH:66
where the width and length are used to determine where word wrap and page breaks should be placed. This built-in filter takes the place of the
TEXTPS.EXE external filter that is shipped with Kermit 95 as a historical utility.


Print Redirection

Kermit 95 has an option for the printer output to be sent to an external program (also known as a 'filter'). Before the Text to Postscript filter was integrated into Kermit 95, this feature was used to support Postscript printers. The SET PRINTER command supports a /COMMAND switch which is used to specify the filter. Any of the following forms is accepted (using textps as an example):

  S