Even I did not think this is possible since … well … who uses DOS these days, right? But boy was I wrong.I mean, true enough there still are and it is even possible to print from DOS to USB, GDI Virtual and other Windows only printers.
I had apprehensions at first especially when the Windows OS itself evolved over time to 2000, Vista 7 and now 8. That got me thinking, where do DOS programs stand now? Are they still compatible to printers running under these said operating system versions?
In a way they still are, but the point here is the issue of printing correctly what the user expects to see printed.
Remember the printer of the old days? Dot-matrix to be exact connected to LPT or parallel ports. Those were the printers of yester-years. Today, printers have evolved a great deal. How about printers being able to connect to USB ports since they have been the standard nowadays in the modern tech world?
More Windows printers nowadays are GDI printers and those printers are not smart enough to render it on paper coming from a DOS application.
Well, I found out a tool called printfil. It is a true Windows 32 bit utility which captures the DOS source ascii data flow and converts it into a real Windows GDI print job which then can be sent to any printer installed in your Windows Control Panel, including USB, GDI, DOT4 and virtual printers.
It can recognize the control codes embedded into the DOS printer job and redesign the corresponding effects like bold and condensed in the produced GDI job, with one more advantage: a single set of control codes can be used to drive any Windows printer even if the real destination printer is not compatible with the source data flow.
Too technical to grasp the concept? To put it simply, Printfil is a true Windows program that acts as the bridge to enable your DOS programs to connect to your Windows programs correctly.
To install the USB to LPT adapter and make it work, there is a high probability that Windows driver itself will suffice. However, you need to select the printer’s properties to have it use the USB to LPT adapter port in order for your printer to work. This tip should work in Windows XP and Vista.
Plug the cable into the USB port on your computer.
A prompt that says “Found New Hardware” will appear. Windows will then install the USB printing support driver automatically. You do not need to install the driver from the CD.
Plug the cable into the printer.
If your printer is already installed, click on Start, then Printers & Faxes. Right click on the printer you are connecting to and click on Properties. Click on the Ports tab and check the Virtual printer port for USB with the printer name of your choice beside it . Click OK.