Print channels - Understanding the principle
The only task of AutoPrint is to monitor a file folder for a new document or graphics file and … upon arrival just to print it.
Sounds simple? Yes, it is easy, and as shown in the introduction, the most common way to setup AutoPrint actually is:
Define an empty local or remote file input folder and select a printer for the output - that’s it!
After this AutoPrint will automatically create a logical processing sub-system that will do all the hard work from monitoring the file folder,
rendering the file contents and sending it to your printer spooler. This sub-system we call ‘print channel’ from now on.
Although it is not necessary to be familiar with the philosophy of the print channel for normal use of AutoPrint, we recommend that you at least make a brief journey through this chapter. It will help you remember a point or two when you want to make the most of some of AutoPrint's most powerful features.
All print channels operate in
Isolated print channel configuration
You can define multiple print channels, while each channel will be working in its own isolated CPU process.
This concept opens a robust and highly flexible framework for both individual creative solutions and productive printing services.
Here are a few basic inter print channel configurations:
Once the print channel has been activated (default state after saving) it starts periodically performing all subsequent tasks:
Input file control
- Check the internal scheduler for starting all the following activities
- Continuously monitor the defined input file folder for new files
- Wait until a new file has been completed / transported by the external sending process
- Check if the file type matches with one the defined types for this print channel
- Check the file according to further optional filter rules
- Exclusively register the file for processing in this print channel (to avoid possible interferences with other active print channels)
- Render the file content to a predefined internal target canvas
- Perform all necessary sizing and rotation operations as defined for this print channel
- Add header or footer text lines, i.e. showing the filename, date or page numbers (optional)
- Add a graphical overlay mask including an alpha channel layer (optional)
- Add a bar code or QR code representing the filename or a static text (optional, Professional license only)
Print control & Clean up
- Check the printer spooler status for availability and pending print jobs (limit can be individually set)
- Transfer graphics canvas to the printer spooler
- Go back to graphics processing for the next document page (if any)
- Complete the printer spooler job
- Unregister the input file from the database
- Finally move the input file to a predefined folder or delete it
You can leave a new print channel to its default settings or open the hood for refined filter conditions or individual layout optimizations.
Detailed information is provided here (see Setup).
Serial print channel configuration
Parallel print channel configuration
AutoPrint in detail