[Tips] Quick Printing with QAP

How to send documents directly to the default printer

By QAP user Rennie Schmid

I have utilized the power and flexibly within QAP to speed up the process of finding the files on my system and printing them efficiently. This tutorial will step through the process and point out some of discoveries along the way.

Background

For several years I have been developing a paperless office and finding ways to streamline workflow. I found QAP and have been incorporating it into my system.

As a psychologist I often have to print forms and psychological tests while consulting with my clients. These can be WORD documents or PDF documents depending on their original source. Opening WORD and a PDF reader takes time and several mouse clicks. Also, some of these documents are found in separate folders usually related to a particular test or therapy. Again it takes time to find them.

My System

I use a Microsoft Surface Pro and run my complete practice from it. It is very portable and allows me to move freely between my work office, home and other work places.

I run the latest release of Windows 10 Pro. At the time of writing it was at Version 1809. This is also known as the October 2018 release.

I also use the latest releases of OFFICE 365. I use WORD to create, edit and print most of my work documents including several forms to collect client information.

File organisation utilises two file managers: Directory Opus PRO (DOPUS) and LUCION FILECENTER PROFESSIONAL PLUS. DOPUS is very powerful and QAP is configured to work with it. FILECENTER is also powerful for organizing files. I use it to create, edit, name and save PDF files from scanned documents. I organise my paperless office through this program. I also on occasion have to fall back to MICROSOFT FILE EXPLORER as WINDOWS development can at times “break” some of the functionality related to file-associations and forces MICROSOFT EDGE as the default PDF viewer.

Default Printer

Windows 10 has a feature that remembers the default printer or the last printer used. However if you go to another workplace you have to change the default printer or last printer used to match the appropriate printer in your location. This can affect the way you choose to setup QAP.

You can setup the printer through the software print dialogue box:

Alternatively you can set the default printer through WINDOWS 10 Settings:

 

File Associations

Many programs set up file associations when installed. This allows uses to open files in the default program with a double click of the left mouse button.

Within WINDOWS there are ways that you can set your files to be associated with default programs. While there are many ways to do this, I have found that the most reliable way to do this is through FILE EXPLORER:

  1. Select the file you want to associate
  2. RIGHT-CLICK/OPEN WITH/CHOOSE ANOTHER APP;
  3. scroll down and select MORE APPS.
  4. Tick the box to always associate the file to the program that is your choose as your default.

This will ensure that double clicking or opening a file with the same extension will launch it in your preferred program.

Doing the same thing through DOPUS does not always stick. This could be a problem in the current build of WINDOWS, so I use FILE EXPLORER to make file associations.

I associate word processing documents with WORD (that is the default when you install OFFICE 365). However, I associate PDF files with SUMATRA. Both programs have COMMAND LINE switches which can allow direct printing. I have found that you cannot send PDF files directly to the printer without associating them to a suitable program.

Suitable PDF Programs.

I have found that SUMATRA and ADOBE ACROBAT READER work for direct printing. SUMATRA is very fast. However, MS EDGE and FILECENTER do not work. FILECENTER has confirmed that it does not have command line switches. There may be other programs that will work but I stopped and chose  SUMATRA because it was free, fast and has command lines. Here are the printing related command-line switches for SUMATRA:

-print-to-default $file.pdf prints a PDF file on a default printer
-print-to $printer_name $file.pdf prints a PDF on a given printer
-print-dialog $file.pdf opens a PDF file and shows a print dialog to select printer and printing options
-exit-on-print when -print-to-default or -print-to is used, will exit after printing
Setting up QAP to direct print PDF through SUMATRA

Open the QAP settings window and add a new document favourite. Select the file you want to print and give it a simple or meaningful name.

Open the ADVANCE SETTINGS tab. Select the program you want to use. Place the command line setting in the appropriate section.

 

 

 Notes:

  1. I have chosen to open the printer dialog box before printing so that I ensure that the correct printer is selected. This is not necessary if the default printer is set. The only setting needed in parameters is: -print-to-default.
  2. Also note that I am using a hybrid SumatraPDF.exe and my “start in” folder is not the default the program uses.
  3. QAP is very flexible and you could set it up to print the same file in different settings by specifying the printer in the command line and using a simple name to distinguish the menu item. For example: PLC @work; PLC @home. Or in a multi-printer work place you could use PLC @workstation; PLC @frontdesk.
  4. I have found that when a file is associated with a default program there is no need to reference the default program in QAP. Simply use the command line switch.
  5. Referencing a program allows you to send a file directly through the program of choice. I can make FILECENTER the default program for PDF editing but send files directly to the printer though SUMATRA.
Printing WORD documents.

Use the same procedures outlined above but use these commands: /mFilePrintDefault /mFileCloseOrExit. This is working on the latest Insider edition of WORD 365.
In the old days I used to use WORDPERFECT and from memory it has command line options as well.

Conclusion

There are many things that are possible through COMMAND LINE OPTIONS. The Internet will unearth these commands either through discussion groups or in a manual.
I have limited this discussion to describing a way to quickly print files, but others might find other uses that can be used through QAP.

Rennie Schmid
19/10/18

 

 

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