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Reply with quote  #1 
I am not allowed to die (I'm just not) until I have learned how to write scripts.  It's not going well, and I may be alive for a very long time, yet.  (You have been warned....lol [evilgrin0025])

However, I made a little progress this past summer and was able to open a webpage, format it my own way for printing, print it, then move to the next page and do it again and do this all unattended, while I stared at the insides of my eyelids.

Problem is, I didn't need this stuff on paper, I wanted it in PDF format.  But using virtual "Print to PDF" printers like CutePDF require user interaction to save the file, and that sucks.  Arghhhhhhh!

So I went in search of a PDF printer that would allow me to print PDFs unattended.
I found it.

It's called "PDF Printer" (I can't make this stuff up), made by 7-PDF.

https://www.7-pdf.com/products/pdf-printer

This thing is a programmer's/admin's dream.
Well, there is a cost, so it's more of a "she was really cute" dream, not an "entire team of cheerleaders" dream.... but still....

I'm using the community edition, which is free for up to 10 users (even commercially).
To be clear, the community/free edition is watered down, but it does what I need and that makes me happy... and when I'm happy, we all happy!   [cutie]

I was able to generate filenames based upon variables, I could append already existing PDFs, I could overlay another PDF on top, and I could even say what tags/metadata should be written to each PDF created.

I know you can create multiple profiles/printers, each with diff settings, but I didn't try that.

The thing worked great and I generated probably 20,000 PDFs with it.  In fact, it ran all summer without needing more ink.  (hahahaha)

So, if you have systems that could benefit from having PDFs automatically generated this is definitely an app to check out.

Lastly, if you try it, just a heads up...(because it took me a bit to figure this out...)  You don't config the Printing Preferences from the printer's entry in Devices and Printers.  Instead, look for a new application called "7-PDF Printer Options."  Open that and you'll see all the tweak-able settings.

Hope it's useful for someone! 
 

Cheers,

~spazalot


PS - Here's their list of features:

    Print to PDF from almost any Windows application.
    Support for Citrix / Terminal Server from PDF Printer Version Professional Edition and higher. *
    New! Open an email with the new PDF attached.
    New! Support for PDF /A-2b and PDF /A-3b compliant documents.
    New! The "Merge" function directly via the print dialog (PDF Print Monitor / Document Collector) simplifies the compilation and merging of several PDF print jobs into one PDF document!
    Can be used as PDF Network Printer.
    Supports 64-bit operating systems.
    Direct output to the same file each time or prompt for destination.
    Control if the printer should ask if you want to see the resulting PDF document.
    Control settings and prompts programmatically.
    Setup can run unattended.
    Graphical user interface.
    Generates PDF /A-1 compliant documents.
    Password protect PDF documents.
    128/40 bit encryption.
    Quality settings (screen, printer, ebook, prepress).
    Set document properties.
    Watermark text, size, rotation, and transparency.
    Superimpose/background documents.
    Appending/prepending documents.
    User interface control.
    Command line interface to all settings.
    COM/ActiveX API interface for programmatic control.
    Microsoft.NET API and command line API.
    Create BMP, EPS, PS, PNG, PCX, JPEG, and TIFF files as alternative to PDF documents.
    Create linearized PDF files for optimized web viewing.
    Initial zoom settings.
    Page thumbnails.
    Create one PDF for all pages or one file per page.
    Individual horizontal and vertical resolution for image creation.
    Configure text and graphics alpha bits to support smooth edges in images.
    Plus much more


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Donato

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Reply with quote  #2 
I can see that it does a lot of things but don't forget that Windows print to file function has a PDF choice. My printer died so I was using that function until I bought another printer.
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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donato
I can see that it does a lot of things but don't forget that Windows print to file function has a PDF choice. My printer died so I was using that function until I bought another printer.


The Windows print to file option has the same problem as all the others, though...
When you "print", a dialog box appears asking for what filename you'd like to use.  You must type that in, before the process continues.  So, it requires user interaction.

What I needed was a way to "print to a file" without needing me to be there, ready to name and save the file.

This program allows you to set up all the variables beforehand and then every time you print to it, it creates a PDF, in whatever folder you chose, using the variables/tokens you set up.  It can generate tray notifications, or act completely in the background. It can suppress errors, etc.

So if you have a work process that's consuming labor time, like printing month-end reports, that would benefit from being automated, this printer can help.  Also, since you can set the variables of a specific type of print job beforehand, you can effectively remove the user from the print process, should you need to.  (Think of people who swear their files were deleted because they don't realize the save dialog was opened to a different folder and they just typed in a name and hit enter...or when you have several people responsible for creating the same items and the naming schema is not adhered to, causing problems)

I took screenshots of the options, so you can see what you can have it do automagically.

(They are not in any order - sorry 'bout dat!)
  2018-10-11 18∙31 PM SPAMSTERkkmnj.png  2018-10-11 18∙32 PM SPAkjljkMSTER.png2018-10-11 18∙31 PM SPAMSTERhjgjhg.png 2018-10-11 18∙32 PM SkklkPAMSTER.png  2018-10-11 18∙32 PM SPAMSTER.png  2018-10-11 18∙31 PM SPAMSTER.png  2018-10-11 10∙25 AM SPAMSTER aa.png  2018-10-11 10∙24 AM SPAMSTER.png 
2018-10-11 10∙24 AM SPAMSTER a.png 2018-10-11 10∙25 AM SPAMSTE1231R.png  2018-10-11 10∙25 AM SPAMSTER.png  2018-10-11 18∙32 PM SPAMkmSTER.png   
  2018-10-11 10∙24 AM SPAMSTE bR.png  


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