Integrating HP printers with fake PPD files

 

QUESTION

How would I go about trying to integrate my unsupported non-PostScript HP printer?
 

ANSWER

Many HP printers can be upgraded to accept PostScript input with a PostScript printer add-on module.  Consult your HP printer documentation for details.

If this is not an option, here are some steps you can take in order to create a "fake" PPD file for your unsupported HP printer.

1) Try to find the supported printer make (PPD file) for an HP printer which is the most closely matches to your printer model.

2) Make a copy of that PPD file to a name that reflects your printer model.  The printer PPD files are in $IOFFICE/printer/ppd.  Make sure the new file has a .PPD extension.

3) Change the PPD file's *NickName entry to your printer's model name.  This string will appear in the Print dialog's Printer Makes list.

4) Add the specifications for your printer by example of the other provided PPD files.  Use the background information below to figure out how to set the Printer Type via the PPD file's *ColorDevice entry.

5) If you manage to create a PPD file which works for your printer, please send Island Technical Support a copy!  Good luck.
 

BACKGROUND

Island products use PPD (PostScript Printer Description) files to describe printer makes.  In the Print dialog, pressing the "+" button in the bottom-right corner will expand the dialog to include a Printer Makes list.  Each of the listed printer makes has a corresponding PPD file in the $IOFFICE/printer/ppd directory.

PPD files typically describe PostScript printers.  Island products support some HP printers which are not PostScript printers.  So, Island provides some fake PPD files for these HP printers.  These non-PostScript PPD files are only used by Island products to describe certain HP printer makes.

Printer Type-> label under Printer Makes list which corresponds to the chosen printer make.

File-> the PPD file name for that printer make, located in $IOFFICE/printer/ppd.

*NickName-> PPD file entry; shows up as an item in the Print dialog's Printer Makes list.

*ColorDevice-> PPD file entry; value is usually set to True or False depending on whether the PostScript printer is capable of printing in color.  In Island's fake PPD files, the ColorDevice entry must match one of the noted settings below.  If not, then the printer type will default to "PostScript B&W".

Print Script-> Extension of the print script used by Island products when printing to that particular printer type.  The print scripts are located in the $IOFFICE/bin.

Filter-> The name of the output filter used by the print scripts to convert the PostScript output to the supported HP printer formats.  The filter scripts are located in the $IOFFICE/bin.

Fake PPD files for HP printers

Printer Type: HP DeskJet 500/C B&W
        File: HP_DSKJT.PPD
   *NickName: "HP DeskJet (Black & White)"
*ColorDevice: DeskJet
Print script: .dj
      Filter: ps-to-hpdj

Printer Type: HP DeskJet 500C COLOR
        File: HP_DJCLR.PPD
   *NickName: "HP DeskJet (Color)"
*ColorDevice: ColorDeskJet
Print script: .dj
      Filter: ps-to-hpdj

Printer Type: HP LaserJet
        File: HP_LSRJT.PPD
   *NickName: "HP LaserJet"
*ColorDevice: LaserJet
Print script: .lj
      Filter: ps-to-pcl

Printer Type: HP PaintJet
        File: HP_PNTJT.PPD
   *NickName: "HP PaintJet"
*ColorDevice: PaintJet
Print Script: .pj
      Filter: ps-to-hppj

Printer Type: HP PaintJet XL
        File: HP_PJ_XL.PPD
   *NickName: "HP PaintJet XL"
*ColorDevice: PaintJetXL
Print Script: .pj
      Filter: ps-to-hppj

Printer Type: HP PaintJet XL300
        File: HP_PJXL3.PPD
   *NickName: "HP PaintJet XL300"
*ColorDevice: PaintJetXL300
Print Script: .pj
      Filter: ps-to-hppj

Note: All other PPD files describe PostScript printers which are of type PostScript Color or PostScript B&W.  To print PostScript files, Island products use the *.ps printer scripts to pass the generated PostScript directly to the printer.