9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 8, 2013 4:54 PM by Michael Wineke

    How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?

    zhopkins Wayfarer

      Hello all!  I'm hoping there are some other users out there who have explored some of the different options for separating out their B&W and Color print jobs that can provide me with some insight.


      A few years back, we had regular printers instead of copiers, so separating out B&W and Color print jobs was easy - There was a B&W queue that went to several monochrome printers and a separate color queue that went to a large color laserjet printer.


      Last summer, we got rid of all of our printers (they weren't able to keep up with our large print volumes), and now we only have copiers (all are color copiers from Ricoh).  To try and continue with what everyone was familiar with, we created two print queues, one for B&W and one for Color.  Both queues are attached to the same release stations and devices, but the shared Windows print queues are configured with default color options (B&W on the one, Color on the other).  These settings carry into the Pharos package installer for Windows, which works well, but since Macintosh and Linux users have to manually install the printer drivers from Ricoh, they are unable to make use of the separate queues, as the print drivers default to Color.  Pharos helps some, as a job only containing Black print will be charged the B&W prices, but our students often forget to change the settings so they'll only get a B&W print out (e.g., a page with a small color logo and all the rest is text gets charged as a full color page).


      For those who know their way around the settings, it is possible to print a B&W job to the Color queue and vice-versa.  Students are still charged based upon the color content of the document, but it seems to render the separate queues somewhat irrelevant.


      We've tossed around the idea of having a single queue, and having everything print B&W by default, unless a student explicitly goes in and sets it to print in color.  But, this again will cause issues on Macintosh and Linux computers, where color seems to be the explicit default.  We're also not sure how having to make that choice will affect our students, as not all of them are aware that such a setting exists and they may not want to go in and fiddle with the settings.


      Have any of you all ever gone through something like this before and how have you dealt with it?

      Thank you!

        • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?
          Francois Grenier Adventurer

          Hi Zachary,


          Here, we decided to go with two separate hold queues (Colour and B&W) to simplify the user side of things.  No need to go in "advanced" print options settings and a much lower chance of mis-selecting "colour" on a 100 pages document!


          Both hold queues are compatible with all print devices, making it is possible to print in colour and release on a B&W device (or the other way around).  What is nice is that Uniprint has a field to specify if a device is colour or B&W and it adjusts the cost accordingly.  You can include both queues in a single package, so it does not change the installation process.  Having two separate queues also gives you a bit more flexibility in terms of finisher options.  You could for instance equip all your colour devices with a more advanced (e.g. punch-hole, booklet, etc.) finisher.


          Technically the single queue approach would work fine in our environment, our
          decision was really "user experience" based.


          FYI, we are running Uniprint with Xerox hardware.

            • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?
              Peter Verrey Newbie

              Francois Grenier I think you are missing some of the details. They have a color device, but they want to print BW documents to it most of the time. That is actually quite difficult to do in Pharos from our perspective. We have had some limited success fixing this problem.


              Zachary Hopkins normally with a printer queue, you can go into Windows printer properties, and go to the "printer defaults" page where you can normally set whether to have printing be duplexed, color/bw, etc. With Ricoh copiers, inside this page, they offer a "one click presets" tab, which sounds like it would work for us. Unfortunately, this page is incompatible with pushing out a printer using \\printserver\printqueue . It does not copy over the presets. We were able to set an "unregistered" preset with the black and white option selected that works most of the time. It is confusing for our users, because they may click on another preset which changes it back to color, and not know how or why they would need to change it back to unregistered.


              The Mac side was even more troubling, because like you said, it thinks it's so smart it has found a color printer it ignores any settings you might have put on the server and blithely prints in color no matter what. It doesn't even seem to have any options in the ricoh driver to force it to black and white.


              Eventually, we discovered the wonders that is CUPS printing on the Mac. Just go to http://localhost:631 on a Mac to see what I'm talking about. You can access a variety of print settings through this interface. It's a little complicated for end users, but we then discovered it was scriptable, so we put together a driver/printer/configurer into one package for our users to download and install.

            • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?

              Hey Zachary,


              We are running a fleet of about 100 Ricoh machines of which about 1/3 are color. Like Francois we run two seperate queues for color and B/W.


              Form your post it seems that your main issue is incorperating Mac and Linux users into the enviroment you have that Windows work fine in. I can't be much help for your Linux users, but I have written a self installer for the Pharos Popup that installs both Color and B/W queues on a Mac the same way it does in Windows. the only differece is on a Mac you have to run the Popup and Notify installers seperatly.


              My question to you is, are you running the same driver for your Color and B/W queues?

                • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?

                  The trick that we found that has worked for us for the last few years is to have separate drivers for the B/W and Color queues. For the B/W queue we use the MP 4500 driver and for the color queue we use the MPC 4500 driver (both of these are generic drivers that work for most Ricoh machines). This works well because the MP 4500 driver has no color options so it always prints in B/W regardless of any other settings.


                  We also don't allow jobs printed to the color queue to be released at B/W only machines. This prevents someone from sending a job that the user thinks is all B/W but has one word in color and getting charged for color but getting a B/W copy. Cuts down on user complaints.

                    • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?
                      zhopkins Wayfarer

                      Francois Grenier we've been trying to cut down on the number of queues (we used to have four, due to differing printer models), and as much as I would love to get it down to a single queue, I think you're right - the whole point of this system to provide a better experience for our users, and forcing everyone to check their color settings every  single time would detract from that, so I think the two seperate queues is still the way to go.


                      Peter Verrey since we only really use Pharos for our students, we don't have to worry about mapping Windows printer shares, and the settings carry over fine for those users on Windows.  I've looked at CUPS some in the past (thats what our Linux setup uses), but I had not looked into any sort of automation therein.  By chance, do you have any scripts that you would be willing to share?


                      Gary Johnson we are currently using the same driver for both of our queues.  I am interested in the idea of using seperate drivers to force the B&W queue to stay monochromatic, so I'll do some research on that.  Sadly, I think most of our staff who were really into programming on Macs have left us, but if you've got any Applescripts or XCode applications that you'd be willing to share, I would really appreciate it.


                      Thanks all!

                        • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?
                          AJ Settlemyer Wayfarer

                          Thank you all for posting some follow up to this question. I am having the exact same issue in my buildings. First the users complained about everything printing color, so I changed the Queue's to be B&W, now the MAC people are complaining because from their print settings they cannot choose B&W or Color if they really want color. The idea of a seperate Queue for each and specific drivers for B&W and Color is a great start.

                            • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?
                              AJ Settlemyer Wayfarer



                              Still having problems getting a color Ricoh MFP C3001 to print B&W when I want it to. The only way I've been able to print a B&W color page is to change the setting on the MFP itself to force only B&W. I've downloaded and installed a driver for a MP 4001 which is B&W only, and made sure that was configured in both my windows printer properties and in Pharos both on the Queue settings and the device settings.


                              Under User Authentication Management on the C3001 we chose PC Control with USER access and that still printed color when we wanted B&W.


                              Can someone help with this? I think we're close but are missing something.

                      • Re: How to handle seperate B&W/Color Printing?
                        Michael Wineke Wayfarer

                        I have the opposite problem, really.

                        Mac print driver deployment package works fine for specifying default behavior, but I'm not able to do the same with the Windows packages.


                        Mac side, "just" edit the ppd.