21 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2015 1:13 PM by John Siegel Branched to a new discussion.

    Prevent printing to A4 and Legal

    David Alexander Scout

      We have HP printers (model M806 and M855) in our Library.  We have seen an issue when a student tries to print to A4 or Legal paper.  We only have 8.5x11 and 11x17 paper loaded in our printers.  When a student tries to print A4 or Legal, the following happens:

       

      1. Student gets charged for the print job, but it doesn't print
      2. Printer goes into a state that requires you to have to touch the screen to cancel the job manually
      3. If someone doesn’t manually cancel the job, anybody who tries to print afterward will receive a confusing error on the PS200 screen

       

       

      I wanted to see if there is anything that we can do to lock the drivers/printer/Pharos down in such a way that students can only print to medium that is actually available in the trays (8.5x11 and 11x17).

       

      One additional complication to our setup - we use pop-up drivers for public PCs in the Library.  We also have Mobile Print and MyPrintCenter enabled.  We disabled the ability to select which printer to release to in MyPrintCenter because we wanted to only have two queues - black/white and color.

       

      Dave

        • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
          Steven English Guide

          David Alexander,

           

          You may need to test this a bit to make sure that feedback is provided to the end user, but you can set the attributes that each printer accepts which will result in Pharos refusing to release jobs to a printer that does not have matching attributes.  For example, if you go to Pharos Admin > Output Management > Devices, then select one or more devices with Print functionality enabled in the upper center pane, then expand the Print section in the lower center pane and click the right column of Job Attributes... you will then be given the option to select which attributes your printers will accept.  If nothing is checked all jobs are permitted, but as soon as one box is checked the only jobs permitted through are ones with those attributes.

           

          You will notice that there are paper sizes and job attributes.  Typically, paper size is what people want to reject, so just select the common attributes and then the few paper sizes you want to allow.  You can look at the attributes of the jobs that typically come through your system in the Queued Jobs context, but here is a sample list of common attributes:

          • Binary
          • Collate
          • Color
          • Default Paper Size
          • Duplex
          • Letter
          • Mono
          • NoCollate
          • PCL
          • PostScript
          • Simplex
          • Text

           

          If you find that users are printing custom paper sizes and Pharos is not rejecting those custom sizes, let me know and I can provide a SQL query to adjust that behavior.

           

          Usually the biggest obstacle to this approach is that the end user does not receive a nice pretty message that truly explains to them exactly why the job is not allowed (i.e. a list of attributes that are not permitted).  This is why I referenced the need for some testing in order to make sure you are content with the behavior of the system.  I am making an assumption that you are using SecureRelease here over direct printing based on your use of MP.

           

          In the end, this may be a bit of a trade off between have a confused user that needs some education on what is happening versus having an upset user that has been billed and a printer that requires intervention.  If scripting is your thing, you should be able to mess with that a bit in order to improve feedback to the end user.  Custom scripting is something that typically requires a statement of work and/or a quote if the project is simplistic enough, so I wanted to make sure that this is something you were interested in tackling on your own before I go into all of that.  There are a number of ways that this could be implemented, it would just be a matter of finding a balance between over-developed and the opposite extreme of unhelpful.

           

          Regards,

          Steven

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
              Steve Lasich Adventurer
              If you find that users are printing custom paper sizes and Pharos is not rejecting those custom sizes, let me know and I can provide a SQL query to adjust that behavior.

               

              I'd be interested in seeing that SQL query. 

               

              We commonly see A4, C5 and DL paper-size jobs in our queues which then get released to our printers.   The printers, HP 600 M60x, have the option to print A4 on Letter automatically, but the other sizes cause the printer to prompt for user input, never a good thing.

               

              Outright rejecting these jobs is less than optimal.  What I would really like is some SQL which will print all unknown size attributes from the default tray.  Alternatively, it might be useful to print a substitute spool file instructing the user to go back and choose a supported paper size.

                • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                  Steven English Guide

                  Steve Lasich,

                   

                  The query does not modify any properties, it is just to make sure that Pharos outright rejects the job based on the attributes set.  I ran into a situation where the custom attribute was not resulting in the job being rejected.  The query made sure that Uniprint considered the "custom" paper size attribute to be an attribute that would trigger rejection instead.  Let me know if you are still interested and I will see if I can dig it up.  It won't come with any warranty.  :-)

                   

                  Regards,

                  Steven

                    • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                      Steve Lasich Adventurer

                      Yes, please, I'd appreciate seeing your SQL code.  I find working code to be less ambiguous than documentation.

                        • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                          Steven English Guide

                          Steve Lasich,

                           

                          The update queries below were provided by Scott Oswold for one of my customer's about a year and a half ago.  I added comments to the queries and put an select statement at the top so that you can view the current state of your system.  Essentially it just marks the custom paper size as being one that is considered to be reject-able as opposed to its default behavior.  The update queries have also been wrapped in comments to force intentional selection and execution.

                           

                          Regards,

                          Steven

                           

                           

                           

                           

                          -- View current configuration of "Custom" attribute

                          -- If jattr_uses = 3, this is the default and will not reject a job with the custom paper size even if configured to do so in Pharos Admin

                          -- If jattr_uses = 7, the custom attribute is now respected in the whitelist once enabled and will be rejected unless checked as a permitted attribute

                          SELECT * FROM job_attributes WHERE name = 'Custom'

                           

                           

                          /*

                          -- Modify "Custom" paper size to respect checked or unchecked state in job attributes whitelist (may be rejected if desired)

                          ALTER TABLE job_attributes DISABLE TRIGGER job_attributes_insupddel_tr

                          UPDATE job_attributes SET jattr_uses = 7 WHERE name='Custom'

                          ALTER TABLE job_attributes ENABLE TRIGGER job_attributes_insupddel_tr

                          */

                           

                          -- EDIT: Remember to issue a Change Control for the behavior modification to take effect.

                           

                          /*

                          -- Modify "Custom" paper size to original state which is indifferent to state in job attributes whitelist (always allowed)

                          ALTER TABLE job_attributes DISABLE TRIGGER job_attributes_insupddel_tr

                          UPDATE job_attributes SET jattr_uses = 3 WHERE name='Custom'

                          ALTER TABLE job_attributes ENABLE TRIGGER job_attributes_insupddel_tr

                          */

                    • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                      Kurt Albrecht Tracker

                      An additional note about using "Job Attributes" to reject improper paper sizes:  Acrobat likes to send may attributes to printers to "help" the printer do its job. So, if you have not added that attribute, whatever it might be, the print job will be rejected.  When we first learned how to reject A3 print jobs, we rejected virtually all print jobs at one of our research libraries where all the documents were PDFs coming from on-line journals.  We went back in to check off everything that might possibly come in to play that would not break the printer and received much joy from the library staff.

                       

                      Kurt

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                      gschwartz Tracker

                      Many printers also have the option to "hold mismatched documents" in the printer's properties (Advanced tab).  It won't prevent people from sending jobs with the wrong size paper, but if that does happen, it may allow the printer to keep printing other users' jobs, and avoid the terminal showing an error.

                      hold_mismatch.png

                        • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                          Steven English Guide

                          Greg Schwartz,

                           

                          This sounds like an ideal setting, but just want to inquire as to your experiences with it.  It looks like the job is held server-side, which makes me wonder about how those jobs are managed long-termand what potential impact that would have on queue performance (i.e. what if 100 "mismatched" jobs come through one week and start hanging out in the queue?).  The other bit I am not clear on is exactly how it decides something is mismatched unless it is simply looking into the driver settings for paper tray assignments and the like.  If so, would using Default Paper Size as a value render the feature moot?

                           

                          Hold Mismatched Documents   If selected, the spooler holds print jobs that don't match the setup for the print device. Selecting this option is a good idea if you frequently have to change printer form or tray assignments.

                          [Chapter 16 - Administering Network Printers and Print Services]

                          [Setting print spooler options: Network Printing; Print Services]

                           

                          Regards,

                          Steven

                            • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                              gschwartz Tracker

                              Steven English,

                               

                              I haven't used that hold mismatch option in a while, but if I remember correctly, it still sends the job to the printer, and the printer itself holds it aside.  Which I guess wouldn't help, because the user would still be charged, since the terminal releases the job.

                               

                              As for the default size option, that would be a much better solution, if they can do it.  We use that here because a lot of professors create documents that are not standard sized -- the latest one to cause problems was 8.5 x 11.35 -- so on our public computers I've enabled the option to "fit to page" in the print driver settings.  That solution works great, as long as the paper size is comparable to what's loaded in the printer.  Where you start running into problems with that is when someone sends a large job (ie. 11x17) and you only have letter-sized paper... it will still print the job out but it more than likely won't be what the user intended, so you may have to deal with issuing credits in those cases.

                              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                                  Paul LaFollette Guide

                                  I wondered about the hold mismatch option, so I tested it on my system...

                                   

                                  If I set the Hold mismatch in the Printer Properties of the sending computer, the sending computer holds the mismatched job in it's own spooler (doesn't send it to the server) until the printer's properties have been configured to permit the settings matching the job.

                                   

                                  If I set the Hold mismatch at the queue on the Uniprint server... nothing was held and the job went to the printer ... and the printer did it's best to print (in my case I sent a 11x17 document to a 8.5x11 printer using the HP Universal driver) ... and the 11x17 page was shrunk down to fit on an 8.5x11.

                                   

                                  I'm not so sure Hold mismatch would do want is being wanted.

                                   

                                  - Paul L.

                            • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                              John Siegel Guide

                              I'd like to look at that too. 

                               

                              ~John

                              • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                                Matthew Wright Wayfarer

                                This has been one of our biggest problem for years with Pharos. We have to send techs out to the MFPs to clear the jobs with A4 sizes several times a week. Anything that could be done to eliminate this issue would be greatly appreciated.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                  • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                                    gschwartz Tracker

                                    Matthew Wright, have you tried using the "fit to page" setting?  It takes a job that doesn't match up with the copier's loaded paper sizes and scales it to fit onto an existing paper size, ie. A4 to letter.

                                     

                                    I'm sure the setting's location varies by driver, but on the Sharps that I service it's under Properties on the Paper tab.

                                     

                                    fit to page.png

                                      • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                                        Kurt Albrecht Tracker

                                        Be prepared to process refunds.  Some may think it is a good thing but others will be getting an unexpected result.  A4 to letter is barely noticeable but legal to letter, or worse, A3 to letter is barely readable.  Of course, I could just get a stronger pair of spectacles...

                                         

                                        Kurt

                                          • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                                            gschwartz Tracker

                                            Kurt Albrecht that's a good point, it depends on what is typically being printed.  Here at our site it hasn't been an issue (yet).  Many of the professors email labs and documents that aren't formatted correctly (ie. 8.5" x 11.35") so it creates a mismatch error every time each of the students in the class tries to print it, which creates a lot of service calls.  Instituting the fit-to-page setting eliminated those calls and hasn't created any refund instances as of yet.  I'm sure it will at some point, but the trade-off is worth it.

                                             

                                            At least, that's my experience here.  I'm sure it will vary depending on what users typically print and what size paper you keep in the printers.  Definitely something to think about before using that setting.

                                              • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                                                John Siegel Guide

                                                In our environment (Xerox Phaser's and WorkCentre MFD's), all of the printers\MFD's with the exception of one model, allow for the device to auto-convert A4 to letter. Keep in mind though that many application's can override the driver\device settings, or in the case of PDF's have a specific size locked into the document. We actually had a class syllabi PDF once that required 22 x 17 paper. Since it was locked down and you needed a password to change any of the settings it would error out at the printer. You had to change the paper size at the printer preferences, but unless you knew that ahead of time, it failed. Once we were able to identify the problem we were able to get it corrected. We've also had students complain that a job won't print and then find out it's a PDF that was intentionally locked down and doesn't allow printing.

                                                 

                                                Most of the time if you can get me the job to test, and I can consistently reproduce the error, I can figure out the problem and correct it \find a work-around. The challenge is in getting the job, which happens maybe 10% of the time.

                                                 

                                                The bottom line is "it's a jungle out there, wear a helmet!"

                                                 

                                                and remember:

                                                 

                                                "You can print all of the pages some of the time, and some of the pages all of the time, but you can't print all of the pages all of the time!"  A. Lincoln

                                                  • Re: Prevent printing to A4 and Legal
                                                    Kurt Albrecht Tracker

                                                    I was going to protest, but with a little additional thought I realized that I can just pass along the pain.  Thank You John!

                                                    John's environment is similar to mine and I regularly have to stand and deliver, or duck and deliver, whatever.  Our undergrads are wonderfully creative and in the spirit of inclusiveness, I guess I can call it job security.

                                                    For what is supposed to be a convenient, self service system there is a lot of hand holding that must be done, and usually on a very short timeline.

                                                     

                                                    Kurt