AS400 Printing Tips

The AS/400 has many printing restrictions. Such restrictions may affect the way your print jobs come out on a network or PC attached printer.

When printing from the AS/400 through RPM AS400 Print Manager (Print Server) or ExcelliPrint IPDS Printing Software, many new AS/400 (iSeriesĀ® System i5) printing features are opened.

Format AS400 printed text / finishing functions

When printing to the PC network printer from the AS/400 using the Hot Print Transform, the font is too compressed.
  • RPM can be configured to scale the font.
  • This will fill the page correctly for any paper size, including custom paper sizes.
  • RPM will remove any embedded PCL formatting commands and any characters below the decimal 31, which are not printable.
To place characters on a pre-printed form in the exact position, such as on a medical form. The data is in excess of 60 lines per page and the excess print on the top of the next page.
  • RPM can be configured to use a True Type font to scale the font appropriately for CPI (characters per inch) and LPI (lines per inch).
  • Several fixed width fonts have been tried without success. Custom paper sizes and margins can be configured as well.
The report is 198 characters per line. The printer is truncating everything past 132 characters.
  • Wrapping the lines is not the solution. The data must fit on a cut sheet paper size (8.5×11).
  • RPM can be configured to scale the font to fit the paper size.
  • This will be placed between the configurable margins and the configurable page orientation (printable area).
  • The data can be printed in portrait or landscape.
Purchased a new copier that supports hole punch, watermarks, stapling, duplexing, overlay and various other page finishing functions. How can these finishing functions be applied to the spool file?
  • The AS/400’s printer emulation does not support many of these functions.
  • MFC device supports various finishing functions that can be used.
  • RPM can be configured to apply these print driver finishing functions to the spool file.
  • Individual RPM queues can be configured to apply
    different finishing options for specific jobs.
  • The default Windows print driver settings are not affected, therefore the Windows print jobs will not be affected.

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AS400 page range printing to Windows

The AS/400 remote OUTQ does not support page range printing as standard OUTQ’s.
  • The remote OUTQ uses the LPR/LPD protocol which is a “file” printing protocol not a “page” printing protocol.
  • Use an RPM to configure appropriately for the formatting.
  • Hold the RPM queue, send the print request, set the AS400 page range printing within RPM for the job, and unhold the job.
  • IBM supports a work around also, the program is called “TSPRWPR “and details can be found on the IBM web site.

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iSeries connectivity and AS400 network printing

How to set up a CL program in the AS/400 so one can print to a queue with a Dynamic IP address.

Our current clients have provided us with this CL Program. We are providing it for your consideration. This program does the following:

  • Prompts the user for the name of the OUTQ (printer) they want to use
  • Automatically obtains their IP Address.
  • Notifies the user that the OUTQ’s IP address is being updated.
  • Updates the OUTQ they provided with their IP address.
  • Prompts them to update another OUTQ.

This CL program may be used and modified for your needs.

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AS400 printing speed to a network or local printer

When printing to the PC networked printer, the job takes a long time to print and the AS/400 processor take a fair hit on larger jobs (100 pages or more).
  • The AS/400 is converting the spool file to PC printer language using the appropriate Host Print Transform settings.
  • The Host Print Transform is very resource intensive and the resulting data is much larger than the original spool file. In fact, the connection can be lost to the printer on larger spool files while the Host Print Transform is be completed, which may start the process over.
  • RPM supports an SCS to ASCII conversion.
  • RPM will convert the EBCDIC characters to ASCII characters and the SCS formatting instructions to appropriate PC formatting instructions.
  • This will preserve the SCS formatting instructions including italic characters, bolding, and underlines.
  • The data can then be formatted to the specific Windows printer. This can be done by using the Windows printer driver to apply any available finishing functions.
  • In bench tests, RPM accomplishes the transform in a tenth of the time. The larger the spool file, the better the results. Less bandwidth is used to transfer the spool file, also.
The spool file does not complete printing job/complete multiple pages.
  • This is generally a protocol issue. RPM supports the LPR/LPD protocol.
  • The LPR/LPD protocol is a “file” printing protocol vs. a “page” printing protocol.
  • The integrity is much better than that of other protocols available. If the file is not transferred, the file is sent again.
  • Other protocols verify if a page has printed, this does “not” mean there is any data on the page.

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AS400 print to file and archiving spool files

To capture the AS/400 spool file to PC folder. You will only need the text, not the embedded PC printer commands from the Host Print Transform. You will also need to call a Windows forms generator to apply a form to send to a printer.
  • RPM supports a filter action that can receive the incoming spool file, remove the printer commands, and writes to disk, that the system can access.
  • RPM supports various file naming conventions which includes any information passed in the control file that was sent from the AS/400.
  • The user name, host, banner, class, job, title, source, RPM queue name, date, time, and job sequence number are available.
To apply a form created by a Windows forms application to the spool file and then send job to PC printer.
  • RPM supports a “Command Line Interface” to start additional software (forms, applications, etc.).
  • RPM receives the spool file, starts the application, and passes the spool file to the current application.
  • The application then applies the form and sends the job to the printer.
  • Many requirements can be met RPM.
To capture spool file and save as PDF file with an applicable file name for future reference and emailing.
  • If the data is pure text or text with embedded pcl, an RPM, with various virtual PDF printers will render the data to PDF file.
  • OctoPDF, Adobe PDF, PDFCreator have been used successfully to obtain data. OctoPDF and PDFCreator offer various file naming conventions.
  • RPM can also be used to write the incoming data that will be submitted to a “watch” folder, for third party application rendering as Report to Web, etc…

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Both RPM and ExcelliPrint are available for you to try free of charge, for 21 days. If you run into problems or have questions, please contact our tech support at (208) 523-6970. Download RPM Remote Print Manager or download ExcelliPrint IPDS software.