Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


"Text Only" print driver no longer working?

  1. #1


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8 (duh)

    "Text Only" print driver no longer working?


    For many years, I've used the Generic / Text Only virtual printer driver to convert Web pages and other files to plain text with minimal formatting, but the last time I used it, the resulting file was peppered with unnecessary spaces, making it close to indecipherable when viewed in a text editor. Has some recent update changed the way this driver works (or, in my case, doesn't work)?

    I've attached two files to illustrate the problem: filler.html contains a few paragraphs of boilerplate text, and filler.prn is the result I get from loading filler.html into Firefox and printing it to the Text Only "printer". (Both files were renamed to filler.*.txt to conform to this forum's limitations for uploaded files.) Note that the output file is more than ten times the size of the input file; if you examine it with a hex editor, you'll see that the increased size of the output is due to many sequences of a carriage return (without a linefeed) and several spaces being unnecessarily inserted in the output stream every few characters. I imagine if this were sent to a 1970s-era printer, the defects in the output would be invisible on the page, but since the whole point of the Text Only driver is to bypass any physical printer, I don't understand this change in behavior. Is there any way to prevent this and get back to the output I'm used to?
    "Text Only" print driver no longer working? Attached Files

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Are you trying to print from a command window, or from Notepad/wordpad. It helps to know what mfg & model of printer you have.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8 (duh)


    Quote Originally Posted by broe23 View Post
    Are you trying to print from a command window, or from Notepad/wordpad.
    I'm not trying to print anything; the Generic print driver is intended to convert a program's output (in my example above, I'm using Firefox, but it's intended to be used with any program) into a minimally formatted text file.

    Quote Originally Posted by broe23 View Post
    It helps to know what mfg & model of printer you have.
    Again, I'm not using any printer; the idea is to be able to use the "print" function to create text file output from programs that don't provide other means to produce text output.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Do you mean the old "Print to file" feature ? I don't think it exists any more. I started copy / paste to text editor first and than after eventual changes print it normally or save it as "filename.txt"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    How do you use the Generic print driver? What, exactly, do you do?

    I did find this though: How to Add Generic Text Printer to Windows 8

    Edit: Tried it and it works. Took your .txt as input, printed to the Generic Printer and got this as output:

    Generic Test.txt
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8 (duh)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Yes; this is exactly what I'm talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Edit: Tried it and it works. Took your .txt as input, printed to the Generic Printer and got this as output:
    "Printed" using what program? That is to say, you generated that output file by clicking Print on the File menu of Program X and selecting "Generic / Text Only" as the "printer" to print to, but which Program X did you use? From your output file, I suspect it was Notepad, but I was using Firefox. I tried myself using Notepad and got similar results to you, so maybe this is actually a Firefox problem? Then again, I've been getting crazy results from other programs, as well.

    (Interestingly, I also tried to make a test "printout" from IE, but that resulted in an "access denied" error, and Google Chrome produced a mostly empty file.)
    Last edited by TBugReporter; 02 Oct 2014 at 16:25.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Instead of printing directly I just saved this page as "Text only" and got this result printable conventional way.
    "Text Only" print driver no longer working? Attached Files
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    I'll try it from Firefox tonight when I get home. I did print from Notepad as you thought.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 21
    Windows 8 (duh)


    Quote Originally Posted by TBugReporter View Post
    ... I was using Firefox. I tried myself using Notepad and got similar results to you, so maybe this is actually a Firefox problem? Then again, I've been getting crazy results from other programs, as well.

    (Interestingly, I also tried to make a test "printout" from IE, but that resulted in an "access denied" error, and Google Chrome produced a mostly empty file.)
    Actually, right now I'm most interested in getting this working with iTunes, so if you have that available, I'd also appreciate your testing using that as well. (I frequently make .txt file versions of playlists and app lists this way and transform them into spreadsheets, to which I add custom notes and info.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Doesn't work from any web browser. Tried Firefox and Seamonkey. In both cases got an error message saying Generic printer driver no longer working.

    Edit: Save as Text works fine though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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"Text Only" print driver no longer working?
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