Automatically Distribute Print Jobs Between Printers Using Filename Filter

Task

Our CRM software system produces three types of PDF files for each order made by our client: a label sticker, a dispatch note, and an invoice. I need to automate the printing of these files on different printers and printer trays. The files should be distributed simultaneously: label stickers to a barcode printer, dispatch notes - to my regular laser printer and invoices to its secondary printer tray with letterhead invoice forms. Is it possible to do with FolderMill? For example:

Filetype Filename Printing device Color mode
Label sticker Orders-2017-06-30- label.pdf  > Barcode label printer Black & White
Dispatch note Orders-2017-06-30- dispatch-note.pdf > Laser Printer, Tray 1 Black & White
Invoice Orders-2017-06-30- invoice.pdf > Laser Printer, Tray 2 Color

Solution

You can easily do it with FolderMill. Let’s say, we have label stickers in PDF format titled “Orders-2017-06-29-label.pdf”, “Orders-2017-06-30-label.pdf”, etc. which are to be printed on a barcode label printer. At the same time we have dispatch notes and invoices to be printed on another printer - Laser Printer - and on different printer trays (Tray 1 and Tray 2 accordingly). Label stickers and dispatch notes should be printed in grayscale mode, whereas invoices - in color.

FolderMill adds value to the printer load balancing in the operating system by distributing load between available printing devices. To automate distributed printing, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new Hot folder

Create a new hot folder to automate files processing with FolderMill

Action set for label stickers

  1. Create a new action set and add Filename filter action:

    Add Filename Filter to process certain filetypes

  2. Set *label.pdf as a filename filter (mask):

    Use filename mask to process PDF files

    This filter will allow this action set process only files ending with “label.pdf”, according to the mask.

  3. Add Print document as a second Action:

    Add Print Document Action

  4. Select a barcode label printer for your label stickers and hit the Settings button:

    Select barcode printer to print label stickers

  5. Make necessary settings, such as color mode (black & white) and click OK:

    Set printing preferences for label stickers

    You’ve made processing rules for the label stickers. Now let’s add Actions for dispatch notes and invoices.

Action set for dispatch notes

  1. Create new set of actions for dispatch notes. Unlike adding a new action, this will add a separate sequence of actions simultaneous to the one we already made:

    Create new actions set to assign another sequence of Actions

  2. Add Filename Filter and input *dispatch-note.pdf as a filename filter and click OK. Thus, this Actions Set will allow FolderMill to pick only files ending with “dispatch-note.pdf” in their filenames.
  3. Add Print Document as a second Action. Select your laser printer and open printer Settings. Your printer settings may vary, but there are normally options to select printer tray, color mode, and other preferences. Select “Paper Source: Tray 1”, “Black & White” and click “OK”.

Action set for invoices

  1. Similarly, create a third action set for invoices and add Filename filter action again. Input *invoice.pdf as a filename filter and click OK
  2. Add Print Document as a second action. Open printer Settings to set Paper Source and Color Mode. Select “Paper Source: Tray 2” and “Color” and click OK.

    Almost good to go! In the end, your Hot Folder should look like this:

    Hot Folder Settings with three Action sets

  3. Click Apply changes and run FolderMill by pressing the Start button:

    Now you have FolderMill set up, so that:

    • All incoming PDF files containing “label” are sent to the barcode label printer and printed in black & white
    • All incoming PDF files containing “dispatch-note” in the filename are sent to the laser printer, Tray 1 and printed in black & white
    • All incoming PDF files containing “invoice” in the filename are sent to the laser printer, Tray 2 and printed in color
We hope that you can take advantage of FolderMill's great ability to route documents by filenames and print on multiple printers simultaneously. If you have any questions or issues on features described here, please contact us.

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