TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Customizing Desktop Printer Util

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: develop

Customizing Desktop Printer Utility

by Brendan Galten and Ingrid Kelly, Apple Computer, Inc.

In the current LaserWriter 8 driver, the Chooser lists printers which are available on the AppleTalk network (either LocalTalk or AppleTalk) with an NBP type of "LaserWriter." When the user selects one of these printers, LaserWriter 8 creates a desktop printer by sending an Apple Event to the Finder. In the past, this mechanism of setting up printers has served the needs of most users. However, with LaserWriter 8.5.1, Apple is responding to several requests for more flexible desktop printing functionality. To this end, Apple has introduced a new application called Desktop Printer Utility which enables users to create additional types of desktop printers. Users can now create desktop printers which use the Unix lpr protocol for printing, in addition to the regular AppleTalk PAP printers. There are also "hold" printers which represent local print queues and "virtual" printers which represent printers which are not available on the network.

Along with the expanded capabilities, Desktop Printer Utility is also customizable. LaserWriter 8.5.1 and Desktop Printer Utility (together) support the creation and use of desktop printers known as Custom DTPs. When printed to, Custom DTPs cause the LaserWriter 8.5.1 driver to create a PostScript file and to launch an application that can post-process the PostScript. This post-processing application can do anything it likes with the PostScript file, such as converting the PostScript into another file format, transferring the file to another location using a modem or a network connection, or displaying the PostScript file to the user. This article describes how a developer might customize Desktop Printer Utility for use with an application.

Customizing the DTP Utility

In order to add a new custom DTP to the list of supported DTPs in Desktop Printer Utility, you must add resources to the utility's resource fork. Desktop Printer Utility contains templates to ease the creation of these resources.

'CsDs'(CustomDTPResource) Resource

In order to customize Desktop Printer Utility, a 'CsDs' (CustomDTPResource) resource must be added to Desktop Printer Utility. The LaserWriter uses this information to find the appropriate application to launch and to customize your DTP interface.

The resource's format is defined by the structure 'CustomAppDesc:'

#define kVariableLen 1

struct CustomAppDesc{
    OSType appSignature;    
    Str255 docType;    
    Str255 helpText;    
    Str255 usage;      
    Str255 appFileName;     
    short numOfHintsFollow;  
    HintRsrcSpec hintRsrc[kVariableLen];  
};
typedef struct CustomAppDesc CustomAppDesc;
  • appSignature: The application signature of the application to launch. The LaserWriter driver uses this information to find the application on all mounted volumes which are available to the user.
  • docType: A string that describes the type of custom DTP. This string appears in the list of document types when "New" menu is selected. This string is highlighted in Figure 1.
  • helpText: This string appears when your custom DTP is selected. This string will appear in the "New" dialog field just below the DTP choices. This string appears as 'Custom DTP Example Help Text' in Figure 1.
  • usage: A string that describes the usage of your custom DTP. This string appears as 'Custom DTP Example Usage string' in Figure 2.
  • appFileName: The name of the application to launch. The LaserWriter driver uses this information to find the application on disks which are available to the user as well as to provide error messages to the user (e.g. "SurfWriter could not be launched due to insufficient memory").
  • numOfHintsFollow: The number of hints provided in the hintRsrc array. See the 'Hints Resources' section for more details.
  • hintRsrc: An array of hints that outlines the kind of PostScript that should be generated by the driver. See the 'Hints Resources' section for more details.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.

Hints Resources (optional)

The CustomDTPResource can provide 'hints' about the PostScript the driver should generate. Each 'CustomDTPResource' contains the field 'numOfHintsFollow' which represents the number of 'hints' provided. The 'hints' data is placed in an array that contains 'numOfHintsFollow' number of copies of the structure:

  struct HintRsrcSpec{
    OSType rsrcType;    
    short rsrcID
  };
  typedef struct HintRsrcSpec HintRsrcSpec;

Each entry in the array points to a resource which is converted to a hint in the driver's preferences. The hint resource types, which are currently supported, have the following formats:

/* PostScript Level */

The application that postprocesses the PostScript for a custom DTP may require or prefer a certain PostScript level. The 'pslv' hint specifies the desired PostScript level.

Resource type 'PSlv' 
typedef struct{
    OSType hintType;      //'pslv' hint type
    long hintId;        // set to 1
    long psLevel;
}PSlvResource;

#define kHintLanguageLevelTag  'pslv'
#define kHintLanguageLevelId  1

The possible(current) values for psLevel which can be set are:

  -3,  Level 2 and 3 
  -2,  Level 1 and 2 
  -1,  Unknown Level 
   0,  Other Level     //do not use
   1,  Level 1 
   2,  Level 2 
   3   Level 3

Note: -3 will create PostScript that takes advantage of PostScript level 2 and level 3 printers, but the data may fail on a level 1 printer. -2 will create PostScript that will succeed on level 1, 2, and 3 printers.

/* Binary OK - 'bnok' */

This hint allows or disallows the use of binary data in the PostScript file.

Resource type 'BNok' 
typedef struct{
    OSType hintType;    //'bnok' hint type
    long hintId;        // set to 1
    TriState binaryOK;      
}BNokResource;

#define kHintADOIsBinaryOKTag  'bnok'
#define kHintADOIsBinaryOKId  1

There are three acceptable settings for binaryOK which answer the question, "Is binary data ok?":

   0,    False
   1,    True
   2     Unknown     //do not use

Note: This hint should not be created in the DTP with a value of unknown; however, it is available for future use.

/* Job Type - 'jobt' */

This hint specifies the type of PostScript to generate.

Resource type 'JObt' 
typedef struct{
    OSType hintType;    //'jobt' hint type
    long hintId;        // set to 1
    char jobType;      
}JObtResource;

#define kHintJobTypeTag   'jobt'
#define kHintJobTypeId    1

Currently only two PostScript forms for jobType are available:

    0,  psJobPostScript 
    1   psJobEPSNoPreview

/* Font Handling - 'font' */

This hint specifies the font inclusion. The font handling hint consists of a four-byte flag followed by a list of NULL terminated font names.

Resource type 'FOnt'
typedef struct{
    OSType hintType;      //'font' hint type
    long hintId;          //set to 1
    long tag;    
    unsigned char name[1];  
}FOntResource;

#define kHintIncludeFontsTag    'font'
#define kHintIncludeFontsId      1

The possible values for tag are:

    0,  kIncludeNoFontsOtherThan
    1   kIncludeAllFontsBut

If the flag is 'kIncludeNoFontsOtherThan', the utility will only include the font definitions of fonts that are listed after the flag. If there are no font names after the flag, no font resources are included in the output. If the flag is 'kIncludeAllFontsBut', font resources are included in the output unless the font names are listed. To include all fonts, use the 'kIncludeAllFontsBut' flag with no fonts listed afterwards.

Sample Custom DTP

Following is a sample of a custom DTP that excludes Courier and Helvetica from the PostScript file via a 'CsDs' and 'FOnt' resource. This sample is intended to give developers an idea of how easy it is to customize the DTP Utility. The first step towards adding the Custom DTP is to create a hint resource of the correct type. The example shown is the 'FOnt' resource which provides data about font inclusion.

Figure 3.

The second step is to associate the hint with a particular DTP by adding hint resource information to the 'CsDs' resource for a particular DTP.

Figure 4.

And that's all that is required to get the DTP Utility to create a custom DTP that produces a PostScript file without Courier and Helvetica.

Limitations of the DTP Utility

Due to the parallel development schedules of Mac OS 8.0 and LaserWriter 8.5.1, DTP Utility 1.0 (which ships with LaserWriter 8.5.1) will not install on Mac OS 8.0. It will, however, work with Mac OS 8.1, due out in Fall of 1997.

Licensing the DTP Utility

In order to ship a customized DTP Utility with your application, you must license the DTP Utility from Apple. Please contact Apple's Software Licensing group (sw.license@apple.com or 512-919-2645) for more information.

Summary

This article has described and demonstrated all that is necessary for you to customize Desktop Printer Utility. We encourage all developers to give this a try.

Further References

  • 'Introducing the LaserWriter Driver Version 8.5.1' by Ingrid Kelly in this issue of MacTech.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Leticia Alarcon, John Blanchard, Richard Blanchard, Paul Danbold and David Gelphman.


Brendan Galten is a software engineer with RBI Software Systems in Berkeley, Ca. He resides in Petaluma, Ca. When not writing software, he enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, Rosemary, and making sure his 9 month old daughter, Kelly, doesn't eat bugs. Camping, fishing and woodworking occupy what little time is left.

Ingrid Kelly is a technical support engineer at Apple Computer. She and her husband, Lance, are constantly in search of the best new restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. One day, they may decide to leave the computer industry altogether and open one of these great restaurants themselves. For now, though, they are content helping Silicon Valley grow.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

calibre 2.17 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.1.2 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
OmniGraffle 6.1.2 - Create diagrams, flo...
OmniGraffle helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use Graffle to... Read more
RoboForm 2.0.2 - Password manager; syncs...
RoboForm is a password manager that offers one-click login, mobile syncing, easy form filling, and reliable security. Password Manager. RoboForm remembers your passwords so you don't have to! Just... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.1 - Live performance t...
Love the sound you got on your recording? MainStage 3 makes it easy to bring all the same instruments and effects to the stage. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.2 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
A Better Finder Rename 9.44 - File, phot...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
Stacks 2.6.9 - New way to create pages i...
Stacks is a new way to create pages in RapidWeaver. It's a plugin designed to combine drag-and-drop simplicity with the power of fluid layout. Features: Fluid Layout: Stacks lets you build pages... Read more
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Ea...
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award-winning Civilization series. Set in the future, global events have destabilized the world leading to a... Read more
Logic Pro X 10.1 - Music creation and au...
Apple Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that's designed to get... Read more

Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destr...
Choice Provisions is Set to Launch Destructamundo on iOS This Month Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Choice Provisions – home stable to | Read more »
King of Thieves – An Interview With Zept...
Ahead of the release of ZeptoLab’s King of Thieves, we were able to ask ZeptoLab’s co-founder, Semyon Voinov, a few questions about the inspiration behind the game and what that means for the Cut the Rope franchise. | Read more »
Handle Review
Handle Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY ORGANIZINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Handle is a very convenient way of juggling your emails, To Do list, and Calendar all through one... | Read more »
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a...
The New Disney Inquizitive App Offers a Place for Fans to Take Disney Quizzes Posted by Tre Lawrence on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Hands-On With Cut the Rope Developer Zep...
Marking quite a departure from ZeptoLab’s past successes, namely the Cut The Rope series, King of Thieves is shaping up to be quite promising. Due for release in February, we were lucky enough to have some time with a preview build to see exactly... | Read more »
Fast Fishing Review
Fast Fishing Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVES UP TO ITS NAMEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fishing is far from relaxing in Fast Fishing, but it is fun.   | Read more »
The LEGO Movie Video Game is Available N...
The LEGO Movie Video Game is Available Now for iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on January 23rd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Satellina Review
Satellina Review By Jennifer Allen on January 23rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: TWITCHY BUT TACTICALUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Satellina requires quick thinking and twitchy fingers, and it’s pretty fun.   | Read more »
Tail Drift, the Crazy 360 Degree Flyer,...
Tail Drift, the Crazy 360 Degree Flyer, Has Gone Free-to-Play in a New Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 22nd, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
PureSkate 2 Review
PureSkate 2 Review By Tre Lawrence on January 22nd, 2015 Our Rating: :: ALMOST ALL AIRUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad PureSkate 2 lets one’s fingers do the skateboarding.   | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus GIve Apple Half Of US Mob...
Chicago-based Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) have released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone manufacturers for the calendar quarter that ended December 31,... Read more
Save $100 on MacBook Airs with 256GB of stora...
B&H Photo has 256GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook... Read more
21-inch 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179, save $...
B&H Photo has the 21″ 2.7GHz iMac on sale for $1179 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
iPhone Usage Rates by State Correlate With Ed...
Chitika Insights notes that despite iPhones being the largest source of smartphone Internet traffic in North America, their latest study finds a relatively high degree of variation of iPhone usage... Read more
ProGearX Extendable Pole “Pov/Selfie Stick” M...
There’s something inescapably narcissistic about the concept of selfies as they’ve developed as a smartphone-driven social (particularly social media) phenomenon that rubs me the wrong way. However,... Read more
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP, 2...
 Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for the next two days. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished MacBook Pros and...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Sale! 13-inch 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro for $...
 B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.8GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Next OS X/iOS Version Upgrades Should Concent...
On stage at Apple’s World Wide Developers’ Conference in June 2009, Bertrand Serlet, the company’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering at the time, announced that the forthcoming OS X... Read more
First National Bank to Offer Apple Pay Adds I...
First National Bank will make Apple Pay available to customers beginning in the first quarter of 2015. Apple Pay will enable customers to easily make secure mobile payments with their First National... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Lead Operator, GSOC - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking an exceptional, customer service oriented and experienced persons to fulfill the role of Apple Lead Operator (ALO) as part of the Read more
Order Support Supervisor- *Apple* Online Sto...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Store (AOS) Order Administration team is looking for an Order Support Supervisor to manage and lead a team of Specialists through the Read more
Senior Program Manager, *Apple* Online Supp...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Support Planning team is looking for an experienced Senior Project Manager to lead key Quality program initiatives across the Online Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.