TweetFollow Us on Twitter

LaserWriter Driver 8.5.1

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

Introducing the LaserWriter Driver Version 8.5.1

by Ingrid Kelly, Apple Computer, Inc.

This Article outlines some of the changes and new features that Apple has made with the LaserWriter version 8.5.1 release. It describes new utilities, expanded technology support, and what this means to you, the developer.

Note: This article is a generic overview of the changes in the LaserWriter version 8.5.1 release. There are several more TechNotes on Apple's TechNote web site that provide more detail on how to implement and support some of the new features with your driver or application.

Desktop Printer Utility

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.

Note: The Desktop Printer Utility will not work on Mac OS 8.0. Due to the parallel development schedules and Finder dependencies, this utility will only work on Mac OS 7.5 through 7.6.1 and Mac OS 8.1 and above.

Types of Desktop Printers Currently Implemented with the Desktop Printer Utility

Virtual- Printer (No Printer Connection):

Many users have asked Apple to provide a mechanism to create desktop printers that save their PostScript output to a file without having to be connected to a network. This is a useful feature for those users who publish or archive PostScript documents as well as for those users preparing to take a document to a service bureau. This can be done with Desktop Printer Utility by having the user set up a 'virtual printer' that saves PostScript files to disk.

Hold- Translator (PostScript):

A type of desktop printer useful for PowerBook users is a "hold" desktop printer. Such a desktop printer is always in hold mode and, as the user prints, the spool files appear in the desktop printer queue but are never printed. When the PowerBook is connected to a network with printers, the user can then copy the spool files from the hold desktop printer queue to a desktop printer that represents a real printer on the network.

TCP/IP/LPR- Printer (LPR):

Many users, especially network administrators at universities, have asked for LPR support for LaserWriter 8. With Desktop Printer Utility, printers that represent TCP/IP printers are supported. When creating a TCP/IP desktop printer, the user provides either the name of the printer or its IP address. When LaserWriter 8.5.1 prints to one of these DTPs, it will send the job using the LPR protocol.

DTP Utility Customization

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. Customization simply requires a developer to create a few resources and the LaserWriter 8.5.1 driver will do the rest. Please see "Customizing Desktop Printer Utility" in this issue for more information.

The Extended 'PAPA'

In order to support the new types of desktop printers for Desktop Printer Utility, Apple needed to grow the 'PAPA' resource stored in the driver. It has grown from 103 bytes to 1024 bytes. The new 'PAPA' looks just like an old style 'PAPA'; that is, the 'PAPA' resource begins with three packed Pascal strings representing the printer name, the network type (usually LaserWriter), and the printer's zone. After these strings comes the 4-byte network address. The new DTP data begins at the 104th byte in the resource. The data from byte 104 to 1024 (1-based indices) is a series of tagged values where each value begins with a 4-byte tag, a 2-byte length value, and then the actual data. For more information on the extended 'PAPA' resource, please see Apple's TechNote web site.

Redesigned Custom Page Size Support

With LaserWriter 8.4.x, Apple temporarily removed its custom page size support. However, with LaserWriter 8.5.1, this functionality has been redesigned and returns with a much improved user interface.

When a printer's PPD file has a "*CustomPageSize True:" entry in it, then LaserWriter 8.5.1 displays a "Custom Page Sizes" panel in the Page Setup dialog.

Figure 1.

Each new page size has a width and height as well as margins on the four edges. In addition to these standard paper descriptors, each page has a width and height offset for the sheet it is being printed upon. This new panel allows the user to create and modify named page sizes. You should consult the PPD 4.3 specification from Adobe for more details on PPD files and the parameters for custom page sizes.

Figure 2.

Notes and Limitations

  • Page sizes that are created are shared among all printers that support custom page sizes; the list of custom page sizes is sticky to the driver, not to the PPD.
  • If a print record specifies a custom page size, but the current printer does not support custom page sizes, then the paper pop-up in the 'Page Attributes' panel will specify 'other' as the current paper size.
  • The standard print record places some limitations on the number and sizes of custom page sizes that a user may create. For a given paper size there can only be two custom paper size entries and they must have different imageable areas. If an application uses the extended print record, this restriction no longer applies.

PostScript Level 3- CopyBits/StdPix expanded support

LaserWriter 8.5.1 supports the PostScript Level 3 deep masked image extension. This extension allows Apple to support the QuickDraw transparent CopyBits() mode as well as more fully support the maskRgn parameter.

The support for transparent and clipped images has been placed in LaserWriter 8.5.1's implementation of QuickDraw's CopyBits() call. In particular, LaserWriter 8.5.1 recognizes the maskRgn CopyBits() parameter and honors it (Inside Macintosh: Imaging With QuickDraw, p.3-112). LaserWriter 8.5.1 also respects the transparent transfer mode when passed in the 'mode' parameter for CopyBits() (Inside Macintosh: Imaging With QuickDraw, p. 4-39).

For an in-depth look at LaserWriter 8.5.1's support for CopyBits(), see Apple's TechNote web site.

For more information on PostScript Level 3, please contact Adobe Systems Incorporated.

PrGeneral opcodes

Table 1 lists the current PrGeneral opcodes that are implemented/supported by the LaserWriter 8.5.1 driver. With the LaserWriter 8.5.1 release, the driver added complete support for the enableColorMatchingOp opcode for ColorSync. See the ColorSync 2.1.x Support section for further details.

OpcodeOperation
4getRslDataOp
5setRslOp
6draftBitsOp
7noDraftBitsOp
8getRotnOp
9NoGrayScl (not used by LaserWriter 8)
10getPSInfoOp
11PSIntentionsOp
12enableColorMatchingOp (LaserWriter 8.5.1 and above)
13registerProfileOp (ColorSync 1.x only; not used by LaserWriter 8)
14PSAdobeOp
15PSPrimaryPPDOp
16kLoadCommProcsOp
17kUnloadCommProcsOp
18kExtendPrintRecOp (LaserWriter version 8.4 and above)
19kGetExtendedPrintRecOp (LaserWriter version 8.4 and above)
20kPrinterDirectOpCode (not used by any LaserWriter driver)
21kSetExtendedPrintRecOp (LaserWriter version 8.4 and above)
22kPrVersionOp (LaserWriter version 8.4 and above)

Table 1.

Please refer to "Meet PrGeneral, the Trap that Makes the Most of the Printing Manager" in develop Issue 3 for more information on PrGeneral.

ColorSync 2.1.x Support

New Tag Support- 'dsc2'

ColorSync 2.1.x provides a new profile tag that contains the profile's name in several languages. This tag, 'dsc2,' provides localized names for a given profile. LaserWriter 8.5.1 looks inside of a profile for this tag and tries to match the language of the system font against the list of languages in the 'dsc2' tag. If a match is found, the localized text from the profile is used in the Print Dialog's 'Color Matching' panel. If the scripts can not be matched, then the string from the profile's name tag is used. See the 'Advanced Color Imaging on the Mac OS' book for more information on the 'dsc2' tag.

Intent Overrides

Added to LaserWriter 8.5.1's 'Color Matching' panel is a pop-up that allows the user to override the system profile's intent for a given print job. The intent pop-up lists the four possible intents (Perceptual, Relative Colorimetric, Saturation, and Absolute Colorimetric) as documented in the ICC Profile Specification.The pop-up also offers an automatic option which will cause the driver to use a Saturation intent when drawing text and line objects but to use the Perceptual intent on images.

PrGeneral

LaserWriter 8.5.1 adds support for the PrGeneral opcode (enableColorMatchingOp) for enabling and disabling color matching as described in 'Advanced Color Imaging on the Mac OS.' This PrGeneral opcode is only supported if the caller passes in an extended print record. If the caller passes in a standard print record, PrGeneral returns an error indicating that the opcode is not implemented. Enabling color matching via this call puts LaserWriter 8.5.1 into PostScript color matching mode with the printer's default Color Rendering Dictionary. This is the only device independent color matching mode available in the driver. If the caller disables color matching using PrGeneral, then the driver uses the Color/Gray scale color mode.

Destination Profile

LaserWriter 8.5.1 allows applications to determine the destination profile set by the user in the Color Matching panel. In order to get this information, an application must use the extended print record. After running the Print dialog, an application can use the PrGeneral kGetExtendedPrintRecOp (opcode 19) to obtain a Collection Manager collection describing the user's job parameters. Once this collection is obtained, the application uses the Collection Manager to obtain tag kHintDestProfileTag ('dprf'), id kHintDestProfileId (1). The data returned by the Collection Manager for this tag is the FSSpec of the user's chosen destination profile. If the tag does not exist in the collection, then the user has requested the printer's default Color Rendering Dictionary. For more information on collections, please see 'Inside Macintosh: QuickDraw GX Environment and Utilities.'

Faster First-Page Out

Today, when printing in two-pass mode with LaserWriter 8.4.x and below, all of a document's fonts are downloaded prior to the PostScript for the first page. In order to improve the printing time of the first page of a document, when printing in two-pass mode directly to a printer, LaserWriter 8.5.1 sacrifices page independence and downloads fonts immediately prior to the first page in the document in which they are used. By distributing the downloading of fonts over a document, Apple has improved the printing time for the first page of a document in most cases.

Collation

With LaserWriter 8.5.1, Apple has added collation to the driver. The general panel of the Print Dialog will add a collate check box if there is no collate option available in the PPD. With LaserWriter 8's collate option, when it is checked, and while printing n copies, the LaserWriter 8.5.1 driver will print the entire document n times in the following order: 1-2-3, 1-2-3, rather than 1-1, 2-2, 3-3. If the printer's PPD states that the printer supports collation itself, then the LaserWriter 8.5.1 driver is prevented from printing the job n times, and the collate option shows up in the 'Printer Specific' panel. In this case, the printer, not LaserWriter 8.5.1, is responsible for collating the output.

Media Selection

With LaserWriter 8.5.1, in order to support printers that use deferred media selection more fully, and to make it easier to print onto multiple media types, if a printer indicates that it supports media types (with the "*MediaType" keyword in the PPD), these types are listed in the Paper pop-ups in the Print Dialog.

Print to PDF

Due to many requests, in order to support the creation of Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, the Save panel of LaserWriter 8.5.1 adds Acrobat PDF as one of the supported formats. When Acrobat PDF is selected the PDF options are displayed in the save panel.

Figure 3.

When the user selects Acrobat PDF as the destination file format, LaserWriter 8.5.1 creates a PostScript file in the user's Temporary Items folder, and then launches Acrobat Distiller passing the location of the PostScript file and the intended location of the PDF file. The driver waits for Distiller to finish making the PDF file and then deletes the temporary PostScript file. This process is referred to as 'local distilling' as it requires Distiller to be run on the user's machine rather than on a remote server.

Because LaserWriter 8.5.1 uses Apple Events to communicate with Distiller, there is a requirement that the application running the driver's converter must be high-level event aware. In practice, this means that if an application is not high-level event aware, then foreground printing will be disabled if save to PDF is requested. In order to create PDF files from non-high level event aware applications, the user must print in the background.

Note: If Distiller is not available on the user's mounted hard drive, then the Acrobat Distiller option is disabled.

Summary

This article has described all of the new features of LaserWriter 8.5.1. We encourage users and developers to explore the new printing capabilities with their printer.

Further References

  • Apple's TechNote web site http://devworld.apple.com/dev/articles.shtml.
  • TN #5003: PPD 4.3 Specification from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
  • PostScript Level 3 documentation from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
  • Inside Macintosh: Imaging With QuickDraw.
  • Inside Macintosh: Advanced Color Imaging on the Mac OS.
  • Inside Macintosh: QuickDraw GX Environment and Utilities.
  • ICC Profile Specification from http://www.colororg.com.

Acknowledgements

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


Ingrid Kelly works in Developer Technical Support (DTS) at Apple. Having lived on the East coast for a few years, Ingrid is happy to be back in California where she doesn't have to dig her car out in the wintertime, nor does she have to trudge to school in the snow... uphill both ways! At least she'll have a story to tell her children though!

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Stacks 3.5.5 - 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
Yasu 4.0.5 - System maintenance app.
Yasu was created with system administrators who service large groups of workstations in mind, Yasu (Yet Another System Utility) was made to do a specific group of maintenance tasks quickly within a... Read more
Things 3.2 - Elegant personal task manag...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
iMazing 2.4.2 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Google Chrome 61.0.3163.100 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Quicken 4.6.4 - Complete personal financ...
Quicken makes managing your money easier than ever. Whether paying bills, upgrading from Windows, enjoying more reliable downloads, or getting expert product help, Quicken's new and improved features... Read more
Google Chrome 61.0.3163.100 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
iMazing 2.4.2 - Complete iOS device mana...
iMazing (was DiskAid) is the ultimate iOS device manager with capabilities far beyond what iTunes offers. With iMazing and your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod), you can: Copy music to and from... Read more
Quicken 4.6.4 - Complete personal financ...
Quicken makes managing your money easier than ever. Whether paying bills, upgrading from Windows, enjoying more reliable downloads, or getting expert product help, Quicken's new and improved features... Read more
Yasu 4.0.5 - System maintenance app.
Yasu was created with system administrators who service large groups of workstations in mind, Yasu (Yet Another System Utility) was made to do a specific group of maintenance tasks quickly within a... Read more

The best visual novels on mobile
Narrative games have been around for ages, but only now have they been creeping into the mainstream spotlight. These games tell some of the industry's finest stories, and they break new ground in terms of gameplay and mechanics regularly. Here are... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
It's pretty much been one big release after another. We were privy to a bunch of surprises this week, with a lot of games we'd been waiting for quite some time dropping unexpectedly. We hope you're free this weekend, because there is a lot for... | Read more »
Stormbound: Kingdom Wars guide - how to...
Stormbound: Kingdom Wars is an excellent new RTS turned card battler out now on iOS and Android. Lovers of strategy will get a lot of enjoyment out of Stormbound's chess-like mechanics, and it's cardbased units are perfect for anyone who loves the... | Read more »
The best AR apps and games on iOS right...
iOS 11 has officially launched, and with it comes Apple's ARKit, a helpful framework that makes it easier than ever for developers to create mobile AR experiences. To celebrate the occassion, we're featuring some of the best AR apps and games on... | Read more »
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of...
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice 1.00.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.00.00 (iTunes) Description: ************************************************※IMPORTANT※・Please read the “When... | Read more »
Kpressor (Utilities)
Kpressor 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The ultimate ZIP compression application for iPhone and iPad. - Full integration of iOS 11 with support for multitasking.-... | Read more »
Find out how you can save £35 and win a...
Nothing raises excitement like a good competition, and we’re thrilled to announce our latest contest. We’ll be sending one lucky reader and a friend to the Summoners War World Arena Championship at Le Comedia in Paris on October 7th. It’s the... | Read more »
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story...
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Another Lost Phone is a game about exploring the social life of a young woman whose phone you have just... | Read more »
The Witness (Games)
The Witness 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you. You don't remember who you are, and... | Read more »
Egg, Inc. guide - how to build your gold...
Egg, Inc.'s been around for some time now, but don't you believe for one second that this quirky clicker game has gone out of style. The game keeps popping up on Reddit and other community forums thanks to the outlandish gameplay (plus, the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sunday sale: 13-inch 3.1GHz MacBook Pros for...
Amazon has 2017 13″ 3.1GHz MacBook Pros on sale today for up to $150 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXV2LL/A): $1649.99 $150 off MSRP – 13″ 3.1GHz... Read more
Looking for a 2017 12″ Retina MacBook? Save $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple Offering Up To $455 Credit Toward iPhon...
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are now available at the Apple Store, and you can receive up to $375 credit toward a new iPhone purchase when you trade in your eligible smartphone. Photo Courtesy Apple Just... Read more
AnyTrans Offers iOS Users Three Ways For Movi...
iMobie Inc. today announceed AnyTrans v6.0.1, which now can help iOS users move all data to iPhone 8/8 Plus seamlessly. The software is available both on Mac and Windows and fully able to move all... Read more
Snag a 13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pro for $100 of...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook... Read more
Verizon offers new iPhone 8 for $100-$300 off...
Verizon is offering the new iPhone 8 for up to $300 off MSRP with an eligible trade-in: • $300 off: iPhone 6S/6S Plus/7/7 Plus, Google Pixel XL, LG G6, Moto Z2 Force, Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge/S8/S8... Read more
Apple Refurbished 2017 13-inch MacBook Pros a...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and available for $200-$300 off MSRP. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
OWC USB-C Travel Dock with 5 Ports Connectivi...
OWC have announced the new OWC USB-C Travel Dock, the latest addition to their line of connectivity solutions. The USB-C Travel Dock lets you connect its integrated USB-C cable to a Mac or PC laptop... Read more
Pelican Products, Inc. Unveils Cases For All...
Pelican Products, Inc. has announced the launch of its full line of cases including Voyager, Adventurer, Protector, Ambassador, Interceptor (for the Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus backwards compatible... Read more
$100 off new 2017 13-inch MacBook Airs
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Airs on sale today for $100 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $100 off... Read more

Jobs Board

Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Instructional Designer, *Apple* Product Doc...
Job Summary The Apple Product Documentation team is looking for an instructional designer or a video editor to write user documentation for its professional video Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.