NewDeal Technical Support Document 215


Tips for increasing print speed in NewDeal software

Note: You must have NewDeal software to use NewDeal print drivers. NewDeal print drivers will not work with other Windows, OS/2, or DOS programs.

Graphics Printing

NewDeal software normally prints in graphics mode. That means it sends all output to the printer in the form of ones and zeroes (bits), each corresponding to a black or white dot on the page. Laser printers generally print at 300 dots per inch (300 dpi), so this is a lot of dots! A page may require 8 million bits of data.

More conventional programs print in text mode. They send one number to specify each character (65 for "A," 66 for "B," etc.). The printer then uses its built-in character set to figure out how to paint the character on the page. So in text mode, the computer sends just one number, taking up 8 bits of data, which tells the printer to print dozens or even hundreds of dots. A page sent this way typically requires transmitting only 32,000 bits.

Therefore, NewDeal's graphics-mode printing can be considerably slower than more conventional text-mode printing. A single NewWrite page printed in high quality mode, can take from 2 to 30 minutes to print, depending on the speed of the printer (8 MHz is a slow printer, 16 MHz is fast), the speed of the computer, and other factors.

The advantage, of course, is that since NewDeal software takes complete charge of "painting" the whole page, you are not limited to the printer's built-in fonts (or added font cartridges). You can choose from all different sizes, orientations, and patterns. You can combine text and graphics. You can get printouts that look exactly like what you see on the screen.

Print Quality in NewDeal software

NewDeal software has increased print resolutions for most supported printers, compared to version 1.x of the software. For many printers, the High Quality resolution in earlier versions was approximately 150 dpi (dots per inch), while in NewDeal's newest products, the High Quality resolution is closer to 300 dpi. Because you're getting better print quality, printing will take longer because more information is being sent to the printer. Try printing in Medium Quality mode -- it will print faster, and the print quality may be adequate for you.

Text Mode

Sometimes you may just want a printout of your text, and may not want to wait for something fancier. To get a fast printout of your document, use the "text mode only" option. This simply dumps the characters in your document to the printer, more like a conventional word processor. Choose "text mode only," in the Printer Control box that appears when you print a document. Text mode is not an option in NewDraw.

Spacing may come out strangely on printouts using text-mode only. If it does, change your document to the font URW Mono. This is a non-proportionally spaced font (that is, narrow letters like "i" take up the same amount of space as wider letters like "m") which is most similar to the Courier font that is often the default built-in font on printers.

Laser Printers

The "HP PCL Download Font Driver" will actually try to download accurate representations of your document's multi-size fonts to the printer, using HP's "Printer Control Language" (PCL), when you select text mode only. This gives you nice-looking documents and fast printing from HP-compatible laser printers, but this driver will not print graphics.

RAM on Laser Printers

In order to print the most complex document you can design in NewDeal software you will need 1.5 megabytes of RAM on the printer itself. The amount of RAM on the printer will not affect the speed of the print job -- it will only affect the size and complexity of the document you can print. Keep in mind that some models of laser printers, such as the HP LaserJet III, come with one megabyte of RAM on the printer, but 300K of that one megabyte is used by the printer itself for processing. Therefore, only 700K is available for printing and that may not be enough to print more complex documents in high mode.

Other Tips for Speeding Up Printing

  1. Always print from a parallel port. Printing on a parallel (LPT) port is several times faster than printing over a serial (COM) port.
  2. Have several megabytes of space free on your hard drive, if possible. NewDeal software spools everything to be printed onto the hard drive, and hard disk access is considerably faster if there are at least a few megabytes free.
  3. Don't work on other things while a document is printing. There is a lot of background processing going on while your NewDeal software prints, and it can go much faster if you are not trying to run some application in the foreground.
  4. Use interrupt-driven parallel port interface. Double click on Preferences, click on Computer, and look at how the LPT port you are using is set. For most efficient printing, LPT1: should be set to 7. LPT2: works fastest set to 5. The BIOS setting is about 8% slower than 5 or 7, and the DOS setting is slower still. However, the BIOS setting may be needed to prevent spurious "Printer off-line" errors, and DOS may be needed on some networks. Choose the fastest setting that works.
  5. Avoid rotated or re-sized bit maps in your documents. If you've got a logo that you've scanned in and then re-sized, for example, your document printing can slow down considerably. The best solutions would be 1) try to re-create the logo in NewDraw instead of scanning it in, 2) scan it in from an original that is the correct size and orientation, or 3) print draft versions of your document in text mode only and wait for the final version to print in high mode.

Font Cartridges, Third-Party Download Fonts, and Other Add-On Fonts

NewDeal software does not support add-on font cartridges or third-party download fonts. You may add fonts to your NewDeal software itself, however. NewDeal has several font packs available (call our sales lines).

The Best Speed Solution: PostScript

PostScript printers have a computer on board the printer that does the hard work of turning a page description into a pattern of black and white dots. They will print from NewDeal software up to five or ten times faster than a standard laser printer.

Unfortunately, PostScript printers cost more than standard laser printers. Add-on PostScript cartridges are available for many laser printers and, as with most electronics, prices are coming down. If you are doing a lot of printing, or are sharing a laser printer over a network, we highly recommend adding PostScript capability.

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Last Modified 16 Feb 1999