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Printing with Amiga Forever on a Windows system

 

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Q: How do I configure the Amiga emulation to print on a Windows system? Can I do low-level parallel port I/O?

 

DISCUSSION

Title Configuration and General Options

To choose a print mode in Amiga Forever 7 and higher right-click a title, select Edit, go to the Configuration tab and select the desired Amiga parallel port device option. This includes a native (passthrough) mode and emulated EpsonQ and PostScript modes.

Since the Amiga does generally not have drivers for modern printers, the two emulated printers can help process the Amiga output into a format that can be printed with modern devices and drivers. The main difference between EpsonQ and PostScript emulation is that the emulated EpsonQ printer is built-in, whereas the PostScript one requires the Ghostscript package to be installed on the Windows side.

If the Amiga title has a driver for the device that is attached to the PC, select Native (passthrough) mode. This includes printing in PostScript to a connected PostScript printer.

Select EpsonQ emulation to use a built-in, emulated 48-pin "EpsonQ" printer. All Amiga OS versions have an EpsonQ printer driver, which is preset in the Printer Preferences of most Amiga Forever systems. The final output is sent to the Windows printer set under Tools/Options/Emulation of Amiga Forever.

Select PostScript emulation to use an optional emulated PostScript printer. Consider this high-quality option if the Amiga application can generate PostScript output, but the PC does not have a PostScript printer attached.

Some Amiga programs (e.g. SBase) output directly via their own drivers (rather than the Amiga Prefs printer driver. In that case, select a driver that most closely resembles an EpsonQ dot-matrix printer (up to 48 pins, ESC/P2-compatible). If adjusting these settings manually, also remember to set the output to the Amiga parallel port.

For the Windows-side printer selection, and for additional settings and information on the printer emulation, see Windows Printer under Tools/Options.

PostScript as a Universal Bridge

Newer versions of the Amiga operating system, as well as Amiga graphics, word processing, DTP and other applications, also support the PostScript page definition language, which allows for higher-quality output compared to the EpsonQ dot-matrix mode. Once you are able to produce PostScript output from the Amiga, this can be rendered on any printer on the Windows side. To allow for this, in the Amiga Forever title configuration set the Parallel port device to one of:

  • Native (if printing to a PostScript printer)
  • PostScript emulation (to print to file, PDF or any non-PostScript printer)

PostScript emulation requires the Ghostscript package to be installed on Windows.

You also need to configure the Amiga to produce PostScript printer output. The Amiga Printer Preferences include a relatively simple PostScript printer driver, so if your application offers built-in support for PostScript, we recommend, as a general rule, that you choose the latter print option instead of the Amiga driver.

On the PC side, PostScript is directly supported by higher-end laser printers. Additionally, if you install the Ghostscript package, the Amiga PostScript output can be converted by the emulation layer into a format that can be processed by the (non-PostScript) Windows printer driver.

Amiga Printer Drivers

It may not always be easy to find an up-to-date Amiga printer driver for your PC printer. Third-party Amiga packages like Studio Professional and TurboPrint include a wider choice of high-quality Amiga printer drivers than the Amiga operating system, and they also support redirection to a file, which may be useful when it is not possible to directly send the printer output to a local port.

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Article Information
Article ID: 13-146
Platform: Windows
Products: Amiga Forever
Additional Keywords: None
Last Update: 2017-06-23
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