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Thread: Using multiple printers for print jobs

  1. #1

    Default Using multiple printers for print jobs

    Let us say I have 5 printers connected to my laptop. I want to set them up so that when I hit the print button the pages of the document are distributed evenly among the printers. Example when I print a 20 page document I want each of the 5 printers to print 4 pages of the document. The idea is to have all my printers share the print load regardless of the amount of pages the document has.

    I attached a picture which shows what I am trying to explain.

    If the printing is done they way that is shown in the photo then I will end up with one 20 page document being printed at a much faster rate than usual (about 1/5 the usual time it would take one printer if all the printer print at the same speed) and not five separate copies of the same 20 page document being printed.

    Thanks in advance for your help
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2


    The base drivers aren't smart enough to split 1 job up into multiple parts and divide among printers. You would need to install special print management software to pull this off; I'm not sure what is available.

    For most people this wouldn't be very convenient because assuming other jobs are coming down the line as well, the users would need to pick up and sort through 4 or 5 stacks of paper and then collate their print job by hand, merging those into one stack.

    If you are willing to mentally split the job up yourself, you could accomplish this almost as fast by using a printer pool. Basically you would mentally divide the document into 3 portions (or however many printers you have available in your pool) and send each portion individually to the printer pool. So for a 1,000 page document, click File-->Print, type in pages 1-333 and press Print, click File-->Print again, type in pages 334-666 and click Print, click File-->Print once more, type in pages 667-1000 and click Print.

    We have a tutorial on printer pooling here
    Printer pooling is a different concept from what you actually want to do, in that it can't divide a single print job into parts and send those parts to multiple printers; it simply allows you to send a queue of large documents and it will rotate which printer gets the next job in the print queue (so if the first printer in the printer pool is busy with a large print job, the next job in the print queue gets passed to the next printer in the pool.)

    BTW This is only useful for large documents -- by the time you do the mental math and send the jobs individually, a 20 page job would be nearly done on a fast printer.
    Last edited by cs_steve; 06-11-2012 at 03:56 PM.

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