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A web sitewants me to print to a physical printer... How can they know if i'm using a real, physical printer or just OneNote? (BTW, they only know about your is the site i'm talking about... here is the site i'm talking about...

How can I get around this? How can I have a fake "physical printer?" in other words... can I have a virtual printer that acts like a physical one?

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that is downright creepy! Applets should not be able to check your printer settings. – Hawken May 24 '12 at 23:03
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The page uses a Java applet, which probably has some way of getting printer details. Java being cross-platform, it probably just checks for "OneNote" in the printer's name, so try renaming the printer. But it could be that the checks are more advanced.

In any case, you can install printers that are not connected – can't remember exactly how, but the "Add printer" program should offer this option. Once you have a "real" printer, existing or not, the Print dialog should have a checkbox named "Print to file". What would otherwise be sent to a printer, will appear as a .prn file which you can send to the actual printer later. (The disadvantage of this, however, is that you cannot display it on-screen, and your actual printer must support the exact same set commands as the one you installed. If Windows offers a PostScript printer driver, try it.)

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Wouldn't the "print to file" be on the same list as the OneNote? BTW I don't want to print the document... I just want to view the code that will be printed. I appreciate the answer though @grawity – wizlog Sep 9 '11 at 22:10
@wizlog: No, it would be a separate checkbox in the "Print" window, somewhere near the printer list. (Also, PostScript can be displayed on-screen by various programs, which is why I suggested it.) – grawity Sep 9 '11 at 22:12
Its not there. There is no "print to file" check box... Could it be that the description for my actual printer ports are "virtual printer port for USB"? – wizlog Sep 9 '11 at 22:25
No, I'm sure it works for any kind of printer. What I'm not sure about is whether this feature still exists on Windows 7 :( – grawity Sep 9 '11 at 22:32
Thanks anyway. I'll try other avenues... (ex. printing to thumb drive...) – wizlog Sep 9 '11 at 22:44

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