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When selecting the port for a new printer in Windows you can pick LPT1, COM2, etc. There's a FILE: option that does a "Print to File" (it's been around for many versions of Windows).

I see on my Win8 system that there's a new port called "PORTPROMPT:" that I never noticed before. I can't seem to find any documentation about it. What's it do differently than the old FILE: option?

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PORTPROMPT is indeed the replacement of FILE.

From Building Print-To-File Solutions for Windows 8 - Firmware Encoding Index:

PORTPROMPT is a new port type that performs the functions of FILE but is updated to work with v4 drivers and handle printing to file from apps running in low-rights mode.

That begs the question what a v4 driver is.

From V4 Printer Driver - MSDN:

The v4 printer driver model was designed to address known issues with the version 3 driver model, and thus improve the quality of the experience that users have with their printers. [...]

The v4 print driver model is also optimized for several new scenarios including the following:

  • Metro style scenarios. [...]

  • Printer sharing. [...]

  • Ease of driver development. [...]

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Great answer, thanks! – Scott Bussinger Jul 5 '12 at 15:47
    
As a total aside, what's up with Microsoft putting documents like that up as DOCX downloads rather than just put the article as a webpage in the first place? – Scott Bussinger Jul 5 '12 at 15:47

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