My friend is using an old, custom-developed, DOS application to print data (he's using an old parallel printer)

I was able to connect his office to google cloud print, but this DOS application is resisting! Whenever I try to print something from the DOS app, google won't do anything!

I can print files from that PC, but nothing is printed from this DOS app.

I realize that, without knowing how this DOS app works, I'm shooting in the dark, but if anyone knows how to fix this and force DOS to work with google cloud print, please don't be shy!

I know it's not the kind of answers that we all seek here in SO, but just in case someone run into this issue; I was able to print from my DOS app by running it via vDos, it worked just fine, it even allowed me to use this DOS app with google cloud print!

2 Answers 2


DOS programs can’t print to Windows-only printers. The ASCII data stream sent to LPTx has to be captured and interpreted/converted by some DOS-to-Windows print processor, like DOSPRN, WinPrint etc.

Only DOS programs that produce plain text, PCL, or PostScript output, can print to a printer supporting PCL or PostScript, using with net use LPTx…

Also, DOS programs can’t run in Windows 64-bit. They need NTVDM (Windows 32-bit), DOSBox (though not designed to support printing), or vDos.


For conventional Windows networked printers, I believe you can do this using

net use LPT1 \\ServerName\PrinterName /Persistent:Yes


net help use

At worst you might be able to do this by sharing the Google cloud printer and then using the local computer name in the command above. Note: I have not tested this idea.

Then configure the DOS application to print to LPT1

If the computer has real parallel ports, you should try using LPT2 or LPT3 throughout instead of LPT1.

From what I've (briefly) read of Google cloud print, it doesn't create a local printer known to the operating system. That is, a printer visible through the control panel (Settings/Devices/Printers in Windows 10). If this is true, the above won't work. It seems that the "Google Cloud Printer" application can be downloaded and installed permitting any Windows app (not just chrome) to print, in this case it may be possible to use the above method.

  • I did use net use LPT1 but it didn't work. Actually google cloud print does create a virtual printer visible via CP (I'm using Windows 8.1 sorry I didn't mention that)
    – TheDude
    Apr 15, 2016 at 13:11

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