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Universal printer drivers – an overview
Printer drivers are a category of software installed on the computer to which the printer is connected. It is necessary to install a driver for the specific printer on the computer used for the print commands. However, this means that the print job that needs to be executed must be made by the computer on which the driver is installed. So, here is a problem. If an expression is required, the computer must be on. This is where network printers come into play.
Now, when a number of computers in an office, building, or Wide Area Network (WAN) are connected to a network printer, there are bound to be some problems. These can be bandwidth issues that significantly slow down a print job, incompatibility of the local operating system, and the inability to communicate and print using the network printing device. These problems could cause a whole company to come to a standstill at critical moments. The solution was “universal printer driver”.
Universal printer drivers provide single driver printing with any operating system, such as Windows Terminal Services. Driver vendors have developed a new approach to network printing that radically changes the way companies use network printing devices. Regardless of platform and operating system, print jobs can be performed very efficiently on any shared network printer. There are no restrictions on the model, manufacturer or printer driver of the printing device.
With universal drivers, client-side printing solutions can print Adobe Acrobat documents with a compatible printer driver that supports both RDP and ICA 5.x Win32 clients without the Acrobat Reader installed. A simple print command sends the PDF to the network reader and the printout is created. Imagine that you did not have a reader installed on a local computer to open the PDF before printing!
Another situation that requires universal drivers for printing is when a business or organization has very old computers and printing presses. Universal printer drivers are also very useful when a number of different printing devices are connected to different computers, not to mention computers with different operating systems. Most drivers are designed to work on specific operating systems, and a SO that is four years old might render the driver useless. Universal drivers are immune to these problems.
However, there are also some disadvantages to universal drivers. When using universal drivers, many features may not be available on the press. These functions could be the fax function of the machine or the scanning capability. Universal drivers are not designed to take advantage of these extra features – they are designed to let the printing device print independently of the make or model. You do not scan software or fax software.
In some cases, the universal printer driver manufacturer may include fax software or scanning software to make the universal drivers more compatible, but this is rarely the case. In most cases, the use of universal drivers means that the end user can do no more than simply print.
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