Unidrv Minidrivers

Unidrv minidrivers are text files that contain descriptions of printers. Each minidriver describes one printer type from one manufacturer. This text-based description is called a generic printer description (GPD), and each file is called a GPD file. Each minidriver consists of one or more GPD files.

Using GPD files to describe a printer, Unidrv supports the following capabilities:

  • Generic, standard printer features that are found on most printers.

  • Unique, customized printer features that only your printer provides.

  • Installable printer options, which can only be selected if the options are installed.

  • Option constraints, which allow you to specify incompatible options.

  • Conditional statements, which allow you to specify that some printer characteristics are dependent on others.

  • Specification of printer commands that can include current values from a large selection of standard variables. You can also perform arithmetic operations on these variables.

  • A customized help file, in addition to the standard help file provided with Unidrv, for describing customized features.

For information about creating GPD files, see Introduction to GPD Files.

A Unidrv minidriver can consist of more than one GPD file. For more information, see Using Multiple GPD Files in a Minidriver.

When a printer is installed, Unidrv's GPD parser reads all the printer's GPD files. The information in the GPD files is used to create a temporary binary file for the printer. Both the Unidrv user interface and the Unidrv renderer reference this binary file.

Typically, a minidriver must provide resources, such as fonts, bitmaps, and localizable text strings. These resources are placed in a resource DLL. For more information, see Using Resource DLLs in a Minidriver.

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