DocumentProperties function

The DocumentProperties function retrieves or modifies printer initialization information or displays a printer-configuration property sheet for the specified printer.


LONG DocumentProperties(
  _In_  HWND     hWnd,
  _In_  HANDLE   hPrinter,
  _In_  LPTSTR   pDeviceName,
  _Out_ PDEVMODE pDevModeOutput,
  _In_  PDEVMODE pDevModeInput,
  _In_  DWORD    fMode


hWnd [in]

A handle to the parent window of the printer-configuration property sheet.

hPrinter [in]

A handle to a printer object. Use the OpenPrinter or AddPrinter function to retrieve a printer handle.

pDeviceName [in]

A pointer to a null-terminated string that specifies the name of the device for which the printer-configuration property sheet is displayed.

pDevModeOutput [out]

A pointer to a DEVMODE structure that receives the printer configuration data specified by the user.

pDevModeInput [in]

A pointer to a DEVMODE structure that the operating system uses to initialize the property sheet controls.

This parameter is only used if the DM_IN_BUFFER flag is set in the fMode parameter. If DM_IN_BUFFER is not set, the operating system uses the printer's default DEVMODE.

fMode [in]

The operations the function performs. If this parameter is zero, the DocumentProperties function returns the number of bytes required by the printer driver's DEVMODE data structure. Otherwise, use one or more of the following constants to construct a value for this parameter; note, however, that in order to change the print settings, an application must specify at least one input value and one output value.

Value Meaning
Input value. Before prompting, copying, or updating, the function merges the printer driver's current print settings with the settings in the DEVMODE structure specified by the pDevModeInput parameter. The function updates the structure only for those members specified by the DEVMODE structure's dmFields member. This value is also defined as DM_MODIFY. In cases of conflict during the merge, the settings in the DEVMODE structure specified by pDevModeInput override the printer driver's current print settings.
Input value. The function presents the printer driver's Print Setup property sheet and then changes the settings in the printer's DEVMODE data structure to those values specified by the user. This value is also defined as DM_PROMPT.
Output value. The function writes the printer driver's current print settings, including private data, to the DEVMODE data structure specified by the pDevModeOutput parameter. The caller must allocate a buffer sufficiently large to contain the information. If the bit DM_OUT_BUFFER sets is clear, the pDevModeOutput parameter can be NULL. This value is also defined as DM_COPY.

Return value

If the fMode parameter is zero, the return value is the size of the buffer required to contain the printer driver initialization data. Note that this buffer can be larger than a DEVMODE structure if the printer driver appends private data to the structure.

If the function displays the property sheet, the return value is either IDOK or IDCANCEL, depending on which button the user selects.

If the function does not display the property sheet and is successful, the return value is IDOK.

If the function fails, the return value is less than zero.



This is a blocking or synchronous function and might not return immediately. How quickly this function returns depends on run-time factors such as network status, print server configuration, and printer driver implementation factors that are difficult to predict when writing an application. Calling this function from a thread that manages interaction with the user interface could make the application appear to be unresponsive.

The string pointed to by the pDeviceName parameter can be obtained by calling the GetPrinter function.

The DEVMODE structure actually used by a printer driver contains the device-independent part (as defined above) followed by a driver-specific part that varies in size and content with each driver and driver version. Because of this driver dependence, it is very important for applications to query the driver for the correct size of the DEVMODE structure before allocating a buffer for it.

To make changes to print settings that are local to an application, an application should follow these steps:

  1. Get the number of bytes required for the full DEVMODE structure by calling DocumentProperties and specifying zero in the fMode parameter.
  2. Allocate memory for the full DEVMODE structure.
  3. Get the current printer settings by calling DocumentProperties. Pass a pointer to the DEVMODE structure allocated in Step 2 as the pDevModeOutput parameter and specify the DM_OUT_BUFFER value.
  4. Modify the appropriate members of the returned DEVMODE structure and indicate which members were changed by setting the corresponding bits in the dmFields member of the DEVMODE.
  5. Call DocumentProperties and pass the modified DEVMODE structure back as both the pDevModeInput and pDevModeOutput parameters and specify both the DM_IN_BUFFER and DM_OUT_BUFFER values (which are combined using the OR operator).The DEVMODE structure returned by the third call to DocumentProperties can be used as an argument in a call to the CreateDC function.

To create a handle to a printer-device context using the current printer settings, you only need to call DocumentProperties twice, as described above. The first call gets the size of the full DEVMODE and the second call initializes the DEVMODE with the current printer settings. Pass the initialized DEVMODE to CreateDC to obtain the handle to the printer device context.


Minimum supported client
Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server
Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Winspool.h (include Windows.h)
Unicode and ANSI names
DocumentPropertiesW (Unicode) and DocumentPropertiesA (ANSI)

See also


Print Spooler API Functions