If you’re using your Surface for school or business, you might end up needing to print a large number of files at the same time. If you use the normal print mechanism, it can take a long time if you have a lot of files or if the files are huge.
What if I told you that you could batch print PDF files from your Surface (or other Windows computer) and it’s fast and it’s free?
Well, you can. There’s a free, downloadable, command-line utility called 2Printer that will let you print all of the (supported) files in a folder at the same time.
Batch Print files: Supported File Formats
And let me tell you, it supports a huge array of file formats including (but not limited to) PDFs, Word files, Excel files, PowerPoint presentations, text files, and picture files.
Be aware, though, if you are going to print Office (Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint) files, you must have the appropriate Office software installed on your Surface. Same goes for PDF files – you need Acrobat reader (or the like) installed to print the files.
This seems to be due to licensing issues with certain print APIs. Not a deal breaker (unless you we’re trying to skirt paying for Office) but something to be aware of nonetheless.
Batch Print files: Download 2Printer
You can download the program from the links below. The free version tacks a “nag page” onto the end of batch jobs but aside from that is fully functional (not crippleware).
As you might expect, the pay for version does not include the nag page…
In case you’re wondering, the commercial version is $149.00 USD. It might sound steep but, if you have a business need, something which can be part of an automated process to print out documents as opposed to a manual one (where you have to pay someone to print documents) can save you quite a bit of money.
Batch Print Files: Using 2Printer
Using 2Printer is pretty simple and you can find a complete list of supported commands (with examples) in the included Read Me file. However, below are the commands most people will care about.
All of these commands can be entered into a command prompt window.
- Print all documents from folder “C:\Input” with all subfolders on the system default printer: 2Printer -s “C:\Input\*.*” -r
- Print all documents from the “C:\Input” directory on the local hard drive on a specific printer: 2Printer -s “C:\Input\*.*” -prn “<printer>”
Remember, there will be a nag page at the end of each print job. If you’re doing large print jobs (as the software is intended) this won’t be a big deal.
However, if you’re printing off little jobs, those nag pages can get a bit annoying.
So, if you’ve been using your Surface for business and hate spending so much time printing off the large number of files you need, give this program a look. It might make you love your Surface even more.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.