Common Questions about Find-Me Printing
Find-Me Printing solves a lot of problems for users and system administrators alike by having just one print queue that needs to be installed and configured on user’s workstations. When a user submits a print job to the “Find-Me” queue they can “release” that print job at any printer or copier in the organization.
Tangentially, rolling out Find-Me Printing also implements Secure Print Release because users now have to be physically present at a copier or printer in order to release their print job. This has the benefit of helping organizations reduce paper waste and helps prevent a common data-leakage scenario where sensitive documents are left on the tray of a printer because of forgetfulness, software bug, or printer jam.
A Find-Me printer can go by a lot of other names, like “Find-Me Print Queue”, “Virtual Queue”, “Global Queue”, or “Pull Printer”.
Great question! Here are a few reasons why we love Find-Me Printing:
- Paper and toner waste is radically reduced now that users must be present to pick up their print job.
- Secure documents will no longer be printed to a copier and accidentally left on the tray because the user forgot to pick up the pages or because their document prints out hours later once a paper jam has been fixed.
- Users no longer have to agonize over picking the right printer from a list of dozens or hundreds of print queues. If a user’s first choice of printer or copier is out of order, they can just walk to the next one to print out their job.
- System administrators have a much easier job because they only need to deploy one print queue to users’ workstations.
This page goes into even more detail.
- The user prints a file from their computer or mobile device, choosing the Find-Me Printer set up by their awesome system administrator.
- The user then walks over to the print room or area where the printer is located.
- Then the user needs to release their print job. To do so, they might type in their username and password at a workstation running the PaperCut Release Station software, they may swipe their ID badge at a copier running the PaperCut embedded application, they could ask a nice librarian or teacher who has been set up in PaperCut to allow delegated print release, or even scan a QR code with their phone.
- Once they are logged in, they choose which print jobs they want to ‘Release’ and the document prints out on the copier or printer.
What are all the different ways that print jobs can be securely released from a Find-Me Print queue?
There are plenty of different ways that PaperCut can be set up and configured to allow users to release print jobs, depending on your organization’s needs.
- A Release Station - this can be a dedicated computer running a PaperCut’s full-screen release application (or even a Raspberry Pi).
- A copier with PaperCut installed on the panel - this popular option is available for PaperCut MF customers who are working with our network of authorized partners.
- Mobile Print Release where the user scans a QR code affixed to the front of the printer or copier with their mobile phone.
- A Copy Control Terminal - several hardware-based solutions created by 3rd parties exist that attach to printers or copiers to give users a simple way to release print jobs.
- A Network Card Reader - another hardware-based solution that let’s users swipe an ID badge at a networked card-reader to automatically release all of their print jobs to a specific printer.
- Delegated Print Release - where a designated user such as a librarian or teacher is granted rights to release user’s print jobs.
The answer to this question will entirely depend on how varied your fleet of printers is and what print drivers they are compatible with. At a minimum the print driver on the Find-Me queue has to be compatible with the printer that the job is being released to. When testing this, if you see the output is pages and pages of gibberish that is a sure sign the driver is incompatible with the printer. So take the time to test your selected Find-Me queue driver with your destination printer.
Read the examples below, and find one that sounds like your situation to help you find a suitable driver…
If all your printers are the same brand and model
For example, if your organization has a homogenous fleet of HP LaserJet M609 devices…
We advise using the model-specific print driver downloaded from your printer manufacturer’s website.
This will give users full access to the finishing features available on the device.
If all your printers are the same brand but different models
For example, if your organization has all Konica Minolta brand copiers, but a mix of models like the BizHub 3622 and C458…
We advise checking with your print manufacturer to se if they offer a universal print driver. Many printer manufacturers offer a special driver that will work with many models of printer from that specific brand (and sometimes even other brands!).
Functionality will vary, but this may give users access to most of the finishing features available in your printer fleet.
If all your printers are completely different brands and models
For example, if your organization has printers from multiple brands like Ricoh, Toshiba, and Canon…
This may require some testing. In these cases we recommend trying out the PaperCut Global Print driver for Windows, which supports common finishing options like Color, Duplex, and Stapling (for certain brands). For Linux and macOS environments a generic PostScript driver may be the best option. Admittedly, the downside is that this may mean missing out on specialized print drivers with advanced finishing options like tray selection, hole-punch, and collating. The more variety in your fleet of printers, the harder it will be to find a print driver that will be compatible with all models.
Alternatively, if you want features that are only available with a specific brand’s driver, consider having separate Find-Me Queues for each brand of printer.
Can I have a different print driver on my destination print queue than I do on my Find-Me Print queue?
Absolutely. It’s important to know that when a print job is printed through the Find-Me queue, it’s the driver and settings of the Find-Me queue that will apply.
When the user “releases” the print job, PaperCut merely copies the spool files, transplants them into the destination print queue, and sends a command to the print server to release the print jobs. During this process the print driver on the destination queue is irrelevant. This often works with many driver combinations, but if you are running into a problem where print jobs disappear see our article Troubleshooting Disappearing jobs with Find-Me Printing.
Sure! Here are a few different examples illustrating when an organization might want to have multiple Find-Me queues:
- A customer who has concerns that print jobs from site-to-site might put too much of a load on the network, so they decide to have a dedicated print server at each site with it’s own Find-Me queue.
- A customer wants to make it dead-simple for end-users to print in color or grayscale so they set up two Find-Me queues. For the grayscale queue, they use PaperCut’s “Convert to grayscale” feature to ensure the jobs always print in black and white.
- A customer has an extremely varied fleet of printers from different brands and they cannot find a compatible driver that works with all the print queues and has all the features they want, so they create distinct Find-Me queues for each brand of printer in their fleet.
From the default installation options selected by your system administrator, the print jobs sent to a Find-Me queue will be held by PaperCut for 2 hours (for Educational customers) or 4 hours (for Commercial or Professional customers). Once this period lapses, the user’s print jobs will be cancelled by PaperCut, however it’s possible to configure PaperCut to hold print jobs for longer. See: Configure how long jobs are held by PaperCut NG/MF.
We have a few different resources to help you set up Find-Me Printing in your environment… we recommend having a look at the end-to-end guide on setting up Find-Me Printing as well as the manual for more information.
Once you have a Find-Me printer setup, configured, and tested, now it’s time to make sure your end-users can send a print job to it. Historically, customers might have manually set up the queues on end-users workstations, or may have used logon scripts or Group Policy for mass deployment. PaperCut still works with those options, but nowadays we also offer a few different methods for sharing print queues with users:
- Mobility Print (simple BYOD print enablement with limited driver options for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, and Chrome clients)
- Print Deploy (advanced driver and queue deployment for Windows, Mac, and Chrome clients)
- Web Print (users upload print jobs through the browser)
- Email to Print (users submit print jobs to a mailbox monitored by PaperCut)
Astute customers have noticed that when a job is printed, PaperCut records the name of the printer that the job was released to in the Job Log, as opposed to the virtual print queue that the job was submitted to.
However some customers want to know whether users are sending print jobs to the Find-Me print queue, or which one they are using. So we have written a simple Print Script that will provide this information.
- Log onto the PaperCut admin console
- Navigate to Printers → Select the Find-Me Printer → Scripting Tab.
- The line you will need to add to the script is:
actions.job.addComment(“Find-Me Queue: “ + inputs.job.fullPrinterName);
Once the script implemented you can then use the “Print log” report to get a full listing of job details, and finally search and filter on the “Find-Me Queue” comments in order to delineate between jobs that went through the virtual queue and those that didn’t.
Keywords: secure printing, secure print release, find-me printing, findme