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Print Logging

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The Windows server operating system (e.g. Windows Server 2016, 2019, 2022 etc) does not maintain a detailed print log. The Windows Event Log can be used to audit some basic print spooler activity events, however additional software is needed to enable detailed logging of print jobs and documents. PaperCut is ideal for this requirement. The software will keep detailed activity log/logs of all user printing activity including information such as:

  1. The user who printed (ie. their network user ID)
  2. The time of the print event
  3. The number of pages
  4. Document attributes such as color, duplex, grayscale, paper size, document area, paper length
  5. Where the print job originated from (the workstation name or IP address)
  6. The document name and type (for example a Word document’s file name)

PaperCut Software makes a Free Print Logger available from our website’s free software section. But why not try out a free trial of our more fully featured PaperCut NG software instead?

For a demo, head over to demo.papercut.com, log in with the ‘admin’ username and ‘password’ as the password, then navigate to the Logs tab to see the admin interface job log, or the Reports tab to see the finer-grained reports available.

Accessing PaperCut’s Print Log

PaperCut NG and MF maintains a detailed print log of all printing activity on the network. The information in the print log is ideal for monitoring or auditing print activity. The information is accessible via a number of different methods and formats. This include:

  • Via the PaperCut administration interface under the Logs → Job Log section.

  • Exported as PDF, HTML or CSV reports accessed via the Reports section of the PaperCut administration interface.

  • As a RAW TSV file format located in the [app-dir]/server/logs/print-logs directory.

All print job data is recorded in real-time.

Possible Uses of Print Log Data

System administrators generally use PaperCut to implement a Print Quotas system however the detailed logging and print recording is often used for general monitoring (often referred to as silent monitoring). Uses include:

  • Checking for abnormal use or activity
  • Monitoring an individual user’s print habits
  • Inspecting the type of documents printed (ie. document names and file extensions)
  • Locating over utilized printers so they can be replaced with printers designed for high-volume printing.
  • Determining locations where more printers may be required
  • Estimating paper and toner usage and trends for budgeting purposes
  • Providing management with reports to compliment other activity reports such as phone records and building entry and exit.

For more information…

Check out the recently updated Printing Visibility and Logging section of the ‘Discover’ section of the website. There you can find screenshots, examples and a deeper dive into the types of logging and reporting available using PaperCut products.


Categories: How-to Articles , Reporting , Logs


Keywords: metering , audit , counter , page pcounter

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Last updated March 5, 2024