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Web Print (driver-less printing via a web browser)

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Web Print is a driver-less printing service that allows users to print by uploading documents from a web browser. No client software or driver installation is required.

Your Web Print deployment can be scaled to meet the needs of your organization, removing bottlenecks and improving reliability. Web Print scaling through the use of multiple Web Print servers, increases throughput and minimizes users’ wait time for print jobs. Using multiple servers also provides resilience against possible network and server outages.

Figure 21: Web Print architecture overview

With Web Print, users are authenticated when they log in to the PaperCut NG/MF User web interface. Any documents they upload can then be tracked against their user name and the selected shared account.

Key features

Some of the key features of PaperCut’s Web Print solution include:

  • Simple wizard style interface, accessed from any web browser.

  • Users authenticate with their regular (network / domain) logins.

  • 100% web based. No drivers, client software, or browser plugins required.

  • File uploads with progress indicator.

  • Supports popular document formats including PDF, DOC/DOCX (and other Microsoft Office Word formats), XLS/XLSX (and other Microsoft Office Excel Formats), PPT/PPTX (and other Microsoft Office PowerPoint formats) and Microsoft XPS (XML Paper Specification). Web Print also supports common image formats including JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF and BMP.

  • Users select printers from an auto-generated list or a clickable printer map, which you can design or import using open standards and free software.

Introduction to Web Print

You can use Web Print in one of two possible modes: .

  • Default Mode—involves running the Web Print software on the same system as the PaperCut NG/MF Application Server. On Windows, it runs as a Service. This is the fastest and easiest way to get Web Print working. However, only printing of PDF documents (and picture files on Windows) is supported in this mode. See Set up Web Print: Default mode ).

  • Sandbox Mode—uses a sandboxed or virtualized system, isolated and dedicated to the task of processing Web Print jobs or converting documents for Email to Print. Sandbox Mode takes a little more time to configure, but offers several advantages, including improved security, higher throughput, and more supported document formats.

    This mode accepts popular file formats and converts them to print jobs using common external applications. This is done by orchestrating applications such as Adobe Reader TM, Microsoft Office TM, and the Microsoft XPS Viewer as background server-side tasks. See Set up Web Print: Sandbox mode .

Web Print setup options (by platform)

Primary server typeDefault modeSandbox mode
Microsoft WindowsYes (PDF and picture files only)Yes. All formats supported
Apple MacYes (PDF only)Yes. All formats supported
Linux running CUPSYes (PDF only)Yes. All formats supported
Novell OES LinuxNo. Default Mode not supportedYes. All formats supported

Supported applications and file formats

The following table lists the supported document types and associated applications that Web Print can use to render and print jobs. Before some file formats can be accepted as an upload, you must install its supporting application.

Web Print setup options (by platform)

Document TypeFile Format(s)Direct PrintingSupported External ApplicationsDefault ModeSandbox Mode
Portable Document FormatPDFSupport built-in (all platforms)Adobe Reader 9, Adobe Reader X (10), Adobe Reader XI (11), Adobe Reader DC
Picture FileBMP, DIB, GIF, JFIF, JIF, JPE, JPEG, JPG, PNG, TIF, TIFFSupport built-in (Windows only) 
Word DocumentDOC, DOCX, etc.External application requiredMicrosoft Office Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 365 
SpreadsheetXLS, XLSX, etc.External application required

Microsoft Office Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 365

PresentationPPT, PPTX, etc.External application requiredMicrosoft Office PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 365 
Microsoft XPSXPSExternal application requiredMicrosoft XPS Standalone Viewer (Essentials Pack). 


Text fileTXTExternal application requiredMicrosoft Office Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 
Apache OpenOffice text fileODT, OTTExternal application requiredMicrosoft Office Word 2010, 2013, 2016, 365 
Apache OpenOffice spreadsheetODS, OTSExternal application requiredMicrosoft Office Excel 2010, 2013, 2016, 365 

Security considerations

Before setting up Web Print it is worth considering any security implications. Because Web Print allows any user with access to the PaperCut NG/MF user web interface the ability to upload a document for printing, it naturally increases surface area for attack.

More specifically, security vulnerabilities that might usually be considered local, because they are triggered by opening a document in a Microsoft Office application or Adobe Reader can become a remote vulnerability. This is because these same applications are used to render print jobs on the server after the user has uploaded their document.

You can mitigate much of the security risk through security best practice, such as regularly applying security updates to the orchestrated applications. Organizations that are very security conscious might consider the sandbox approach. Sandboxing the Web Print server provides an extra layer of protection/isolation.