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G.10.5 Printing and MS-DOS

Printing commands, such as lpr-buffer (see section Printing Hard Copies) and ps-print-buffer (see section PostScript Hardcopy) can work on MS-DOS by sending the output to one of the printer ports, if a Posix-style lpr program is unavailable. The same Emacs variables control printing on all systems, but in some cases they have different default values on MS-DOS.

See section Printing and MS-Windows, for details about setting up printing to a networked printer.

Some printers expect DOS codepage encoding of non-ASCII text, even though they are connected to a Windows machine which uses a different encoding for the same locale. For example, in the Latin-1 locale, DOS uses codepage 850 whereas Windows uses codepage 1252. See section International Support on MS-DOS. When you print to such printers from Windows, you can use the C-x RET c (universal-coding-system-argument) command before M-x lpr-buffer; Emacs will then convert the text to the DOS codepage that you specify. For example, C-x RET c cp850-dos RET M-x lpr-region RET will print the region while converting it to the codepage 850 encoding. You may need to create the cpnnn coding system with M-x codepage-setup.

For backwards compatibility, the value of dos-printer (dos-ps-printer), if it has a value, overrides the value of printer-name (ps-printer-name), on MS-DOS.

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