Searching here, I found the question Embedding printer settings in pdf - while related, this appears to apply to printer settings for the entire PDF, not for changing printer settings per page.

Our (normal) printers are configured as follows:

Tray 1 is a manual feed that is unused.
Tray 2 holds plain paper.
Tray 3 holds Letterhead.
(other printers may contain 2 more trays with other paper)

The printers are used by clusters of 12+ people. They would like to be able to choose between plain paper and letterhead when printing their MiKTeX (pdfTeX) generated PDF documents.

The pdfs are multipage documents (from 2 to 80+ pages) and may require letterhead for more than just the first page. For instance, pages 1, 2, 27 and 30 in a 35 page document. When printing, they would like the paper tray source changed mid-stream.

Has anyone else had a similar situation and come up with a solution? I'm perplexed at whether this is simply a device configuration problem or something that needs to be resolved by the "printing procedure".

I've looked around, but haven't found a device configuration solution that offers changing the paper tray back and forth mid-stream. Am I looking in the wrong places?

One "printing procedure" solution is to intercept the Postscript sent to the printers and add/edit papersource commands. To do this I store application specific information in the PDF(s) - for instance something that says that specific pages are "letterhead" otherwise default to "blank". I can either add a dictionary via \pdfobj (which gets ignored by Adobe - mostly) or I could write a \pagepiece dictionary via \pdfpageattr.


See Create a PDF that defaults to flip on short edge when printed double-sided (on Super User): This is not supported by consumer-grade PDF software; you'd need JDF (a kind of job ticketing format for PDF printing workflows) for that.

  • thanks, I believe your answer is that "changing the paper tray mid-stream is not supported by consumer-grade PDF software." Darn! I was just checking to make sure. I guess I'll have to choose between the two ("printing procedures") solutions I've got and tell people we generate non-standard pdfs.
    – infowanna
    Oct 30 '12 at 9:47
  • @infowanna: To be more precise: Selecting printer features is not supported by PDF per se (as PDF is hardware agnostic). JPDF was developed for that, but is only used in printing houses. Oct 30 '12 at 10:04

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