Knowledgebase: PaperCut
Track Printing
Last modified on 14 August 2020 10:46 AM

PaperCut designed to track printing in a network environment. When people refer to “tracking” they usually mean in a silent non-obtrusive way. PaperCut NG is ideal for this requirement. It keeps detailed activity logs of all user printing including information such as:

  1. The user who printed
  2. The time of printing
  3. The number of pages printed
  4. Document attributes such as color, duplex, grayscale, paper size and document area
  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)
  7. The print job’s cost if a per-page or other cost model is associated with the printer

This information can be further analyzed by network administrators to determine printer load and abnormal network/printer activity.

Can I visually track what’s been printed in my organization?

Yes. If PaperCut’s print archiving feature is enabled, it’s possible to interactively view print jobs. This works by archiving a copy of the printer spool file. Viewing technology such as Ghost Trap are used to convert the spool files into images and these can be viewed interactively in any web browser.

PaperCut has stopped tracking printing. What’s wrong?

The most likely explanation is that the PaperCut Print Provider service is not running. This Windows system service is best described as the main print job tracker or print job monitoring component and is responsible for monitoring all print activity on the server’s print queues. This service may have been accidentally stopped. A common cause of this is that the system administrator manually stops/starts the print spooler service, and hence the services that depend on it are not restarted. System services can be accessed via Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services. It is important that the PaperCut Print Provider is running at all times.

It’s also worth taking a look through the Printing not getting tracked troubleshooting article, which has a number of things that you can check to see what might be going wrong!

For more information on PaperCut’s ability to track printing or implement a print quota solution, please see the main PaperCut web page and associated product tour.