Redirecting Print Screen Output for 16-bit DOS Applications

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Article ID: 140399 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q140399
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When you press the Print Screen key at the MS-DOS Command Prompt or in a DOS application window under Windows NT, the screen contents are copied to the clipboard. If you want to redirect the screen contents from a 16-bit MS-DOS application to your printer, you must configure either the Program Information File (PIF) file or the shortcut so that Windows NT ignores the Print Screen key while the application is running.


To redirect the screen contents of a 16-bit MS-DOS application to your Printer, perform the following steps:

Windows NT 3.51

  1. Run the PIF Editor (Pifedit.exe).
  2. For Program Filename, enter the full path of For example:

  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Select the PrtSc check box in Reserve Shortcut Keys, and then click OK.
  5. Click Windows NT.
  6. Make sure that the full path of the Config filename is correct. By default, the full path is:

  7. Click OK.
  8. Save the PIF.
  9. Using a text editor, such as Notepad, add the following line to the Config.nt file and save the file:

  10. Run the PIF.
NOTE: This procedure allows you send Print Screen contents to your printer for all 16-bit MS-DOS applications. If you want this to work for one 16-bit MS-DOS application, create another Config file and enter the full path of the file in step 6 above. This works with and does not work with Cmd.exe.

Windows NT 4.0

  1. Create a shortcut to the DOS application.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut, and then select Properties.
  3. Click the Misc tab.
  4. Click to clear the PrtSc check box.
  5. Click OK.
If you have a locally attached printer, you should now be able to launch the DOS application using the shortcut and use the Print Screen key to print locally. If you are using a network printer, you have to redirect the printer output to the network printer using the following command at a MS-DOS command prompt:
NET USE LPT1: \\<server>\<printer_sharename>


Article ID: 140399 - Last Review: February 20, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
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