Capturing print output as vector format (PDF,SVG,EMF,etc.), Hook all Windows Printers and Export spool files to Vector formats


  • I am using a commercial application on windows that creates a drawing
  • This application allows only two output options: (1) save as a bitmap file and (2) print to a printer
  • The bitmap is useless for my purposes - I want the vectors
  • Looking at the print output (I sent to the Windows XPS print driver) it seems clear based on the amount of zooming I can do without loss of detail that the underlying vectors are being send to the print driver
  • Once I get the vectors, I will be writing some code to transform them for some other use.


  • What are my options for getting the vectors from the print?


  • Take the bitmap and use a program like VectorMagick to. I have tried this approach. It does not produce the fidelity I seek even when the original bitmap is large. Practically speaking I believe that using any tracing approach will not give me the quality vectors I need.
  • Print to the Adobe PDF driver. This technically works. I have Adobe CS4 so I can print to it save the resulting PDF and then import the PDF into Illustrator and then export as some other vector format. The problem with this approach is money/licensing. I own a personal copy of Adobe CS4 - so this is fine for me. But I need to capture the vectors at work for business purposes - and no I'm not going to install my personal copy of CS4 at work.
  • Is there a "print driver" that captures the print output directly into a vector format? I have seen some commercial ones via google. If you've used them, I would like to hear about your experience with this technique. I could write my own and in that case do you have links to any existing code that I can start with.



VeryPDF docPrint Pro v7.0 includes a function to hook spool documents for all Windows Printers, it works by following workflow,

docPrint Pro install a Printer Hook Control => User Print a document to "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" => Printer Hook Control redirect this document to docPrint => docPrint saves the print document to PDF and Text file => redirect to original "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" again => OK, Finished.

You can download and install docPrint Pro v7.0 from following web page,

after you install docPrint Pro v7.0 successful, you can run following command line to install HookPrinter and set necessary options to the Hook Printer Control,

"C:\Program Files (x86)\docPrint Pro v7.0\artprint.exe" -hookprinter


You can click "Install HookPrinter" button to install HookPrinter first, and set some options, click "Save&Close" button to close the dialog. After that, you can print a document to any Windows Printer, HookPrinter will capture this print job and redirect to docPrint, docPrint will save document to PDF or other formats in specified folder, and then re-print the document to original printer again.

School See Also:

Intercepting data sent to a Windows printer

How to intercept and capture a print job and convert it to PDF & Plain Text & Image files and then print?

Can I forward and redirect print jobs from one printer to another in windows?

How to capture printer spooler file when printing and then view and/or print that spooler file again?

Capture data from printer port and save to file (Excel/PDF) with VeryPDF Document Capture

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