CUPS, Firefox, and PPD to force Black and White

Bill Moseley moseley at
Tue Nov 20 05:02:53 UTC 2007

On Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 06:48:41PM -0800, NoOp wrote:
> On 11/19/2007 06:03 PM, Bill Moseley wrote:
> > On Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 09:21:11AM -0800, NoOp wrote:
> >> On 11/19/2007 09:03 AM, Bill Moseley wrote:
> >> 
> >> > 
> >> > BTW -- Why doesn't Firefox offer the printer options from the PPD?
> >> > Just not a very advanced printing interface?  Can I pipe the output
> >> > from Firefox thorugh, say, gtkpl?
> >> > 
> >> 
> >> Why are you doing all of that? Can you set your printer to print to B&W?
> >> If so, add the printer, set it as B&W and name it BW<printername>. Now
> >> add the printer again, set it as Color and name it Color<printername>,
> >> ditto for duplex etc.
> >> 
> >> Now set BW<printername> as the default printer. When you want to print
> >> in color print to the Color<printername> printer. It's the same printer,
> >>  it's just now set to print in color instead of B&W.
> > 
> > Hum, I think that's exactly what I described that didn't work in
> > Firefox.  That's the part you didn't quote from my original email.
> > 
> > It works when I print from OpenOffice, but when printing from Firefox
> > it always prints in color.
> > 
> I may be mistaken, but I think you described a PPD hack of sorts. I
> described leaving everything as is & simply creating multiple printers
> from System|Administration|Printing. Using the same PPD, just creating
> multiple printers using the same printer, same driver, same PPD, just
> different configuration setting for the printer(s).

Ah, I think they are the same thing.  The available options come from
the PPD file (the PPD describes the possible options, of course).

Unfortunately, doesn't seem like the ppd has an option for B&W only:

moseley at bumby:~$ lpoptions -d HP_Color_LaserJet_2605 -l | grep -i color
MediaType/Media Type: *Unspecified Plain Preprinted Letterhead Transparency Prepunched Labels Bond Recycled Color Light6075 Heavy90105 Cardstock106177 LightGlossy75105 Glossy106120 HeavyGlossy121163 Envelope ToughPaper HeavyEnvelope PremiumCover200 ColorLaserPhoto
HPColorSmart/Color Options: *Automatic Manual
HPTextRGB/RGB Color: *sRGB Vivid Device Adobe PhotoQuality
HPGraphicsRGB/RGB Color: *sRGB Vivid Device Adobe PhotoQuality
HPPhotoRGB/RGB Color: *sRGB Vivid Device Adobe PhotoQuality
ColorModel/Print Color as Gray: *CMYKImageRET2400 Gray1200x1200dpi Gray600x600dpi
HPwmTextColor/Watermark Color: *Black Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Purple

moseley at bumby:~$ lpoptions -d HP_Color_LaserJet_2605 -l | grep -i black
HPTextNeutralGrays/Neutral Grays: *Black ProcessBlack
HPGraphicsNeutralGrays/Neutral Grays: *Black ProcessBlack
HPPhotoNeutralGrays/Neutral Grays: Black *ProcessBlack
HPwmTextColor/Watermark Color: *Black Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Purple

It does have in the PPD this:

    *ColorDevice: True

which works only in some applications.

>   If I am mistaken and that is what you have done, then I'd suspect your
> profile in Firefox probably still has only the color settings in it. You
> can probably fix this by: 1) renaming ./mozilla/firefox to
> ./mozilla/x-firefox and try restarting FF. If that doesn't work, then
> reload FF -that's probably easier than going through about:config in FF
> and sorting out your printers there. Alternately, reboot and/or logout &
> then back in to see if FF picks up your printer changes then.

Well, printing from other browsers on the network result in the same
thing.  Even from Safari.  Looks like I'll need to dig deeper.

Thanks for your time trying to help!  I'll post back if I find the

Bill Moseley
moseley at

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