Universal Printing

Printer redirection enables users to redirect a print job from a remote application or desktop to their local printer, which can be connected to the user's computer or be a local network printer attached via an IP address. RAS Universal Printing simplifies the printing process and solves most printer driver issues by eliminating the need for a remote server to have a printer driver for a specific local printer on the client side. Therefore, a user can print regardless of which printer they have installed locally, and the RAS administrator doesn't have to install a printer driver for each printer connected to the local network.

To configure Universal Printing, navigate to Site Settings > Universal Printing.

Printer settings: Rename pattern

By default, Parallels RAS renames printers using the following pattern: %PRINTERNAME% for %USERNAME% by Parallels. For example, let's say a user named Alice has a local printer named Printer1. When Alice launches a remote application or desktop, her printer is named Printer1 for Alice by Parallels.

You can change the default printer renaming pattern by specifying a new pattern in the Printer rename pattern field. To see the predefined variables that you can use, click the Add variable button. The variables are:

  • %CLIENTNAME% — the name of the client computer.

  • %PRINTERNAME% — the name of a printer on the client side.

  • %SESSIONID% — RAS session ID.

  • %USERNAME% — the name of the user connected to RAS.

  • <2X Universal Printer> — This is a legacy mode where only one printer object will be created in the RDP session.

You can also use some other characters in a printer renaming pattern. For example, you can define the following commonly used pattern:


Using the above pattern (and the user named Alice from the earlier example), a local printer will be named Client/Alice's Computer#/Printer1

You can specify a different printer renaming pattern for each server in the Servers in Site list.

Note: Redirected printers are only accessible by the administrator and the user who redirected the printer.

Printer settings: Printer retention

When client-defined printers are redirected to a remote session, it takes time and impacts overall session establishing time. To improve user experience, you can reuse previously created user's printers. To do so, set the Printer retention option to Enable printer retention optimization.


A system administrator can control the list of client-side printer drivers which should be allowed or denied the Universal Printing redirection privileges.

Using this functionality you can:

  • Avoid server resource overloading by non-useful printer redirection. Since the majority of users choose to redirect all local printers (this is default setting), a large number of redirected devices is created on the server which are not really used. It's mostly related to various paperless printers like PDFCreator, Microsoft XPS Writer, or various FAX devices.

  • Avoid server instability with certain printers. There are some printers that might create server instability (spooler service component) and as the result deny printing services as a whole for all connected users. It is very important that the administrator has the ability to include such drivers to the "deny" list to continue running printing services.

To specify printer drivers in the Drivers section:

  1. In the Mode drop-down list, select which printers should be allowed redirection from the following options:

    • Allow redirection of printers using any driver|: (default) This option places no limitation on the type of driver a printer is using to use redirection privileges.

    • Allow redirection of printers using one of the listed drivers: Select this option and add the "allowed" drivers to the list. To add a driver, click the plus-sign icon and type the driver name.

    • Don't allow redirection of printers that use one of the listed drivers: This is probably the most useful option in the context of this feature. The printers that use drivers specified in the list will be denied redirection privileges. All other printers will be allowed to use redirection.

  2. To delete a printer driver from the list, click the minus-sign icon.

Please make a note of the following:

  • When adding a printer driver to the list, type the printer driver name, NOT the printer name.

  • The driver names comparison is case insensitive and requires full match (no partial names, no wildcards).

  • The settings that you specify on this tab affect the entire Site (not an individual server).


Fonts need to be embedded so when printing a document using Universal Printing the document is copied to the local spooler of the client machine to be printed. If the fonts are not present on the client machine the print out would not be correct.

Excluding fonts from embedding: To exclude a specific font type from being embedded, select it in the list. To add one or more fonts, slick the plus-sign icon.

Auto install fonts: To automatically install a specific font type on servers and clients, click the plus-sign icon in the Auto install fonts section.

Note: By default, fonts added to the auto install list will be excluded from the embedding list because the fonts would be installed on the Windows clients, therefore there is no need for them to be embedded.

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