Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is it possible to change the printer for a particular map document from ArcPy? The mxd is saved with the default printer settings, and I know with the PrintMap() function one can specify the printer to use. In my case, I do not want to print the map, just change the printer.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I am not aware of any way to do this, the ListPrinterNames() function can return a list of printers but there does not seem to be anywhere to save a selected printer that does not involve printing.

I had a look at editing the mxd file manually or with some software, but its a binary format so I had no luck. I found some information about editing mxd files mainly around version 9.3 which may be useful but I only have access to 10.1 so I cannot test them, however I am not sure whether a default printer parameter even exists to be changed.

share|improve this answer
Also, I think this functionality may be present in qgis, as I think it has plain text map document files. Although someone who knows more about Quantum can put me right. – sgrieve Sep 20 '12 at 7:52
It does seem strange though, that one cannot change the printer in this way. I have 10.0 and 10.1 available. – Cindy Williams-Jayakumar Sep 20 '12 at 9:23
After some additional "fiddling" with settings and arcpy, this does not seem possible (or at least not "obvious") to do via Python. – Cindy Williams-Jayakumar Oct 29 '12 at 5:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.