Unable to Change the Default Print Tray

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Print Manager in Windows NT version 3.5 does not maintain a default printer tray selection as in Windows NT version 3.1.


Windows NT printing is forms-based. Windows NT checks the form being printed on to discover what paper path to use. A form must be associated with a paper tray to be printed on anything other than the default form association. Once these associations are made, Windows NT is very flexible in printing. For example, a form Letter could be associated with the Upper Tray. Then a new form could be created with the same dimensions as Letter but called Letterhead. Letterhead could be associated with the Lower Tray. In use, one application could be a macro for a word processor that prints using Letterhead as the first page and then Letter for the rest.


A separate form is required for association with different printer paper paths. To add a new paper path and form, use the following procedure:

  1. Run Print Manager.
  2. From the Printer menu, choose Forms.
  3. Scroll down the list of forms and select Letter.
  4. Enter or replace Letter with one of the following under Form Description: Letter Lower Tray or Letterhead Lower Tray. Choose OK.

    NOTE: The names above are examples. You can use any name for the form.
  5. From the Printer menu, choose Properties and then Setup.
  6. Select the Paper Tray for form reassignment. Then assign the new form (Letter Lower Tray or Letterhead Lower Tray) to the paper tray. Choose OK.
  7. To verify the changes, repeat Step 5 and select the Paper Tray.
  8. Exit Print Manager and try printing again.
NOTE: The PostScript driver in Window NT 3.1 does not recognize multiple paper paths and prints only from the default paper path. The Windows NT 3.5 PostScript driver recognizes multiple paper paths and will work as stated above.


One form cannot be associated with multiple paper paths. This is the most common cause of difficulty when associating forms with a paper path. Print Manager allows multiple path associations but only one will work. A common example is the Letter form. The Letter form by default is associated with the first paper path in the list of paper paths. Even though you can define the Letter form for the Lower Tray, Windows NT still prints to the upper tray since the Letter form was first associated with the Upper Tray. In order to change the Letter form to use the Lower Tray, you must rename the form and associate it with the Lower Tray or remove the association with the Upper Tray.

For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 129006
TITLE : Windows NT 3.51: HP-PCL Driver Does Not Send Output Tray Command


Article ID: 123316 - Last Review: February 28, 2014 - Revision: 4.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
kbnosurvey kbarchive KB123316

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