How To Add a Paper Size Alias

Argos for Mac tracks paper sizes based on names ("Letter," "A4," etc.). If Argos for Mac has handling for unknown paper sizes, but the preferred course of action is to add the missing paper size to Argos. This article walks through that process.

What is a paper alias?

Mac print drivers do not submit a page size when a print is made. Instead, they submit a paper name. Often, this is a well known size, such as Letter. But occasionally unusual spacing or nomenclature is used, such as US Letter, US_LETTER, or 8.5x11. Since different print drivers use different names for each paper size this list can get quite large very quickly. This means that when the Mac Agent tracks these jobs, it's very difficult to make sure that all of these alternate names are correctly identified as the correct size.

In Argos 7 we have introduced the concept of a paper alias. A paper alias basically says that if you see this paper size, it's really the same as this other paper size you already know about. For example, in the example above you would start with an Argos paper size called Letter and add the following aliases to it:

  • US Letter
  • 8.5x11

Then whenever the Mac Agent comes across a job that says it was printed on US_LETTER paper, it knows that it's really the same as the Letter paper size you have defined in Argos Manager.

Occasionally a Mac print will be tracked with a paper size not familiar to the Argos system. This could be because it was printed from a new or unfamiliar driver which uses yet another variation on the standard paper name or it was printed on an unusual paper size. Either way, the print will show up firebrick red in the Argos Manager activity table (jobs that show as red are jobs that are larger than your largest paper for the selected media). This means that this job is using the fallback paper (by default, Letter).

This article will show you how to add a new paper size alias so that in the future jobs printed with this new paper size will be tracked properly.


Finding the Name of the Required Alias

You have two options for finding the name of the alias to add. One requires access to the Sepialine database, the other requires access to a Mac able to print one of the jobs in question.

On the Mac
  1. Follow the instructions in Accessing Mac DtC logs for viewing the MonitorDaemon log.
  2. Make a print using the paper that's not tracking.
  3. Find the print you just made in the log and find the section that looks like PaperSizeName: MyPaperName. Whatever shows up instead of MyPaperName is the name of the alias we're going to create.
  4. Figure out the size of MyPaperName. One way to do this is to open the Mac print dialog and to view the dimensions shown next to this paper size when you select it. In our case we'll say MyPaperName is really 8.5 by 11 inches.
  5. Go to Adding the Paper Alias


In the Database

This assumes you know how to use Sql Server Management Studio or similar to run a SQL script against the Sepialine Database. If that's not the case you should probably use the method above instead.

  1. The following SQL Script will give you a list of the unmapped papers and the number of jobs using each one.

    SELECT DimensionAliasOrName, COUNT(*) as Count
    FROM argActivity
    (DimensionAliasOrName NOT IN
    (SELECT alias FROM argPaperSizeAliases))
    (DimensionAliasOrName NOT IN
    (SELECT Name FROM argPricingUnits))
    GROUP BY DimensionAliasOrName
  2. Go to Adding the Paper Alias


Adding the Paper Alias

In Argos Manager
  1. Open the Items & Costing section.
  2. Open the slide out tray using the button in the bottom right corner.
  3. Under Paper sizes tick the Show all checkbox.
  4. Look to see if there's already a paper size that has the same size as the alias you wish to add.
  5. If there is, go to Adding a new alias. Otherwise, go to Adding a new paper size.


Adding a new alias
  1. Double-click the paper size to which you want to add the new alias. In this example we double-click Letter.
  2. Click on the Aliases link.
  3. In the Name text box enter the name you discovered above. In this example we enter "MyPaperName".
  4. In the Scope text box enter the value "Mac". This tells Argos that it should only apply this alias to jobs coming from Mac Agents.
  5. Click the Add button.
  6. You're done. Your new alias will automatically be used for all future Mac jobs which are tracked using this paper name.


Adding a new paper size

Sometimes the paper size you're printing on is not in Argos yet. For example you might make a print on an unusual paper size such as 3.75x9.25. In this case you'll need to add a completely new paper size in Argos Manager.

  1. Click the plus button next to Paper sizes
  2. Select a paper size to use as a template or click the Custom Paper Size button.
  3. Set the name of your new paper size to the one you noted above. In this example it would be MyPaperName.
  4. Set the size as appropriate.
  5. You're done. Your new paper will automatically be used for all future jobs which are tracked using this paper name.
Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.