|Using IDL: Graphic Display Essentials|
Beginning with IDL version 5.0, IDL interacts with a system-level printer manager to allow printing of both IDL Direct Graphics and IDL Object Graphics. On Windows platforms, IDL uses the operating system's built-in printing facilities; on UNIX platforms, IDL uses the Xprinter print manager from Bristol Technology.
Use the DIALOG_PRINTERSETUP and DIALOG_PRINTJOB functions to configure your system printer and control individual print jobs from within IDL.
To print IDL Direct Graphics, you must first use the SET_PLOT procedure to make PRINTER your current device. Issue IDL commands as normal to create the graphics you wish to print, then use the CLOSE_DOCUMENT keyword to DEVICE to actually initiate the print job and print something from your printer. You can also create multiple pages before closing the document as well as being able to use tile graphics with the !P.MULTI system command.
See Printing Graphics Output Files for details and examples.
To print IDL Object Graphics, you must create a printer object to use as a destination for your Draw operations. You can also print multiple documents with the IDLgrPrinter object. See Printer Objects for information about printer objects and examples of their use. Also see Bitmap and Vector Graphic Output for information of when to output to bitmap or vector graphics based on picture content.
IDL Online Help (June 16, 2005)