PaperCut MF badge scanning

A little-known PaperCut feature on translating and transforming card formats. Perfect if you’ve just built or rebuilt your PaperCut infrastructure

As part of a recent IT upgrade, I rebuilt our entire printing infrastructure. There were some issues with how it was previously built, so this was a good time to start from scratch. One of the issues was our PaperCut MF installation, of which I’ve documented our challenges on this blog this year.

We use the badge scanning feature of PaperCut on our two copiers for secure print release and accounting purposes. (It also helps me make the case to those who want a personal printer that they don’t need one!) But I found that the badge format might produce a different format than what you’re expecting.

The setting is buried in the Config Editor (Options > Config Editor) as ext-device.card-no-converter. Here are the various values:

  • ascii-enc: Unpacks an ASCII-encoded card value
  • hex2dec: Converts hexadecimal (base-16) to decimal (base-10)
  • dec2hex: Converts decimal to hexadecimal
  • javascript:[path] – At the path provided, uses a selected JavaScript code to convert a card’s read value into something else.

Hopefully this will help someone working through a new PaperCut MF installation. I’ll write more later about some of the things I’ve learned from rebuilding out PaperCut.