Writing Core Drivers


We recommend that you use Microsoft's IPP inbox class driver, along with Print Support Apps (PSA), to customize the print experience in Windows 10 and 11 for printer device development.

For more information, see the Print support app design guide.

Print driver writers can use the core driver functionality that Windows Vista provides. To make a core driver, generate a GUID that other driver packages can use to refer to the set of files that makes up the core driver. For example, in Ntprint.inf, the Unidrv core driver file definition is shown in the following example:

"{D20EA372-DD35-4950-9ED8-A6335AFE79F0}" =  
; Unidrv files and pjlmon sections follow...

With this definition, a print driver INF file can refer to core driver files by using the CoreDriverSections keyword as shown in the previous sample.

It is important to note that a core driver must retain compatibility with earlier versions. Because more than one driver may use the core driver, it must continue to work with existing drivers that depend on it when it is updated. The core driver must ship as part of the driver package.

The core driver is defined with a Model section, which includes a device description that is the core driver GUID. For example:

; Model section
"{GUID1}" = {GUID1}, {GUID1}

; Install section - must list all files in the core printer driver
DriverVer = MM/DD/YYYY,

; Core Driver Section, can use print-specific INF keywords here


AlwaysExcludeFromSelect = {GUID1}

The core driver must include version information in the install section, by using the DriverVer keyword. The install section must also list all the files that the core driver requires. Use the new AlwaysExcludeFromSelect keyword to ensure that the core driver is not displayed to the user in the UI.