burst page

Banner page

A banner page, also called a burst page, job sheet, or a printer separator, is used in computerized printing in order to separate documents (or "print jobs") from each other and to identify the originator of the print request by username. These pages are typically used in office environments where many people share a small number of printers. In some cases, print jobs are sent to a central processing area where messengers take the printouts back to the owner, but the usual practice in modern office environments is for the user to retrieve his or her own documents. The banner page makes it clear who printed each job.

Depending upon the configuration, the banner page may be generated by the print spooler—software running on a computer which buffers and prioritizes print jobs—or by the printer itself.

This sheet typically contains information such as:

  • The primary identifier of the owner printed prominently, either in a large font or with some very simple ASCII art to make patterns out of plaintext characters.
    • The username of the person requesting the print job
    • The originating computer hostname or IP address (especially if a username is unavailable)
  • The organization, division or other entity operating the printer
  • The date and time the document was printed.
  • The file name of the document.
  • Some organizations may choose to include a confidentiality notice, to discourage employees from taking documents off the premises.

Some printer spoolers allow the user to set up custom burst pages, and in the days of time-sharing systems it was fashionable to include ASCII art in a custom burst page.

Similarly, a title page is frequently included (or even required) when sending a document using a fax machine.

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