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The Printer Working Group charter is to develop standards that make printers, operating systems and applications work better.

In 1991, a consortium of printer and network manufacturers (Insight Development, Intel, LAN Systems, Lexmark and Texas Instruments) formed the Network Printing Alliance (NPA). Later members included QMS, Kyocera, GENICOM, Okidata, Unisys, Canon, IBM, Kodak, Adaptec, Tektronix, Digital Products, Pennant Systems, Extended Systems and NEC.

In 1993, the NPA was reformed as the Printer Working Group (PWG) and added HP, Compaq, Microsoft, Xerox, Xircom, Farpoint Communications, Zenith, Castelle, Fujitsu, 3M, Cirrus Logic, Amp, National Semiconductor and Ricoh.

In September 1999, the IEEE formalized an alliance with PWG as part of the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO).

The PWG has supported the development of:


The Network Printing Alliance Protocol (NPAP) was developed as a protocol for returning printer configuration and status via parallel, serial, network and later USB. In 1997, NPAP was approved as IEEE 1284.1 TIPSI. However, SNMP became the standard for network printer management and thus NPAP was never widely accepted. Lexmark appears to be the only manufacturer still supporting NPAP.[when?]


  • Network Printing Alliance Protocol, 1993
  • RFC 1660 Definitions of Managed Objects for Parallel-printer-like Hardware Devices using SMIv2
  • RFC 2910 Internet Printing Protocol/1.1: Encoding and Transport
  • RFC 2911 Internet Printing Protocol/1.1: Model and Semantics
  • RFC 3805 Printer MIB v2
  • RFC 3806 Printer finishing MIB

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