Bates Numbering - Black Ice Printer Drivers

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New feature: adding padding characters to bates numbering

The Black Ice printer drivers are now capable of automatically applying Bates Numbering to all printed documents. The Bates Numbers will be printed on each page at the specified position, using the selected font and color.

Bates numbering is a unified way to refer to and track documents and pages by number rather than name. Bates number is normally a series of letters followed by sequential numbers.

The term “Bates Number" comes from the Bates Manufacturing Co. which was incorporated on September 13, 1890 in New York State. The Bates Manufacturing Co. manufactured and sold automatic hand-held numbering machines. The Bates Numbering is mostly used by law firms, to aid in the referencing of documents.


The Bates Numbering provided by Black Ice Software is composed of two components: prefix and number. The prefix can be any string including letters and numbers, such as a case number, client name, etc. The second part of the Bates Number, the actual number, will be incremented for each printed page. The user can specify a starting number that will be incremented by the driver automatically for each printed page.

More than one Bates Number format could be necessary to be used on different documents (for example different cases may require different starting numbers, prefixes, etc.). The Black Ice printer driver provides the user with a list of existing (previously saved) formats. The user simply selects the required format from a drop-down list and the document is ready to be printed.

Adding padding characters to bates numbering

You can add any padding character in front of Bates number. You can enable and specify the padding feature using the printer driver INI file. By default no padding character is added to the Bates number. You can specify the padding separately for every Bates number. Below is an example of how to set the padding in case you have 2 Bates number types:

  • [Bates Number 1]
  • Bates Number Length=8
  • Bates Padding Character=0
  • [Bates Number 2]
  • Bates Number Length=5
  • Bates Padding Character=*

Bates Number Length: Number of characters of the Bates number (excluding prefix text). This value can be an integer value between 0 and 16. This value specifies the length of the bates number. If the length of the Bates number is less than this value, padding characters will be added, otherwise no padding characters will be inserted. If you are using “Bates Number 1” and the Bates number is 12588, the printed document will contain 00012588 as Bates number. If “Bates Number 2” selected the created Bates number will 12588 (No padding character will be added.).

Bates Padding Character: This value specifies the padding character. This value can only be one ANSI character. For example, if the Bates number is 1258 and you are using “Bates Number 2” settings, the generated text will be *1258 on the printed document.