Parallel port

Last modified by Iris Spruit on 2023/08/25 10:56



The parallel port is a somewhat outdated port on computers. The parallel port used to be a way to connect external devices to a computer, such as a printer. Nowadays, the parallel port is hardly ever used. Except in Social Sciences, where it is used for sending markers. However, because laptops do not have a parallel port and it becomes increasingly rare on desktop pc's, alternatives such as the UsbParMarker and Eva are also used at FSW Leiden.


Availability, Support and Use-case

Some lab computers at FSW Leiden have a parallel port and they can be used for markers. 

For using the parallel port in E-Prime, see Github for instructions and sample tasks. On lab computers at FSW Leiden the port address can be found on a sticker on the pc. See below information on how to find the parallel port address manually.

Using the parallel port in OpenSesame is not that trivial and requires the installation of a driver, which is not installed on lab computers at FSW Leiden by default. When installation of the driver on a lab pc is necessary, please contact More information on the installation of the driver and how to send markers to the parallel port can be found on Github.

Finding the parallel port address

When indicating the parallel port (LPT port) address manually (e.g. in E-Prime), the address has to be looked up using the PC's device manager. Here is a step-by-step instruction how to find the parallel port address:

1. On the PC, click on the Windows button and search for 'Device Manager'. A new tab is going to open. From the listed items, select 'Ports (COM & LPT)' and double klick on it. 


2. A drop down menu will appear with a selection of all the ports found. Form this menu, select the PCI Express ECP Parallel Port (LPT3), which is for the LPT port. A new window will open that shows the properties of the parallel port, as well as the settings and other more detailed information. 


3. In this newly opened window, select the 'Resources' tab in order to see the port address. It can be found under 'Resource settings'. The correct port address is in the first row, the first part of the 'Setting' -- in this case it would be 3FF8. In order to communicate with this address in E-Prime, it has to be written in a string as a hexadecimal. This is done by adding '&H' in front of the port address, so that the final string being communicated to the system in this case would be: "&H3FF8". 


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