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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    23

    Unanswered: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    Hi

    I am having problem with a product i am developing. When you set up printer scripts they are driver dependant as soon as you change print drivers the scripts wont work.

    I need a work around as i need the ability for clients to be able to change from A4 to Letter and you dont know what printer driver they would be using.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84

    Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    Originally posted by Bknight
    Hi

    I am having problem with a product i am developing. When you set up printer scripts they are driver dependant as soon as you change print drivers the scripts wont work.

    I need a work around as i need the ability for clients to be able to change from A4 to Letter and you dont know what printer driver they would be using.

    so many options, so little time. There are several methods for dealing with this issue. Withou knowing more, I'm just going to ramble a while and hope I hit a nail.

    I use a little app called ProPrint to automatically switch printers from within a script. There are also a couple of shareware apps that pretty much do the same thing.

    If you use this option, you would have two layouts within your FileMaker file for printing. I would use a field like gPage Size (global) is allow the user which paper size they want to use.

    You could use a pop-up menu of gPage Size on your data entry layout to control which layout will be used when you print.

    Your print script would start with something like:
    if (gPage Size="A4')
    Send Message Proprint switch to printer 2
    Go to Layout (A4) layout
    Else
    Send Message ProPrint switch to printer 1
    Go to Layout (Letter)
    End IF
    Page Setup Restore
    Print
    Send Message Proprint switch to Printer- defaut



    The second approach, which really builds on the first is to use a preview engine. I won'y waste time my going into a ton of detail, but basically your print script will loop through all the pages of your print job. It will go to Preview Mode, Copy (this copies the entire page as a grpahic (that can be scaled to fit wahtever paper size), then it will execute an external script which will create a new record in a related database that has a container field filling the entire page size.

    This process will continue until all the pages are done, then the script should take you to the 'preview' file were you can review your print job, add watermarks, scale to fit different page sizes, etc.

    I can send you a smaple file if this is something that you need to do, but I'm thinking the first steps may fix your issues...


    Let me know...


    Joe


    joe@svkingpen.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    23

    Problem

    Problem i have with that solution is that i dont know what printer clients will be using and they could be using more than 3 different printers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84

    Re: Problem

    Originally posted by Bknight
    Problem i have with that solution is that i dont know what printer clients will be using and they could be using more than 3 different printers.
    Proprint allows each user to set their own printers, so you can set the layouts to scale to fit no matter which printer they happen to choose- you don't need to know...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    13

    Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    You could ship a standard driver with your product, no? If you use a really simple driver and set FM to default to this, it would take care of the majority of printers. Users would be free to use whatever default printer they want for other programs, but FM would always go to your driver.

    J

    Originally posted by Bknight
    Hi

    I am having problem with a product i am developing. When you set up printer scripts they are driver dependant as soon as you change print drivers the scripts wont work.

    I need a work around as i need the ability for clients to be able to change from A4 to Letter and you dont know what printer driver they would be using.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84

    Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    Originally posted by Jerry Maloney
    You could ship a standard driver with your product, no? If you use a really simple driver and set FM to default to this, it would take care of the majority of printers. Users would be free to use whatever default printer they want for other programs, but FM would always go to your driver.

    J

    It's not realistic to ship a 'common' driver for different printers. Postscript drivers can all share the same drivers, but most of the lesser priced and specialty printers need the drivers that thier vendors provide.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    13

    Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    If you find the right driver, it is QUITE realistic to ship a 'common' driver for different printers. I frequently direct clients to download a LJ3 driver to use for printing from FileMaker, and not only does this solve issues related to print resolution on PCL6 and other printers, it does not cause any other problems (or, should i say, we've not had any reported problems though we've been doing this for years).

    Right now i am printing to an HP LJ 2200 using the print driver for the LaserJet III. Specialty printers need specialty drivers to access specialty functions, but the majority of printers can use any one of several drivers for their most basic function, simple printing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84

    Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    Originally posted by Jerry Maloney
    If you find the right driver, it is QUITE realistic to ship a 'common' driver for different printers. I frequently direct clients to download a LJ3 driver to use for printing from FileMaker, and not only does this solve issues related to print resolution on PCL6 and other printers, it does not cause any other problems (or, should i say, we've not had any reported problems though we've been doing this for years).

    Right now i am printing to an HP LJ 2200 using the print driver for the LaserJet III. Specialty printers need specialty drivers to access specialty functions, but the majority of printers can use any one of several drivers for their most basic function, simple printing.

    All the printers you mentioned are Hewlett Packard LaserJets, which all understand a common language- PCL, but try to fire off to an Epson Stylus Photo ES or a Dyno label printer. If you're in a corporate environment I can see how this might work it the printers are as similar as you mentioned, but on the site I am on right now the PCL support has been turned off on the Color LaserJet, so users are required to use the PS (Postscript) driver. Postscript is a rare option for the old LaserJet IIIs, so to make you FileMaker solution so fragile doesn't make sense to me. What if someone takes a copy home and tries to print to his 'Bought on Sale' inkjet from Sam's Club.

    There are several good options to work with printers in FileMaker, many of them free, so why do something so limiting?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    13

    Red face Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    Good point, Joe. I was wrong to say that a standard driver will work on the majority of printers--i should have qualified that with "... in corporate environments." I sometimes forget there's a whole wide world of people out there with $25 Sam's Club printers.

    Still, my solution is a reliable one IF you're only working with clients who can reliably be expected to work with PCL laser jets. I can't tell from the original post whether or not that's the case here.

    J

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84

    Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    Originally posted by Jerry Maloney
    Good point, Joe. I was wrong to say that a standard driver will work on the majority of printers--i should have qualified that with "... in corporate environments." I sometimes forget there's a whole wide world of people out there with $25 Sam's Club printers.

    Still, my solution is a reliable one IF you're only working with clients who can reliably be expected to work with PCL laser jets. I can't tell from the original post whether or not that's the case here.

    J

    My current client is running an all-HP environment, but yet the IT department is pushing Postscript of the color LaserJets, while most people still use the PCL drivers for the black and whites.

    This wouldn't be a big deal except the IT department has turned PCL off on the Postscript enabled devices...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    84

    Re: Filemaker and Win2k printer drivers

    Originally posted by joeking
    My current client is running an all-HP environment, but yet the IT department is pushing Postscript of the color LaserJets, while most people still use the PCL drivers for the black and whites.

    This wouldn't be a big deal except the IT department has turned PCL off on the Postscript enabled devices...


    It's amazing how we can build beautiful database solutions and then something simple like print drivers can give the users an impression that FileMaker is not dependable...

    I have found it is much better to 'nip it in the bud' instead of dealing with it later...


    thanks,

    Joe

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