SET PRINTER TO Enhancements in Visual FoxPro for Macintosh

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The SET PRINTER TO command has been enhanced in Visual FoxPro for the Macintosh. Its functionality differs depending on whether or not QuickDraw GX is installed. This article describes the new enhancements that are not described in the Visual FoxPro Help file.

Note: Since Macintosh OS 8 no longer supports QuickDraw GX printer drivers or printing extensions, the SET PRINTER TO NAME "<QuickDraw GX printer driver name>" command no longer functions in Visual FoxPro with Macintosh OS 8. For more information on the changes to QuickDraw GX with OS 8 refer to the About QuickDraw GX read me file in the Mac OS Read Me folder on the OS 8 CD-ROM.


Without QuickDraw GX

A new feature of the SET PRINTER TO command that is available only when QuickDraw GX is not installed is the ability to set all the page setup options for the current printer back to their default values. The command to do this is:
To test this, try these steps:

  1. Make sure a printer is selected in Chooser.
  2. Start Visual FoxPro.
  3. Choose the Page Setup command from the File menu. Change the settings to something other than what they are. Choose OK.
  4. In the Command window, type:
  5. Go back into Page Setup, and observe that all the settings are back to what they were originally (before they were changed in step 3).
Note that when QuickDraw GX is not used, Visual FoxPro always uses the printer that was selected in Chooser, which is the default printer of the system.

With QuickDraw GX

NOTE: QuickDraw GX is manufactured by a vendor independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of QuickDraw GX.

The SET PRINTER TO enhancements with QuickDraw GX loaded allow more control over the selection of the printer to be used. These enhancements work with the current versions of QuickDraw GX (this article was tested with version 1.1.2). Future changes to the Macintosh operating system and QuickDraw GX may cause these enhancements to stop functioning.

With QuickDraw GX, different printers are set up as icons on the Macintosh desktop. These printers have names that can be referenced in Visual FoxPro. These names can be used with the SET PRINTER TO NAME command to redirect a a Visual FoxPro print job to a different printer.

For examaple, on the Macintosh desktop, there may be an ImageWriter GX printer and a LaserWriter with name of 4SI@2253. In Visual FoxPro the following commands can be used to switch the current printer:
The first command directs Visual FoxPro's print jobs to the ImageWriter GX printer, and the second directs print jobs to the 4SI printer by way of the LaserWriter GX printer driver.

NOTE: The names of the printers setup on the desktop are case sensitive in the SET PRINTER TO NAME "<printer name>" command. The quotation marks are optional if the printer name does not have spaces in it.

With QuickDraw GX, there is a default printer for the Macintosh system. The icon that shows on the desktop for the default printer has a thick black border. In Visual FoxPro, if the Visual FoxPro printer is changed with the SET PRINTER TO NAME <printer name> command, the SET PRINTER TO DEFAULT command will set the Visual FoxPro printer back to the printer that is the default for the Macintosh system.

You can use the SET("Printer",2) command to determine which printer Visual FoxPro will print to. To see this in action, enter the following code in the Visual FoxPro Command window:
   ? SET("Printer",2)
   ? SET("Printer",2)


Article ID: 153528 - Last Review: December 15, 1999 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Visual FoxPro 3.0b for Macintosh
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