FIX: Error 486 or 482 Occurs When Using PrintForm

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Article ID: 242483 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

Using code that calls the PrintForm method can cause one or more of the following errors after you change a page level setting (for example, Orientation) or you try to print text to the same page:
Run-time error '482': Printer Error
Run-time error '486': Can't print form image to this type of printer
Printer Error
Running under Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 2000, the initial call to PrintForm after changing settings works but subsequent attempts fail. Running under Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me, code that makes even a single call to the PrintForm method after changing Orientation or any other page level setting fails with one or more of the preceding errors.

RESOLUTION

You can circumvent this problem by not using PrintForm and instead employing WIN32 API code. See the References section below for descriptions of these methods.

Running under Windows NT or Windows 2000

  • Calling the EndDoc method after the call to PrintForm fixes the problem.

Running under Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me

  • Calling the EndDoc method before the call to PrintForm skirts the problem but any settings made to the Printer object are lost. This means that PrintForm uses the settings of the current default printer. This was the behavior prior to Visual Basic 6.0.
  • Use the Common Dialog control to change page properties instead of direct assignments to the properties of the Printer object.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This bug was corrected in the latest service pack for Visual Studio 6.0.

For additional information about Visual Studio service packs, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
194022 INFO: Visual Studio 6.0 Service Packs, What, Where, Why

194295 HOWTO: Tell That a Visual Studio Service Pack Is Installed
To download the latest Visual Studio service pack, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/Aa718353.aspx

MORE INFORMATION

Prior to Visual Basic 6.0, the PrintForm method was completely self contained and ignored any settings made to the Printer object. This was because the Printer object and the PrintForm method each used its own Device Context (DC) for the current printer. Each had its own printer settings that did not affect any other DC. This also meant that PrintForm would end the current print job, start its own job, and end it when finished.

In order to give developers the ability to control printer settings for PrintForm and to allow the printing of text on the same pages with the form image, PrintForm was changed to use the DC of the Printer object. Thus, now you can change printer settings and your call to PrintForm uses them. However, when attempting this under Windows 95 or Windows 98, or when this is done multiple times within a print job under Windows NT or Windows 2000, the errors listed in the Symptoms section can occur. You can get around this problem by replacing PrintForm with WIN32 API code (see References below) or by using the EndDoc method, which ends the print job and allows a new job to start. Also, under Windows 95 and Windows 98, you can use the printer Common Dialog instead of direct assignments to Printer.Orientation. While using EndDoc allows you to print text in the same code that uses PrintForm, you still cannot put the form image and text on the same page. However, you can print text and your form image on the same page using API calls.

Steps to Reproduce Behavior

  1. Create a new Standard EXE project. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add the following to the module of Form1:
    Private Sub Form_Click()
        Printer.Orientation = vbPRORPortrait
        PrintForm
        Printer.Orientation = vbPRORLandscape
        PrintForm
    End Sub
    					
  3. Run the project and click on the form. The error(s) occur. If you are running under Windows 95 or Windows 98, this occurs on the first PrintForm call. The errors occur on the second call when you are running Windows NT or Windows 2000.

WorkArounds

Windows NT and Windows 2000

  1. Continue with the project created in the preceding steps and add calls to the EndDoc method after each call to PrintForm, so that your code appears as follows:
    Private Sub Form_Click()
        Printer.Orientation = vbPRORPortrait
        PrintForm
        Printer.EndDoc
        Printer.Orientation = vbPRORLandscape
        PrintForm
    End Sub
    					
  2. Run the project and click on the form. Your form should print on two pages, once in portrait and once in landscape.

Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me

  • Continue with the original project created previously and add calls to the EndDoc method before each call to PrintForm, so that your code appears as follows:
    Private Sub Form_Click()
        Printer.Orientation = vbPRORPortrait
        Printer.EndDoc
        PrintForm
        Printer.Orientation = vbPRORLandscape
        Printer.EndDoc
        PrintForm
    End Sub
    						
    Run the project and click on the form. Your form should print on two pages, but each time it just uses the default orientation for the current printer.

    -or-
  • Continue with the original project created above and add calls to the Common Dialog control to change page settings instead of using direct assignments, so that your code appears as follows:
    Private Sub Form_Click()
        CommonDialog1.ShowPrinter ' set to Landscape
        PrintForm
        CommonDialog1.ShowPrinter ' set to Portrait
        PrintForm
    End Sub
    					
    1. From the Project menu, choose Components and then select Microsoft Common Dialog Control 6.0. Click OK.
    2. Add a CommonDialog control to Form1.
    3. Run the project and click on the form. You are prompted twice with a printer dialog. Select a different orientation each time. Your form should print on two pages, once in landscape and once in portrait.

REFERENCES

For additional information on WIN32 API alternatives to using PrintForm, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
161299 HOWTO: Capture and Print the Screen, a Form, or any Window
178076 HOWTO: Use a PictureBox to Control Orientation Printing a Form
230502 HOWTO: Print a Form That is Too Large for the Screen or Page
For additional information on an alternative way to change Orientation when using PrintForm, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
198901 Sample: PageSet.exe Programmatically Changes Default Printer

Properties

Article ID: 242483 - Last Review: August 7, 2007 - Revision: 2.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic Enterprise Edition for Windows 6.0
Keywords: 
kbbug kbcmndlgpage kbcmndlgprint kbfix kbprint kbvs600sp4fix kbvs600sp5fix KB242483

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