How to use the SET PRINTER TO NAME command to print to a specified printer in Visual FoxPro


Summary


In order to specify that a Visual FoxPro report should sent to a particular printer, it is customary to either change the Windows default printer or use the PROMPT clause on the REPORT command to allow the user to select the printer. However, it is possible to change the desired destination printer without using either of these techniques. This article explains some methods for doing this using SET PRINTER TO NAME [printer name].

More Information


The SET PRINTER TO NAME command allows the currently selected printer within Visual FoxPro to be set to any printer installed under Windows. The list of installed printers can be read into an array with the APRINTERS() function, or a single printer name can be returned by the GETPRINTER() dialog.


NOTE: For this procedure to work, the report form must be saved with the Default Printer selected from the Name drop-down box within the Print Setup dialog. This dialog is called from the Page Setup dialog found under the File menu.

Example 1

The following program displays the GETPRINTER() dialog to allow selection of a printer from the installed printers. If OK is selected in the GetPrinter dialog, a report called Test is sent to the selected printer. If the Cancel button is selected in the GetPrinter dialog, the report is not printed.

   * Beginning of program for Example 1
* *******************************************************
* This program assumes a report called Test which has been
* saved with the default printer in the Print Setup dialog.
*
LOCAL lcPrinter

lcPrinter = ''
lcPrinter = GETPRINTER()

IF !EMPTY(lcPrinter)
SET PRINTER TO NAME (lcPrinter)
REPORT FORM Test TO PRINTER NOCONSOLE
ELSE
WAIT WINDOW 'Print Job Cancelled' TIME 1
ENDIF
*
* End of program for Example 1
Notes:


Under Visual FoxPro 3.0 and 3.0b, the GETPRINTER() dialog is different, and the dialog allows changing portrait/landscape settings, among others. These are ignored when the report is printed.

Example 2

The following program displays a custom form that has a drop-down list populated with an array created with APRINTERS(). If you choose the "Print Report" command button, a report called Test is sent to the selected printer. If you choose the Cancel button, the report is not printed.

   * Beginning of program for Example 2
*********************************************************
* This program assumes a report called Test which has been
* saved with the default printer in the Print Setup dialog.
*
PUBLIC oform
oform=CREATEOBJECT("form1")
oform.SHOW

DEFINE CLASS form1 AS FORM
AutoCenter = .T.
Height = 158
Width = 327
Caption = "Printer Dialog"
Name = "Form1"
DIMENSION aprintarray[1]

ADD OBJECT combo1 AS COMBOBOX WITH ;
ROWSOURCETYPE = 5, ;
ROWSOURCE = "thisform.aPrintArray", ;
HEIGHT = 25, ;
LEFT = 24, ;
STYLE = 2, ;
TOP = 48, ;
WIDTH = 276, ;
NAME = "Combo1"

ADD OBJECT command1 AS COMMANDBUTTON WITH ;
TOP = 108, ;
LEFT = 48, ;
HEIGHT = 27, ;
WIDTH = 84, ;
CAPTION = "Print Report", ;
DEFAULT = .T., ;
NAME = "Command1"

ADD OBJECT command2 AS COMMANDBUTTON WITH ;
TOP = 108, ;
LEFT = 180, ;
HEIGHT = 25, ;
WIDTH = 84, ;
CANCEL = .T., ;
CAPTION = "Cancel", ;
NAME = "Command2"

PROCEDURE combo1.INIT
LOCAL lnI
FOR lnI = 1 TO APRINTERS(THISFORM.aprintarray)
* Note below that you are adding a leading space. This
* prevents a network printer in Windows NT from appearing
* disabled in the combo due the leading "\"
THISFORM.aprintarray[lnI,1] = SPACE(1) + ;
THISFORM.aprintarray[lnI,1]
ENDFOR
* Set initial value of combo
THIS.Requery()
IF '5.0' $ VERSION()
* This sets the combo initial value of the dropdown to the
* default printer - This will not work in 3.0/3.0b since
* SET('PRINTER', 2) is not available
FOR EACH a_element IN THISFORM.aprintarray
IF UPPER(SET('PRINTER',2))$UPPER(a_element)
THIS.Value = a_element
ENDIF
ENDFOR
ELSE
* If in 3.0/3.0b, set to first element in list.
THIS.Value = THISFORM.aprintarray[1]
ENDIF
ENDPROC

PROCEDURE command1.CLICK
SET PRINTER TO NAME (ALLTRIM(THISFORM.combo1.VALUE))
REPORT FORM test TO PRINTER NOCONSOLE
RELEASE THISFORM
ENDPROC

PROCEDURE command2.CLICK
RELEASE THISFORM
ENDPROC

ENDDEFINE
*
* End of program for Example 2

References


Visual FoxPro 5.0 Help
Visual FoxPro 6.0 Help