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With Visual Basic 5.0, when you are listing or searching for printers in the Printers collection, you may find that the Printers collection does not contain all the printers in the printers folder.
Visual Basic 5.0 uses the GetProfileString API function to obtain the list of printers. One parameter of GetProfileString is a memory buffer that is allocated to receive the results of the function call. This buffer is then filled in with the list of printers by the operating system (OS). The correct procedure is to first determine how large a buffer is needed and then to supply a buffer of that size. However, Visual Basic 5.0 always allocates a buffer of 1024 bytes. Therefore, if all of the names of all the of the printers shown in the printers folder total more than 1024 characters (including a null character at the end of each printer name), then the Printers collection is missing some printers.
The workaround is to call GetProfileString in your Visual Basic code to obtain a separate set of printer names.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
This problem was corrected in Visual Basic 6.0.
The Visual Basic Printer object is initially set to the system default printer. Normally, in order to use a printer other than the system default, you just select a printer from the Printers collection. Your application then uses this selected printer and does not affect any other applications. However, if the printer you need is missing from the Printers collection, the only alternative is to change the system default printer so Visual Basic uses that printer. Please see article Q266767 listed in the "References" section for instructions on how to accomplish this.
Note that changing the system default printer may not always be desirable because this will affect all applications that do not specify a printer. For this reason, you may want to set aside the original default printer so that you can restore it once your print job has finished. For example, you can use code such as the following:
Dim OriginalDefault As StringOriginalDefault = Printer.DeviceName
Then use the same method as before to restore OriginalDefault as the system default printer.
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
266767 HOWTO: Set Which Printer is the System Default Printer
167735 FIX: Setting Printer to Item in the Printers Collection Fails