SECTION 7.1.5 - CONFIGURE PRINTERS
USAGE: To display the current printer drivers; to add new printer drives or modify the existing drivers.
DISCUSSION: Initially Pipeline is delivered with some 30 different printer drivers. Each driver describes, to the report programs, how to make each particular printer engage functions, such as expanded print and condensed print. Printer definitions apply globally, that is, an Epson FX80 definition by one user is seen by all users who use the printer. Changes made here take effect immediately. The entries here are based on DOS style printing. This also corresponds to the PCL5 printing style used in HP (and compatible) printers. Drivers defined here will not work with, so-called, Windows printers because they will only print graphical character sets. It is, however, possible to download (from the Internet) drivers that translate the standard printing, Pipeline uses, into the graphical printing style.
It should be noted, here, that PCL6 is not an update to PCL5. It is a completely different driver definition. Printers that can only use PCL6 will not work here. Most printers can have a PCL5 driver, even if it is not standard in the out-of-the-box configuration. Before purchasing printers, for use with Pipeline, please make sure that they are the correct type. If you are not sure, please contact your dealer or Horizon Information Systems for advice.
When the program starts a menu is displayed which looks like this:
The screen displayed above shows the list of narrow printers currently defined on your system. The exact list may vary with different releases of the software. You may choose from the following functions:
1-99 This will display the full definition for the printer number you choose. From this screen, you may modify, or just view, the printer’s defined parameters.
<F1> This will move you to the NARROW PRINTERS screen. There is space for 30 narrow printer definitions. The term narrow printer refers to printers that hold a maximum width paper of 10”. They print to a maximum width of 8”, ie when printing 10 cpi (characters per inch) they can print 80 columns across the page. Pipeline will automatically force these printers to 17 cpi for wide reports (requiring 132 columns).
<F2> This will move you to the WIDE PRINTERS screen. There is space for 15 wide printer definitions. The term wide printers refers to printers which hold a maximum width paper of 15”. They print to a maximum width of 13.2”, ie. when printing 10 cpi (characters per inch) they can print 132 columns across the page. As no report in Pipeline uses more than 132 columns, wide printers always print in 10 cpi characters.
<F3> This will move you to the LASER PRINTERS screen. There is space for 30 laser printer definitions. Laser printers hold A4 paper only. They can only print to a maximum width of 7.8” and some do not force the next page properly. Pipeline can cope with most laser printers but there are usually restrictions. Laser printers require more parameters than other printers do. Check with your dealer before using a laser printer as your main reports printer.
<F4> This will move you to the OTHER PRINTERS screen. There is space for 19 printer definitions. This screen is usually restricted to printers such as daisy wheel printers and special printers that do not fit into the other three categories. If you wish to print directly to disk, you may also wish to use one of these definitions. By leaving all the attributes blank, Pipeline will basically just send a dump of the report to disk.
<ESC> This will return you to the PRINTERS & SCREENS MENU without further updating your control files.
Modifying a printer set-up
When you choose to modify a printer, the screen displays several fields. These are described below. For each printer function there is a corresponding set of up to 20 numeric fields. Each field must be filled with a number from zero to 255. These numbers define, in decimal, the ASCII character to be sent to the printer. If there are more fields than necessary, leave the extra ones as zero. Eg. expanded print is initiated on a Canon A2 printer with the sequence of three characters, ›1m. To enter this use the decimal sequence: 155, 49, 109, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0.
The printer options are:
PRINTER NAME This field is documentary only, but if left blank, the printer becomes undefined and will not be accepted ASSIGN LOCAL PRINTERS. The field is used to identify the printer you are establishing. This name appears on the main screen, above, and when defining local printers. See also SECTION 7.1.4 - ASSIGN LOCAL PRINTERS, for further details.
START EXPANDED PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn the printer into 5 pitch or 5 character per inch (cpi). Often this is just defined as shift-out however with some printers it is necessary to completely define the sequence. This function is almost exclusively used for making printing stand out. If you leave this function as all zeros, heading will still print but will not be expanded. If your printer cannot print 5 cpi, try inserting the sequence which turns-on bold printing. If you do this, make sure you enter the corresponding sequence for cancel expanded print, below.
CANCEL EXPANDED PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn off expanded print. Often this is the same sequence as rESTORE normal print, but some printers need a specific sequence.
START COMPRESSED PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn on compressed print. This must be at least 16.6 cpi. This function is not required for wide printers and can be left as all zeros. Most printers have an option to shift-in, which changes them into 17 cpi. Note that laser printers are only capable of printing to 7.8 inches across the page. This means that 17 cpi is not adequate. 20 cpi is acceptable but might be hard to read. It is possible that your printer can be set to some other value, eg. 18 cpi. In either case, you must be able to print 132 characters across the page for all reports to work correctly.
CANCEL COMPRESSED PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn off compressed print. Often this is the same sequence as restore normal print, but some printers need a specific sequence.
START 12PITCH PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn on 12 cpi printing. This function is rarely used in Pipeline and may be ignored unless you have special printing requirements.
CANCEL 12PITCH PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn off compressed print. Often this is the same sequence as restore normal print, but some printers need a specific sequence. This function is only required if you have defined the start 12pitch print sequence.
START UNDERLINE PRINT This function is not always available for all printers and does not always work in combination with certain other printing styles. Consequently, Pipeline does not use this sequence in standard reporting. However, it is included because there are some sites that have specific requirements and have printers that can use this function.
CANCEL UNDERLINE PRINT If you define UNDERLINE PRINTING, you should also include the sequence that cancels it.
RESTORE NORMAL PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn the printer back to 10 cpi without any special printing attributes, eg. bold, underline, etc. Sometimes this is just a single sequence. With other printers it might have to be a combination of the other cancel functions from above.
START LANDSCAPE PRINT This defines the control sequence required to turn laser printer into landscape printing. This field is only relevant to laser printers.
CANCEL LANDSCAPE PRINT This defines the control sequence required to reset landscape printing back to portrait printing. This sequence is only needed if you have defined the landscape PRINTING sequence.
LINES ON LANDSCAPE REPORT This tells the report program how long your report page is when printing in landscape. This field is only relevant for laser printers. Usually this should be set to 44 or 48 depending on your laser printer. Experiment with this number until you get each report to start printing at the same line on the each page. This number only refers to standard reports, such as DEBTOR Reports, Trial Balances, etc. It has no effect on Receipts, Cheques, etc.
LINES ON STANDARD (PORTRAIT) REPORT This tells the report programs how long your report page is. Usually this should be set to 66 but for true A4 paper, use 70. Some laser printers require other odd numbers of lines, eg. Canon A1 require 67, HP LaserJet 6L requires 64. Experiment with this number until you get each report starting its print at the same line on the each page. This number only refers to standard reports, such as DEBTOR Reports, Trial Balances, etc. It has no effect on Receipts, Cheques, but has an affect on some INVOICE formats. Check with your dealer for details.
LINES AT BOTTOM OF REPORT There are up to 2 instances of this field. They correspond with the Portrait printing and the other to Landscape printing. These should be set as low as possible for you printer. However, zero is not usually a good option. It can confuse the printer.
START RGB COLOUR PALLET If you are using a colour printer, some reports can print in colour. Here you can enter the codes required to shift to any one of 8 RGB colours. If you enter any of these, make sure you enter the code for BLACK. Otherwise, reports will move into a colour and never change back to black. Also, please note that some colours make more sense than others. Eg Printing white on white paper will not normally be readable.
The screen also offers the following function keys:
<F5> This will allow you to test your entries by printing to the printer. You will be asked to enter a printer-port (eg. PRN or prin1) to print to, as at this point, Pipeline does not know where you intend to connect your printer. This must be entered the same way as you enter the port name in SECTION 7.1.4- ASSIGN LOCAL PRINTERS. It is not necessary to save your changes before printing, but it is recommended as printing to a non-existent port may cause the program to abort.
<F10> Press <F10> when you wish to save the changes you have made. You will be required to confirm your selection.
<ESC> This will return you to the previous screen without updating your control files.