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How To Control Print Attributes

This topic discusses applying formatting to your printed documents. You can print in bold, italics, underlined or anything else that your printer supports. Page orientation can be set as well, either portrait or landscape.

Collect! can also print graphics and you can even customize style sheets for printing your own letterhead.


- Understanding of basic report and letter design
- setup Printer

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Printer Test

To check how your printer works, run the Printer Test report by pulling down the Print menu from the Main Menu. Then, select Reports and Letters, and choose the Printer Test report.

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Font Attributes

If in your Report Body, you typed @!THIS TEXT IS BOLD@! those words would be in bold on your printed page. Please refer to How To Control Font Attributes for examples of all the commands for changing font characteristics.

Each command has a set of codes specific to your type of printer.

*** TIP : Please see below under TYPES OF PRINTERS for more information about printer types.

Using a printer control command turns the print attribute on. Using it again, at the end of the text you want to format, turns it off again.

tip.gif don't forget to turn the attribute off when you are finished with it. Everything following the attribute is set to that attribute until the report writer finds the attribute that turns it off. Your whole report could end up printing BOLD a lot more than intended, if you leave out the @! at the end of the text!

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Printer Control Codes

tip.gif Printer control codes are not printed when printing to the screen or to a file. They are for formatting purposes when printing to your printer.

Pull down the Print menu and choose Settings. From the submenu that displays, select Printer Control Codes. The list that displays contains all the possible codes that can be applied to format various types of printing. This list includes different size fonts and different font styles.

See Also:

- Printer Control Codes
- Default Printer Codes

tip.gif This list can also be accessed when you are on the Report Body. Press F2 and then select Printer control code.

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Applying Formatting

The controls that are applied to printing are added to the Printable Information codes that pull the data from your database into your report. For instance, will pull the Debtor Name into your report or letter. @!! will print the name in Bold.

Use the printer control codes in any of the design examples covered in other report and letter topics.

As explained in the Help topic Printer Control Codes, the list of codes will describe to you what each code does. You can change font weight, size and other attributes as well as page orientation.

For printing your own custom letterhead please refer to How To Edit Style Sheets.

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Setting Attributes Through The Report Options Form

When you are viewing the Report Definition form for a specific report or letter, you can access the Report Options form by pressing the Options button at the bottom of the Report Definition form. When you want to SET A DEFAULT FONT to be used for your whole report, the codes are entered in this form rather than in the Report Body itself. Also, PAGE ORIENTATION (Landscape or Portrait) is set from the Report Options form.

Please refer to How To Print Landscape or Portrait.

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Types Of Printers

Collect! can print to whatever type of printer you have. Dot matrix, laser jet and ink jet are all supported.

When you set up your printer in Report and Printer Setup, accessed from the Print menu - Settings -
Report and Printer Setup, you are given three options for default settings.

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1. Device Context

Until recently, Collect! considered the Epsom compatible Dot Matrix as its default printer. Now, Collect! is fully equipped to handle printing using all of the Windows printing features, using Device Context printing.

This means that a whole world of graphics has been opened up to Collect! report writing.

* You can add your own logo to letters and reports.

* Add charts or any other image that has been saved as a BITMAP

Most printers on the market today support this type of printing and it is now the default method Collect! uses. All Windows printing features are used for setting font size and printer attributes.

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2. Printer Stream

If you use Printer stream as your default printing option, you must have an HP compatible printer that is HPGL5 or higher. This is because Collect! bypasses the Windows drivers etc., and speaks directly to the printer.

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3. Print Via Browser

When you want your reports to be printed to the browser, you must choose Printer Control Codes for HTML. The Printer Control Codes list describes the use of each of the HTML codes that Collect! is setup to handle.

tip.gif It is necessary to know basic HTML to use this feature correctly because you are actually designing an HTML page. The HTML printer control code set must be used for any report or letter that you design if you intend to print it to the browser. When Print via browser is your default printer setting, Collect! prints your report using the Style Sheet for the current operator or the System Style Sheet if no customized sheet has been made for the current operator.

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Hexadecimal Commands

tip.gif This is ADVANCED information that is only included for technical purposes. To add codes to your Report Body it is only necessary to choose commands from the list of Printer Control Codes. The following describes how your printer interprets Collect!'s code.

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This is the command string to turn the attribute On. This string can contain hexadecimal commands, can point to other commands, or can contain a character string. To refer to other commands, start the command with the @ character, and then include the commands you want to call. If you want to send a sequence of characters to the printer, start the command with the " character. When the report manager detects this, it will first send the Escape character (1B Hex), and then send the commands as you typed them.

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This is the command string to turn the attribute off. The same coding the 'on' command uses applies to this command. If this command is blank then the 'on' command will be used instead.

For Laser printers, turning commands off does not necessarily apply.

tip.gif Collect! keeps a flag for each print attribute as it is used. If there is an Off command, Collect! will toggle between the On and Off commands based on its internal switch. If you turn off your printer while Collect! thinks the printer is in a certain state, the synchronization between printer and program will fail, and strange output will result. Power both systems down and restart if you have strange output.

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See Also

- How To Edit Style Sheets
- How To Position Text And Graphics
- How To Format Reports And Letters
- How To Control Font Attributes - Control codes affecting font
- Report Sample - Many pre-defined reports and letters shipped with Collect!
- Report Topics Index - List of all report and letter topics
- Default Printer Codes

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