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Slow printing...


kennedy
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I want to update all my member info. So, rather than have people fill out the same old form, I want to print the FileMaker layout for each family and ask a family member to correct anything that's wrong. So, that means printing the layout for each of about 2000 families. We decided to start with the first 100... did print... said to print pages 1 to 100... it started spooling them, but as it went, it got slower and slower and slower. And then when it started printing to the printer, there's a notable delay between each page... not the normally swift printing that you'd see printing a 100 page document from Word on that printer. In the end, it took about 30 minutes for those 100 pages. At that rate it'll take 10 hours to print all 2000... if we do them in blocks of 100... if I just spooled them all, based on how it was getting slower and slower, it might take forever!

I'm looking for some tips on what to do to speed this up...

Assuming spooling the large file is non-linear, I suppose I could write a script to print the current layout and then go to next and repeat until done. Thoughts? Would that be faster than using the FM print dialog to print all the records?

The layout has some FM graphics on it... is that what's causing the slow printing at the printer?

The layout is not a report and has no summary fields... just a normal layout form.

It does have one portal listing the members of the family. That list needs to be there.

But the relationship is very simple keyed relationship.

What else might make spooling slow?

What else might make the printing at the printer slow?

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Hi Kennedy:

What platform and FM version? What printer are you printing to, and did you try printing to other printers? What is the size of the print job and how much RAM does your printer have?

kennedy said:

Assuming spooling the large file is non-linear, I suppose I could write a script to print the current layout and then go to next and repeat until done.

The layout has some FM graphics on it... is that what's causing the slow printing at the printer?

Why would you need a script to switch layouts? Do you mean records? Large graphics will slow the spooling process cuz the job is bigger, but not FM graphics. On the report layout, is there a noticeable delay when scrolling through records manually?

I've never experienced a delay that big in printing, but I will try to help smile.gif

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kenneth2k1 said:What platform and FM version?

Mac OS X 10.2.6, FMP 5.5, FMS 5.5

What printer are you printing to, and did you try printing to other printers?

A Minolta PostScript laser printer... our fastest printer in all other situations.

No, I didn't try another printer. I could try a normal HP inkjet... or a Lexmark

inkjet. The Color Laser Printer would definitely NOT be a good idea.

What is the size of the print job and how much RAM does your printer have?

Not sure the size of the print job... I think the printer has 12-16MB... I'll have to double-check that when I go in.

Why would you need a script to switch layouts? Do you mean records?

Yes, I mean records. Thus, each print job would be one record... and there would be many, many print jobs queued.

On the report layout, is there a noticeable delay when scrolling through records manually?

Well, its not a "report" layout... just the normal form that you'd input the basic Family information on.

And clicking the arrows to walk through the records has zero delay... instantaneous. So, in printing these, there should be no noticable delays accessing data over the network, finding the next record on the FM Server, computing portals, computing calculations, rendering the layout, etc. Its something specific to spooling the print file... so, my first guess is that it does a poor job of generating/spooling large PDF files. Hence, my thought of scripting the printing of individual pages.

If you've ever looked at my "The Works" starter template (Aqua LAF), its basically that. So, the graphics is simply little aqua buttons.

I've never experienced a delay that big in printing, but I will try to help smile.gif

All help greatly appreciated. I'm obviously going to need to experimentally try some things... so, in the interest of time, I'd like to try as few things as possible.

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Hmmm...

Please tell exactly how you are printing. Because if you print records being browsed, the print job should NOT make a print job in the queue for each record - only one job for each print command. I could see how the printing would be slow if it had upwards of thousands of print jobs in the queue.

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kenneth2k1 said:

Please tell exactly how you are printing. Because if you print records being browsed, the print job should NOT make a print job in the queue for each record - only one job for each print command. I could see how the printing would be slow if it had upwards of thousands of print jobs in the queue.

Hmmm... I must not have been clear... sorry.

What we did, issue one print command, did indeed queue just one job... a job with 100 pages. What I noticed was that it took non-linearly longer and longer for each additional page to be generated into that one print job. Since it doesn't take FM any longer to walk through the pages on screen, I assume the speed issue in creating the print job is related to the size of the print file it is building. Soooo... I theorized that it might be much faster to actually just print one record in each job, and thus spool hundreds of jobs each one page long RATHER than what we did (spool one print job with all the pages in it). Thoughts?

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