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Using an external printer setup file


BobWeaver
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I thought I was being really clever. I made a file called Printer.fp5 that has nothing in it except a bunch of page setup scripts. The idea was that the client could go into the file, do the appropriate page setups for his printer, and set the scripts to use those setups. My report script in the main file calls the appropriate sub-script PortraitSetup or LandscapeSetup in the Printer.fp5 file depending on the current report requirements, and then the main script prints. In theory, any design changes that I might make to the main files and ship out to him would not affect his printing, because his copy of the Printer.fp5 file would not be replaced.

Needless to say, it doesn't work. Doing a page setup in an external file doesn't seem to be remembered back in the calling script. Has anyone ever tried anything like this?

This is going to be a major problem if I can't get this to work. This is the first solution I have developed that will be deployed at several (very distant) locations and where the client won't have access to the scripts.

My testing has been on MacOS 9.2, FM5.5.

This solution is going to be running on FM5.5 and FM6 Mac and Windows.

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Print Setups are file specific on Windows, at least. I tried doing something similar on 5.0 a couple of years ago and found that it was pointless. frown.gif

But you can create all possible setup/print scripts in one file and import them into all the others, which saves some time. Just make sure you don't have any orphaned Print steps. Their settings only get saved with the Setups. wink.gif

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I don't need to change printers. I just need to set this up so that a user can print the report regardless of what printer he has. And it needs to change from landscape to portrait orientation on the fly. I print one portrait page immediately followed by a landscape page. I can't ask the user manually change page setup twice every time he needs to print this two page report.

I had assumed that if I had made layouts with fixed margins, then saved the page setup scripts in the original file then all would be okay. However, I've noticed that if I switch to a different printer (still on the same platform), filemaker resets the page orientation.

It seems that the only option is to have page setup scripts in the main file for every printer ever made. That sounds ridiculous to me. I can't help but think I've missed something fairly obvious.

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If a printer has a natural default margin, it will override the fixed margins in FileMaker. Sometimes it can be changed, but apparently not with the newest printers. This is one reason I force users to have the desired printer selected before running a report. If you're using Page x of y on a preview, and then switch printers, you may end up with Page x of y-1 or worse.

One possible thing you could do is create layouts with no margins, then you'd have to rely on the printer's natural margins. Also, printing to PDF 995 and then printing the PDF to any printer seems to maintain the desired margins.

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Hi Queue,

It's not really the margins that are causing a problem. My layouts will work with pretty much any printer. It's just that the orientation keeps resetting to portrait if the user has a printer that is different than the one that I used when creating the solution.

BTW, thanks for confirming that the external file doesn't work. Not really the news I wanted to hear, but now I won't waste any more time on it.

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Now that is very strange. I've never had a problem with orientation. If one Page Setup changes to landscape on one printer, it does so on every printer.

I only had problems a few years back when I naively combined both portrait setup and landscape setup steps in the same script, not knowing that only one setup was saved per script. Once I figured that out, I had no odd problems with it.

What sort of printers are your users using? Is it only a problem on a different platform than the one on which you develop?

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Nope. Same platform Mac OS9. I noticed it when I sent a beta copy of the database to my client to check out. I had previously been printing on my laserwriter, but switched to my Epson inkjet when the laser toner ran out. The pages all reset to portrait. So I thought maybe it had something to do with some layout editing that I had done. I reset the page setups and everything was fine printing on the inkjet. But, when I sent a copy to my client who prints on a laserwriter, all his printing defaulted to portrait.

I really don't remember having this problem in the past, but you can use Filemaker for years and still encounter new quirks all the time. To begin with, I wasn't crazy about doing a report that has to switch between portrait and landscape in mid stream. My bad feeling about it seems to have been well founded.

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