copying plot files

I've asked this question quite a few times - but no answer works.

I use AutoCAD to create plot files which I send either to a laser printer or to a HP inkjet plotter and these are mapped to different ports or print queues through Novell 3.12.

I store in a separate file a list of the plot files together with a number referring to how it was printed.

I want to be able to automatically send the plot file to the correct printer, but so far no solution works.

I've tried

Shell Environ$("comspec") & " /c copy /b " & c$ & " LPT" & FnStr$(i&) & ":"

which returns
This program is set to run in MS-DOS mode and cannot run while other programs are running. All other programs will close if you choose to continue.


f& = FreeFile
Open c$ For Input As f&
r$ = Input$(LOF(f&),f&) & vbFormFeed
Close f&
i& = OpenPrinter(p$, j&, 0)
If i& = 0 Then MsgBox "unable to open " & p$ & "!", vbOKOnly + vbExclamation + vbSystemModal: Exit Function
With doc
      .pDocName = a$
      .pOutputFile = vbNullString
      .pDataType = vbNullString
End With
i& = StartDocPrinter(j&, 1, doc)
StartPagePrinter j&
WritePrinter j&, r$, Len(r$), k&
EndPagePrinter j&
EndDocPrinter j&
ClosePrinter j&

any ideas?

Who is Participating?
mrmickConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Instead of r$, use a byte array as your buffer.  For example, populate the buffer as follows:

Dim PrintBuf() As Byte, BLen As Long
Open c$ For Binary Access Read As f&
BLen = LOF(f&) + Len(vbFormFeed)
ReDim PrintBuf(BLen)
For i& = 0 To LOF(f&) - 1
 Get #f&, , PrintBuf(i)
PrintBuf(BLen - 1) = vbFormFeed

Change the WritePrinter statement to:

WritePrinter j&, PrintBuf(0), BLen, k&

This means the declaration for WritePrinter would have to be either:
Declare Function WritePrinter Lib "winspool.drv" Alias "WritePrinter" (ByVal hPrinter As Long, pBuf As Any, ByVal cdBuf As Long, pcWritten As Long) As Long


Declare Function WritePrinter Lib "winspool.drv" Alias "WritePrinter" (ByVal hPrinter As Long, pBuf As Byte, ByVal cdBuf As Long, pcWritten As Long) As Long

broadbent, what is the error returned by the second method (the API method)?
broadbentAuthor Commented:
The original problem was that nothing happened

BUT this works except that line should be
         PrintBuf(Blen-1)= Asc(vbFormFeed)

I've learnt something - many thanks!
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