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Selecting a printer with code.

Posted on 1998-05-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
As a beginner in Delphi.  How do I select a non default printer with code ?  I know you can use getprinter and printerindex etc, but am unsure how to use these functions.
Help !  

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Question by:dmcqueen
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Expert Comment

by:BlackMan
ID: 1348804
If you are talking standard Delphi, you should take a look at TPrinter (type it in a unit and press F1). It has a Printers and a PrinterIndex property. Below is a snip from D2 help.

if (MessageDlg('Do you want to use the default printer',
    mtInformation, mbYesNoCancel,0)=idYes) then
      Printer.PrinterIndex := -1;
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Edo082297 earned 160 total points
ID: 1348805
Hi dmc,

There are a number of different ways to do what you want to do. I am assuming that you want to print to another printer, without changing the default printer on the machine. I am assuming that you know the name of the printer (it has been chosen from a list box or something; I show a method to get them below).

procedure ChangePrinters( i : Integer );  
var
  Device, Driver, Port: array[0..79] of char;
  Dest : PChar;
  DeviceMode: THandle;
begin
  Printer.PrinterIndex := i;
  // store information about printer[i]

  Printer.GetPrinter(Device, Driver, Port, DeviceMode);
  // ("Device" is now the friendly name of the printer)

  if DeviceMode <> 0 then // if there has been no weird error
  begin
    // Lock the DeviceMode structure:
    Dest := GlobalLock(DeviceMode);

    // copy the name of the printer into the DevMode structure:
    StrCopy(Dest, Device);
   
    // !Unlock what we locked!
    GlobalUnlock(DeviceMode);
  end;
end;

What is going on here? Well, first we are loading the arrays we declared with information about the printer. This information is stored in something called the DevMode structure (look it up in Win32.hlp). You can read and write values to this structure by locking it, using GlobalLock. This tells Windows that you want to talk to the structure for a moment (Windows otherwise keeps moving it around in memory!). Unlocking is very important.

In fact, the StrCopy up there isn't the best way to change the printer, but it works for our purposes. I am trying to keep in mind that you are a beginner, so I won't overwhelm you with pointers to the DevMode structure. If you want to know a better way, let me know, and I will post a better, but more complicated, version of the above.

Regards,

Edo
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