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Printform vs Screen area

Posted on 1999-10-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2009-07-29
When using printform on my machine, whose set to 1024 x 768, all is well.  But, when I use the same thing on a 800 x 600 monitor, a part of the report don't get printed.
I suppose it means printform graphically print what shown on the screen.
Is there a way to avoid or patch this?
If no, is there a way for me to change the screen resolution for the duration of the printform?

Question by:Charlene100299
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 2147627
If you are using VB6, try using a borderless window to print the form (BorderStyle = 0).

Accepted Solution

julianpointer earned 270 total points
ID: 2147820
If your using vb6 there's a bug in the print form routine. Here is what microsoft sent me to get around it. It works better than printform. You need to put a picture box somewhere though (is't not visible so dosn't really matter, i put it on the main form.

here is the calling code i use under a menu item

Set Picture1.Picture = CaptureForm(lo_ActiveForm)
                        PrintPictureToFitPage Printer, Picture1.Picture
Set Picture1.Picture = Nothing

Here is a module which has all the required code..

         ' Visual Basic 4.0 16/32 Capture Routines
         ' This module contains several routines for capturing windows Into a
         ' picture.  All the routines work on both 16 and 32 bit Windows
         ' platforms.
         ' The routines also have palette support.
         ' CreateBitmapPicture - Creates a picture object from a bitmap and
         ' palette.
         ' CaptureWindow - Captures any window given a window handle.
         ' CaptureActiveWindow - Captures the active window on the desktop.
         ' CaptureForm - Captures the entire form.
         ' CaptureClient - Captures the client area of a form.
         ' CaptureScreen - Captures the entire screen.
         ' PrintPictureToFitPage - prints any picture as big as possible on
         ' the page.
         ' NOTES
         '    - No error trapping is included in these routines.
         Option Explicit
         Option Base 0

         Private Type PALETTEENTRY
            peRed As Byte
            peGreen As Byte
            peBlue As Byte
            peFlags As Byte
         End Type

         Private Type LOGPALETTE
            palVersion As Integer
            palNumEntries As Integer
            palPalEntry(255) As PALETTEENTRY  ' Enough for 256 colors.
         End Type

         Private Type GUID
            Data1 As Long
            Data2 As Integer
            Data3 As Integer
            Data4(7) As Byte
         End Type

         Private Const RASTERCAPS As Long = 38
         Private Const RC_PALETTE As Long = &H100
         Private Const SIZEPALETTE As Long = 104

         Private Type RECT
            Left As Long
            Top As Long
            Right As Long
            Bottom As Long
         End Type

         Private Declare Function CreateCompatibleDC Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function CreateCompatibleBitmap Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long, ByVal nWidth As Long, ByVal nHeight As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function GetDeviceCaps Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long, ByVal iCapabilitiy As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function GetSystemPaletteEntries Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long, ByVal wStartIndex As Long, ByVal wNumEntries As Long, lpPaletteEntries As PALETTEENTRY) As Long
         Private Declare Function CreatePalette Lib "gdi32" (lpLogPalette As LOGPALETTE) As Long
         Private Declare Function SelectObject Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long, ByVal hObject As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function BitBlt Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDCDest As Long, ByVal XDest As Long, ByVal YDest As Long, ByVal nWidth As Long, ByVal nHeight As Long, ByVal hDCSrc As Long, ByVal xSrc As Long, ByVal ySrc As Long, ByVal dwRop As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function DeleteDC Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function GetForegroundWindow Lib "user32" () As Long
         Private Declare Function SelectPalette Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long, ByVal hPalette As Long, ByVal bForceBackground As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function RealizePalette Lib "gdi32" (ByVal hDC As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function GetWindowDC Lib "user32" (ByVal hWnd As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function GetDC Lib "user32" (ByVal hWnd As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function GetWindowRect Lib "user32" (ByVal hWnd As Long, lpRect As RECT) As Long
         Private Declare Function ReleaseDC Lib "user32" (ByVal hWnd As Long, ByVal hDC As Long) As Long
         Private Declare Function GetDesktopWindow Lib "user32" () As Long

         Private Type PicBmp
            Size As Long
            Type As Long
            hBmp As Long
            hPal As Long
            Reserved As Long
         End Type

         Private Declare Function OleCreatePictureIndirect Lib "olepro32.dll" (PicDesc As PicBmp, RefIID As GUID, ByVal fPictureOwnsHandle As Long, IPic As IPicture) As Long

         ' CreateBitmapPicture
         '    - Creates a bitmap type Picture object from a bitmap and
         '      palette.
         ' hBmp
         '    - Handle to a bitmap.
         ' hPal
         '    - Handle to a Palette.
         '    - Can be null if the bitmap doesn't use a palette.
         ' Returns
         '    - Returns a Picture object containing the bitmap.
         Public Function CreateBitmapPicture(ByVal hBmp As Long, _
               ByVal hPal As Long) As Picture

            Dim r As Long
            Dim Pic As PicBmp
            ' IPicture requires a reference to "Standard OLE Types."
            Dim IPic As IPicture
            Dim IID_IDispatch As GUID

            ' Fill in with IDispatch Interface ID.
            With IID_IDispatch
               .Data1 = &H20400
               .Data4(0) = &HC0
               .Data4(7) = &H46
            End With

            ' Fill Pic with necessary parts.
            With Pic
               .Size = Len(Pic)          ' Length of structure.
               .Type = vbPicTypeBitmap   ' Type of Picture (bitmap).
               .hBmp = hBmp              ' Handle to bitmap.
               .hPal = hPal              ' Handle to palette (may be null).
            End With

            ' Create Picture object.
            r = OleCreatePictureIndirect(Pic, IID_IDispatch, 1, IPic)

            ' Return the new Picture object.
            Set CreateBitmapPicture = IPic
         End Function

         ' CaptureWindow
         '    - Captures any portion of a window.
         ' hWndSrc
         '    - Handle to the window to be captured.
         ' Client
         '    - If True CaptureWindow captures from the client area of the
         '      window.
         '    - If False CaptureWindow captures from the entire window.
         ' LeftSrc, TopSrc, WidthSrc, HeightSrc
         '    - Specify the portion of the window to capture.
         '    - Dimensions need to be specified in pixels.
         ' Returns
         '    - Returns a Picture object containing a bitmap of the specified
         '      portion of the window that was captured.
            Public Function CaptureWindow(ByVal hWndSrc As Long, _
               ByVal Client As Boolean, ByVal LeftSrc As Long, _
               ByVal TopSrc As Long, ByVal WidthSrc As Long, _
               ByVal HeightSrc As Long) As Picture

            Dim hDCMemory As Long
            Dim hBmp As Long
            Dim hBmpPrev As Long
            Dim r As Long
            Dim hDCSrc As Long
            Dim hPal As Long
            Dim hPalPrev As Long
            Dim RasterCapsScrn As Long
            Dim HasPaletteScrn As Long
            Dim PaletteSizeScrn As Long
            Dim LogPal As LOGPALETTE

            ' Depending on the value of Client get the proper device context.
            If Client Then
               hDCSrc = GetDC(hWndSrc) ' Get device context for client area.
               hDCSrc = GetWindowDC(hWndSrc) ' Get device context for entire                                             ' window.
            End If

            ' Create a memory device context for the copy process.
            hDCMemory = CreateCompatibleDC(hDCSrc)
            ' Create a bitmap and place it in the memory DC.
            hBmp = CreateCompatibleBitmap(hDCSrc, WidthSrc, HeightSrc)
            hBmpPrev = SelectObject(hDCMemory, hBmp)

            ' Get screen properties.
            RasterCapsScrn = GetDeviceCaps(hDCSrc, RASTERCAPS) ' Raster
                                                               ' capabilities.
            HasPaletteScrn = RasterCapsScrn And RC_PALETTE       ' Palette
                                                                 ' support.
            PaletteSizeScrn = GetDeviceCaps(hDCSrc, SIZEPALETTE) ' Size of palette.

            ' If the screen has a palette make a copy and realize it.
            If HasPaletteScrn And (PaletteSizeScrn = 256) Then
               ' Create a copy of the system palette.
               LogPal.palVersion = &H300
               LogPal.palNumEntries = 256
               r = GetSystemPaletteEntries(hDCSrc, 0, 256, _
               hPal = CreatePalette(LogPal)
               ' Select the new palette into the memory DC and realize it.
               hPalPrev = SelectPalette(hDCMemory, hPal, 0)
               r = RealizePalette(hDCMemory)
            End If

            ' Copy the on-screen image into the memory DC.
            r = BitBlt(hDCMemory, 0, 0, WidthSrc, HeightSrc, hDCSrc, _
               LeftSrc, TopSrc, vbSrcCopy)

         ' Remove the new copy of the  on-screen image.
            hBmp = SelectObject(hDCMemory, hBmpPrev)

            ' If the screen has a palette get back the palette that was
            ' selected in previously.
            If HasPaletteScrn And (PaletteSizeScrn = 256) Then
               hPal = SelectPalette(hDCMemory, hPalPrev, 0)
            End If

            ' Release the device context resources back to the system.
            r = DeleteDC(hDCMemory)
            r = ReleaseDC(hWndSrc, hDCSrc)

            ' Call CreateBitmapPicture to create a picture object from the
            ' bitmap and palette handles. Then return the resulting Picture object.
            Set CaptureWindow = CreateBitmapPicture(hBmp, hPal)
         End Function

         ' CaptureScreen
         '    - Captures the entire screen.
         ' Returns
         '    - Returns a Picture object containing a bitmap of the screen.
         Public Function CaptureScreen() As Picture
            Dim hWndScreen As Long

            ' Get a handle to the desktop window.
            hWndScreen = GetDesktopWindow()

            ' Call CaptureWindow to capture the entire desktop give the handle
            ' and return the resulting Picture object.

            Set CaptureScreen = CaptureWindow(hWndScreen, False, 0, 0, _
               Screen.width \ Screen.TwipsPerPixelX, _
               Screen.Height \ Screen.TwipsPerPixelY)
         End Function

         ' CaptureForm
         '    - Captures an entire form including title bar and border.
         ' frmSrc
         '    - The Form object to capture.
         ' Returns
         '    - Returns a Picture object containing a bitmap of the entire form.
         Public Function CaptureForm(frmSrc As Form) As Picture
            ' Call CaptureWindow to capture the entire form given its window
            ' handle and then return the resulting Picture object.
            Set CaptureForm = CaptureWindow(frmSrc.hWnd, False, 0, 0, _
               frmSrc.ScaleX(frmSrc.width, vbTwips, vbPixels), _
               frmSrc.ScaleY(frmSrc.Height, vbTwips, vbPixels))
         End Function

         ' CaptureClient
         '    - Captures the client area of a form.
         ' frmSrc
         '    - The Form object to capture.
         ' Returns
         '    - Returns a Picture object containing a bitmap of the Form 's client area.
         Public Function CaptureClient(frmSrc As Form) As Picture
            ' Call CaptureWindow to capture the client area of the form given
            ' its window handle and return the resulting Picture object.
            Set CaptureClient = CaptureWindow(frmSrc.hWnd, True, 0, 0, _
               frmSrc.ScaleX(frmSrc.ScaleWidth, frmSrc.ScaleMode, vbPixels), frmSrc.ScaleY(frmSrc.ScaleHeight, frmSrc.ScaleMode, vbPixels))
         End Function

         ' CaptureActiveWindow
         '    - Captures the currently active window on the screen.
         ' Returns
         '    - Returns a Picture object containing a bitmap of the Active
         '      window.
         Public Function CaptureActiveWindow() As Picture
            Dim hWndActive As Long
            Dim r As Long
            Dim RectActive As RECT

            ' Get a handle to the active/foreground window.
            hWndActive = GetForegroundWindow()

            ' Get the dimensions of the window.
            r = GetWindowRect(hWndActive, RectActive)

            ' Call CaptureWindow to capture the active window given its
            ' handle and return the Resulting Picture object.
         Set CaptureActiveWindow = CaptureWindow(hWndActive, False, 0, 0, _
               RectActive.Right - RectActive.Left, _
               RectActive.Bottom - RectActive.Top)
         End Function

         ' PrintPictureToFitPage
         '    - Prints a Picture object as big as possible.
         ' Prn
         '    - Destination Printer object.
         ' Pic
         '    - Source Picture object.
         Public Sub PrintPictureToFitPage(Prn As Printer, Pic As Picture)
            Const vbHiMetric As Integer = 8
            Dim PicRatio As Double
            Dim PrnWidth As Double
            Dim PrnHeight As Double
            Dim PrnRatio As Double
            Dim PrnPicWidth As Double
            Dim PrnPicHeight As Double

            ' Determine if picture should be printed in landscape or portrait
            ' and set the orientation.
            If Pic.Height >= Pic.width Then
               Prn.Orientation = vbPRORPortrait   ' Taller than wide.
               Prn.Orientation = vbPRORLandscape  ' Wider than tall.
            End If

            ' Calculate device independent Width-to-Height ratio for picture.
            PicRatio = Pic.width / Pic.Height

            ' Calculate the dimentions of the printable area in HiMetric.
            PrnWidth = Prn.ScaleX(Prn.ScaleWidth, Prn.ScaleMode, vbHiMetric)
            PrnHeight = Prn.ScaleY(Prn.ScaleHeight, Prn.ScaleMode, vbHiMetric)
            ' Calculate device independent Width to Height ratio for printer.
            PrnRatio = PrnWidth / PrnHeight

            ' Scale the output to the printable area.
            If PicRatio >= PrnRatio Then
               ' Scale picture to fit full width of printable area.
               PrnPicWidth = Prn.ScaleX(PrnWidth, vbHiMetric, Prn.ScaleMode)
               PrnPicHeight = Prn.ScaleY(PrnWidth / PicRatio, vbHiMetric, _
               ' Scale picture to fit full height of printable area.
               PrnPicHeight = Prn.ScaleY(PrnHeight, vbHiMetric, Prn.ScaleMode)
               PrnPicWidth = Prn.ScaleX(PrnHeight * PicRatio, vbHiMetric, _
            End If

            ' Print the picture using the PaintPicture method.
            Prn.PaintPicture Pic, 0, 0, PrnPicWidth, PrnPicHeight
         End Sub

LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 2147821
Printform is really not a good way to print. You get interactions between the resolution of the screen and the printer. Ultimately everything comes down to dots. Your image on the screen is, say 1024x768. If you're printing on a 300 DPI printer you get 3-1/2" or so printout. If the printer is changed to 600 DPI the image shrinks to under 2"! If you change the screen rez the print image switches. Trying to account for ever permutation of printer rez and screen rez makes this approach unworkable.

The right way to generate printout is to draw it to the print device instead of using PrintForm. This is more hassle to code but gives you device independence. No matter what the res of the screen or the rez of the printer your output will come out the same and at the best quality that the printer is capable of. (try printing the 1024x768 screen on a 150 DPI printer and you'll see what I mean)

You use the .Scale property to size your printer. You use CurrentX/Y to position the print cursor and Printer.Print to lay down text. You can figure out how big text is in the currently selected font with .TextWidth/Height. You draw lines and boxes with .Line. You can add circles or other simple shapes or throw down images.

Formatting text paragraphs is a bit of a pain, but not impossible. You can right/left center justify by fiddling the Printer.CurrentX param. One thing that the logical printer can do that a physical printer can't is move back up the page. PrintForm also doesn't give you much control over where on the page it prints or allow you to print two per page.

I have several examples on my web page showing how to generate graphs and such that also illustrate using the *same* routine for screen preview and printing. The CDLabeller program shows how to generate specifically dimensioned lines and graphics. Visit: and please sign the guest book if you take anything.


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