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Printing a word object - chainging printer

I'm programmatically writing text into Word using a word object "CreateObject("Word.Application")".
I then print this document using ".ActiveDocument.PrintOut".I want to be able to change the default printer before printing. I want to avoid using the printer common dialogue.
I want to display a simple list of installed printers to the user. How do I do this ?
On selecting one, that should be made the default so that the word document gets printed to the specified printer. How do I go about this ?
Also is there a way to list paper types / printer trays so that the printer uses specified paper type or the specified tray ?
Code samples would be great. I use VB6.0.

Currently I am listing printers using
Private Sub Form_Load()
    text1 = Printer.DeviceName
    text2 = Printer.Port
    Dim X As Printer
    For Each X In Printers
        List1.AddItem X.DeviceName
End Sub

To change current printer can I use this ?
Private Sub Command1_Click()
    Set Printer = Printers(List1.ListIndex)
End Sub

But after this how do I ensure .ActiveDocument.PrintOut prints to the selected printer ?
I dont mind changing the default printer temporarily ...

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1 Solution
to select printer you can use the OpenPrinter API

Public Declare Function OpenPrinter Lib "winspool.drv" Alias "OpenPrinterA" (ByVal pPrinterName As String, phPrinter As Long, pDefault As PRINTER_DEFAULTS) As Long

        pDatatype As String
        pDevMode As DEVMODE
        DesiredAccess As Long
End Type

printername is name of the printer obviously.  if the function fails it will return zero, as most api functions do.  phPrinter is a variable you pass that will receive the printer handle.

see msdn about the printer_defaults data type and the devmode data type

actually you should be able to just set it the way you stated above. have you tried it out yet?
I brought up the common dialogue box within the same form after I executed Set Printer = Printers(List1.ListIndex) just to check up ...
but the default printer in the common dialogue is still the old one ...
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i think using that method will just change the printer that will be used currently at that point, but doesnt actually alter the default printer.

this used to be a problem until vb 5.0 sp2
see this article for details
oh i think i see the issue now, i dont think the activedocument will recognize the current printer object that you specify.  you can always use the shell command or shellexecute commands to print as well.
BTW. I am using Win 2000 Professional.
if youre interested this code will change the default printer on win2000.  you can set it back as needed when youre done printing your document:

****MODULE CODE******

Public Const HWND_BROADCAST As Long = &HFFFF
Public Const WM_WININICHANGE As Long = &H1A

Declare Function GetProfileString Lib "kernel32" _
   Alias "GetProfileStringA" _
  (ByVal lpAppName As String, _
   ByVal lpKeyName As String, _
   ByVal lpDefault As String, _
   ByVal lpReturnedString As String, _
   ByVal nSize As Long) As Long

Declare Function WriteProfileString Lib "kernel32" _
   Alias "WriteProfileStringA" _
  (ByVal lpszSection As String, _
   ByVal lpszKeyName As String, _
   ByVal lpszString As String) As Long

Declare Function SendMessage Lib "user32" _
   Alias "SendMessageA" _
  (ByVal hwnd As Long, _
   ByVal wMsg As Long, _
   ByVal wParam As Long, _
   lparam As Any) As Long

******FORM CODE******

Create a form containing a listbox and command button , using the default names. Add the following code to the form:


Option Explicit

Private Sub Form_Load()
    ProfileLoadWinIniList List1, "PrinterPorts"
    Command1.Enabled = False
End Sub

Private Sub Command1_Click()

   Call SetDefaultPrinterWinNT

End Sub

Private Sub List1_Click()

   Command1.Enabled = List1.ListIndex > -1
End Sub

Private Sub SetDefaultPrinter(ByVal PrinterName As String, _
                              ByVal DriverName As String, _
                              ByVal PrinterPort As String)
   Dim DeviceLine As String
  'rebuild a valid device line string
   DeviceLine = PrinterName & "," & DriverName & "," & PrinterPort
  'Store the new printer information in the
  '[WINDOWS] section of the WIN.INI file for
  'the DEVICE= item
   Call WriteProfileString("windows", "Device", DeviceLine)
  'Cause all applications to reload the INI file
   Call SendMessage(HWND_BROADCAST, WM_WININICHANGE, 0, ByVal "windows")
End Sub

Private Sub GetDriverAndPort(ByVal Buffer As String, DriverName As String, PrinterPort As String)

   Dim posDriver As Long
   Dim posPort As Long
   DriverName = ""
   PrinterPort = ""

  'The driver name is first in the string
  'terminated by a comma
   posDriver = InStr(Buffer, ",")
   If posDriver > 0 Then

     'Strip out the driver name
      DriverName = Left(Buffer, posDriver - 1)

     'The port name is the second entry after
     'the driver name separated by commas.
      posPort = InStr(posDriver + 1, Buffer, ",")

      If posPort > 0 Then
        'Strip out the port name
         PrinterPort = Mid(Buffer, posDriver + 1, posPort - posDriver - 1)
       End If
   End If
End Sub

Public Function ProfileLoadWinIniList(lst As ListBox, lpSectionName As String) As Long

'Load the listbox data from win.ini.

   Dim success As Long
   Dim nSize As Long
   Dim lpKeyName As String
   Dim ret As String
  'call the API passing null as the parameter
  'for the lpKeyName parameter. This causes
  'the API to return a list of all keys under
  'that section. Pad the passed string large
  'enough to hold the data. Adjust to suit.
   ret = Space$(8102)
   nSize = Len(ret)
   success = GetProfileString(lpSectionName, vbNullString, "", ret, nSize)
  'The returned string is a null-separated
  'list terminated by a pair of null characters.
   If success Then
     'trim terminating null and trailing spaces
      ret = Left$(ret, success)
        'with the resulting string,
        'extract each element
         Do Until ret = ""
           'strip off an item and
           'add the item to the listbox
            lpKeyName = StripNulls(ret)
            lst.AddItem lpKeyName
   End If
  'return the number of items as an
  'indicator of success
   ProfileLoadWinIniList = lst.ListCount

End Function

Private Function StripNulls(startstr As String) As String

 'Take a string separated by chr$(0)
 'and split off 1 item, shortening the
 'string so next item is ready for removal.
  Dim pos As Long

  pos = InStr(startstr$, Chr$(0))
  If pos Then
      StripNulls = Mid$(startstr, 1, pos - 1)
      startstr = Mid$(startstr, pos + 1, Len(startstr))
  End If

End Function

Private Sub SetDefaultPrinterWinNT()

   Dim Buffer As String
   Dim DeviceName As String
   Dim DriverName As String
   Dim PrinterPort As String
   Dim PrinterName As String
   Dim r As Long
   If List1.ListIndex > -1 Then
     'Get the printer information for the currently selected
     'printer in the list. The information is taken from the
     'WIN.INI file.
      Buffer = Space(1024)
      PrinterName = List1.Text
      Call GetProfileString("PrinterPorts", _
                             PrinterName, "", _
                             Buffer, Len(Buffer))
     'Parse the driver name and port name out of the buffer
      GetDriverAndPort Buffer, DriverName, PrinterPort

      If DriverName <> "" And PrinterPort <> "" Then
         SetDefaultPrinter List1.Text, DriverName, PrinterPort
      End If
    End If
End Sub

hi I've got it ...
word has an activeprinter property so i just say
Set Printer = Printers(List1.ListIndex)
application.activeprinter = printer.devicename ...
It works fine .....

i assumed there had to be some property such as that one, just didnt know what it was.  congrats!
Hi azrasound,  thanks for the code sections .. I could use it sometime ... could you post a reply as an answer .. I can give you the points then ...
you make it hard for me to post an answer when you yourself posted an answer  =)
tellis changed the proposed answer to a comment
posting comment as answer
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