PDA Printing

Posted on 2003-03-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-07-19
Can PDA's print files (eg .prn printer files) directly to a printer without a PC ?

I need to regularly send documents to sales staff who are moving around the UK. All these documents come from a single application. At the moment I print the documents out on the printer at head office and then post the documents to the sales staff. The sales staff do not have access to PC's, but I can get them a PDA, Mobile, Modem and Printer.

I assume it is simple enough for Head Office to print the document to a file (eg .prn printer file) and then send this file to the PDA via a mobile-modem. What I wondered is, whether it is then a simple process to connect the PDA + Printer and print the .PRN file?
Question by:Foz123456
  • 2

Accepted Solution

schang earned 80 total points
ID: 8096646
Depends on what format your file is in...You will probably first need an appropriate application on your device to "read" or "open" that format of the file correctly.

There are many printing options for the Palm. The most popular one I think is PalmPrint (http://www.stevenscreek.com/palm/palmprint.shtml) and it supports Bluetooth, Infrared, and serial connections to a wide variety of printers.

On CE/PocketPC, I believe the best software on this platform is Field Software's products (http://www.fieldsoftware.com/).

In regards to sending the file to your mobile workers, that will probably not be possible, as the users would have to be connected at all times.

It may be better for the users to have to initiate the action themselves. You can email the doc to them and they would check email from their mobile device.  There may be some difficulties launching the correct app once the attachment is extracted.

Another more feasible approach is allowing the users to run a certain application that "synchronizes" with your office's systems/databases.  The user could run a custom application that would download the latest file wirelessly or via a cradle over the Internet to their device. They could then press another button, that would initiate the priting.

If you have questions on developing a custom solution, please feel free to contact me at schang@rjbcomputersinc.com.

Best of luck!



Author Comment

ID: 8097499
Thanks for your response.

The sales staff will be 'synchronizing' with Head Office at the end of the day, so they do not need to be connected at all times. At the end of the day they will download any files that they need, from Head Office. These files will then be printed out, for the next days work. They will be able to print them out at home, where they will have a printer (I guess an Infrared printer would be ok).

I want to use PalmPilots as they are the cheaper than PocketPC (an I do not think I need the computing power).

Essentially, what I need to know (please excuse my ignorance, if this part of the question is obvious!!) but is it possible for the PDA to print the file as it would look when I print it out in the office.

The file is a combination of text and graphics and the way I imagine printers working is that they print one 'dot' at a time, like a TV set. With this in mind, I was assuming I can just get my Head Office Application to print to file..... Then transmit this file to a PDA..... Then send the serial bits from the PDA to a printer. The PDA does not have to convert any image or text into the 'dots'.

Surely the PDA just needs to send the recieved file to the printer (eg a .prn file is produced if Word prints a graphics/text document to file). The PDA is almost acting like a router....am I right, or am I missing something fundamentally very important about computers!!!


Expert Comment

ID: 8171374
Not sure about PRN format support, but PrintBoy(http://www.bachmannsoftware.com/pbdoc.htm) supports various formats like Word.

Expert Comment

ID: 9676042
Yes you can. You can print via IR or com.
If you using IrDa, you need driver.
I'm using PalmPrint for Palm, PrintCE for PPC.
And i'm using extech mobile printer.


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