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Print a text directly onto the printer

Posted on 2003-11-14
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi everyone,

    I want to print a text directly to the printer directly. It happens on a button click. So it would be great, if anyone can help me to come out of this problem. What I want is to print a text directly. I am using vb.net

Thanks in advance.
Nazer MNM
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Question by:Nazermohideeen
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Expert Comment

by:Bob Learned
Comment Utility
Using the PrintDocument and GDI+ calls, you can draw on the document, and print it.  

This is one thing that will be revised in the next version of VS.NET, code named "Whidbey" that I am really looking for to.
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iboutchkine earned 125 total points
Comment Utility
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Drawing.Printing
Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices

Public Class Form1
    Inherits System.Windows.Forms.Form

#Region " Windows Form Designer generated code "
#End Region

    ' Click event handler for a button - designed to show how to use the
    ' SendFileToPrinter and SendBytesToPrinter functions.
    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        ' Allow the user to select a file.
        Dim ofd As New OpenFileDialog()
        If ofd.ShowDialog(Me) Then
            ' Allow the user to select a printer.
            Dim pd As New PrintDialog()
            pd.PrinterSettings = New PrinterSettings()
            If pd.ShowDialog(Me) Then
                ' Print the file to the printer.
                RawPrinterHelper.SendFileToPrinter(pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName, ofd.FileName)
            End If
        End If
    End Sub ' Button1_Click()

    ' Click event handler for a button - designed to show how to use the
    ' SendBytesToPrinter function to send a string to the printer.
    Private Sub Button2_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button2.Click
        Dim s As String
        Dim pd As New PrintDialog()

        ' You need a string to send.
        s = "         Hello, this is a test" & vbCrLf
        s &= "         Second line"
        ' Open the printer dialog box, and then allow the user to select a printer.
        pd.PrinterSettings = New PrinterSettings()
        If pd.ShowDialog(Me) Then
            RawPrinterHelper.SendStringToPrinter(pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName, s)
        End If

        ' a new page
        s = "         second line" & vbCrLf
        RawPrinterHelper.SendStringToPrinter(pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName, s)

    End Sub ' Button2_Click()

End Class


Public Class RawPrinterHelper
    ' Structure and API declarions:
    <StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode)> _
    Structure DOCINFOW
        <MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPWStr)> Public pDocName As String
        <MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPWStr)> Public pOutputFile As String
        <MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPWStr)> Public pDataType As String
    End Structure

    <DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint:="OpenPrinterW", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function OpenPrinter(ByVal src As String, ByRef hPrinter As IntPtr, ByVal pd As Long) As Boolean
    End Function
    <DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint:="ClosePrinter", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function ClosePrinter(ByVal hPrinter As IntPtr) As Boolean
    End Function
    <DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint:="StartDocPrinterW", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function StartDocPrinter(ByVal hPrinter As IntPtr, ByVal level As Int32, ByRef pDI As DOCINFOW) As Boolean
    End Function
    <DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint:="EndDocPrinter", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function EndDocPrinter(ByVal hPrinter As IntPtr) As Boolean
    End Function
    <DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint:="StartPagePrinter", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function StartPagePrinter(ByVal hPrinter As IntPtr) As Boolean
    End Function
    <DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint:="EndPagePrinter", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function EndPagePrinter(ByVal hPrinter As IntPtr) As Boolean
    End Function
    <DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint:="WritePrinter", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function WritePrinter(ByVal hPrinter As IntPtr, ByVal pBytes As IntPtr, ByVal dwCount As Int32, ByRef dwWritten As Int32) As Boolean
    End Function
    <DllImport("kernel32.dll", EntryPoint:="GetLastError", _
       SetLastError:=True, CharSet:=CharSet.Unicode, _
       ExactSpelling:=True, CallingConvention:=CallingConvention.StdCall)> _
    Public Shared Function GetLastError() As Int32
    End Function

    ' SendBytesToPrinter()
    ' When the function is given a printer name and an unmanaged array of  
    ' bytes, the function sends those bytes to the print queue.
    ' Returns True on success or False on failure.
    Public Shared Function SendBytesToPrinter(ByVal szPrinterName As String, ByVal pBytes As IntPtr, ByVal dwCount As Int32) As Boolean
        Dim hPrinter As IntPtr      ' The printer handle.
        Dim dwError As Int32        ' Last error - in case there was trouble.
        Dim di As DOCINFOW          ' Describes your document (name, port, data type).
        Dim dwWritten As Int32      ' The number of bytes written by WritePrinter().
        Dim bSuccess As Boolean     ' Your success code.

        ' Set up the DOCINFO structure.
        With di
            .pDocName = "My Visual Basic .NET RAW Document"
            .pDataType = "RAW"
        End With
        ' Assume failure unless you specifically succeed.
        bSuccess = False
        If OpenPrinter(szPrinterName, hPrinter, 0) Then
            If StartDocPrinter(hPrinter, 1, di) Then
                If StartPagePrinter(hPrinter) Then
                    ' Write your printer-specific bytes to the printer.
                    bSuccess = WritePrinter(hPrinter, pBytes, dwCount, dwWritten)
                    EndPagePrinter(hPrinter)
                End If
                EndDocPrinter(hPrinter)
            End If
            ClosePrinter(hPrinter)
        End If
        ' If you did not succeed, GetLastError may give more information
        ' about why not.
        If bSuccess = False Then
            dwError = GetLastError()
        End If
        Return bSuccess
    End Function ' SendBytesToPrinter()

    ' SendFileToPrinter()
    ' When the function is given a file name and a printer name,
    ' the function reads the contents of the file and sends the
    ' contents to the printer.
    ' Presumes that the file contains printer-ready data.
    ' Shows how to use the SendBytesToPrinter function.
    ' Returns True on success or False on failure.
    Public Shared Function SendFileToPrinter(ByVal szPrinterName As String, ByVal szFileName As String) As Boolean
        ' Open the file.
        Dim fs As New FileStream(szFileName, FileMode.Open)
        ' Create a BinaryReader on the file.
        Dim br As New BinaryReader(fs)
        ' Dim an array of bytes large enough to hold the file's contents.
        Dim bytes(fs.Length) As Byte
        Dim bSuccess As Boolean
        ' Your unmanaged pointer
        Dim pUnmanagedBytes As IntPtr

        ' Read the contents of the file into the array.
        bytes = br.ReadBytes(fs.Length)
        ' Allocate some unmanaged memory for those bytes.
        pUnmanagedBytes = Marshal.AllocCoTaskMem(fs.Length)
        ' Copy the managed byte array into the unmanaged array.
        Marshal.Copy(bytes, 0, pUnmanagedBytes, fs.Length)
        ' Send the unmanaged bytes to the printer.
        bSuccess = SendBytesToPrinter(szPrinterName, pUnmanagedBytes, fs.Length)
        ' Free the unmanaged memory that you allocated earlier.
        Marshal.FreeCoTaskMem(pUnmanagedBytes)
        Return bSuccess
    End Function ' SendFileToPrinter()

    ' When the function is given a string and a printer name,
    ' the function sends the string to the printer as raw bytes.
    Public Shared Function SendStringToPrinter(ByVal szPrinterName As String, ByVal szString As String)
        Dim pBytes As IntPtr
        Dim dwCount As Int32
        ' How many characters are in the string?
        dwCount = szString.Length()
        ' Assume that the printer is expecting ANSI text, and then convert
        ' the string to ANSI text.
        pBytes = Marshal.StringToCoTaskMemAnsi(szString)
        ' Send the converted ANSI string to the printer.
        SendBytesToPrinter(szPrinterName, pBytes, dwCount)
        Marshal.FreeCoTaskMem(pBytes)
    End Function
End Class
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Author Comment

by:Nazermohideeen
Comment Utility
Thanks a lot iboutchkine
But is that possible to send formatted ouput as well, like bold text, horizontal lines....
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:iboutchkine
Comment Utility
I don't know if you can send formatted output with this code, but you can do create formatted text in Rich text box and then print it
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