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What is the simplest way to print in php?

Posted on 2004-04-13
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I would like to have a formatted report print on a user's default printer when prompted.  I don't have any prepared file, it would have to be created from mysql.
Thanks,
Russ
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Question by:RUSS_EMI
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Expert Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10820501
Easiest is to use some sort of a pdf-generator:

http://www.dynamicpdf.com/Products/default.asp
http://www.planetpdf.com/mainpage.asp?webpageid=3250
http://www.fpdf.org

whereas I have used the fpdf myself with very good results... =o)

//jan
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Expert Comment

by:Cijori
ID: 10825577
PHP can't print on it's own, however if you're outputting HTML then you can use JavaScript to bring up the print menu, by replacing the line <body> with <body onload="window.print();">,or, to display a question first: <body onload="if(confirm("Would you like to print this page?"))window.print;">.

Hope that helps.
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Author Comment

by:RUSS_EMI
ID: 10825809
Is it possible to create a text file (with php) and ask the user if they wish to print it (java script)?  That way they wouldn't get all the extra stuff that may be on the page.
Thanks,
Russ
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Accepted Solution

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Cijori earned 50 total points
ID: 10825867
No, JavaScript only works on an HTML page. However, if you create a text file and then add:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
<title>Your HTML File</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
</head>

<body onload="if(confirm("Would you like to print this page?"))window.print;">

to the top of it and:

</body></html>

to the bottom then it will be an HTML file, but the content that they see when they print and on screen will be the same.

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Expert Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10826049
cijori: "PHP can't print on it's own" it isn't really true...

you can take a look on the following page:
http://www.zend.com/manual/ref.printer.php

//jan
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Expert Comment

by:Cijori
ID: 10826189
That's printing on a printer connected to the server not the client though. Not really any use until PHP can also pack it up and post it...
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Expert Comment

by:madwax
ID: 10826463
That's true but I don't really agree with you :)

I have used it a couple of times in my intranet php-applications. Then it's pretty useful, but as you say it isn't used very often though... =o)
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