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sending strings to printer

Posted on 2005-04-27
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Hi,

I'm using a class, RawPrinterHelper, that I obtained on EE in another question.  I am using it to send a file to my thermal ticket printer via RS232.  It has a couple methods i am interested in, SendFileToPrinter and SendStringToPrinter.  What I would really like to do is just use the SendStringToPrinter method, but it doesn't work (the printer doesn't respond when I try it).  However, the SendFileToPrinter works perfectly.  A couple things to note:

 - The FutureLogic printer has a proprietary embedded printer language, and all print jobs must be executed using this language - i.e. Sending "Hello World" to the printer does nothing.

- my print command string looks like this:
^P|9|1|405796171|YOUR ESTABLISHMENT|YOUR LOCATION|CITY / STATE / ZIP|TEST COUPON| |405796171|04/12/2005|12:02:21|TICKET# X|FIFTY DOLLARS AND NO CENTS| |$50.00|Expires in 7 days|MACHINE# 0|405796171|^

Again, when I send a file containing this print string, it works perfectly, but if I just use the SendStringToPrinter method it doesn't work for some reason!

I know next to nothing about raw formats and rs232 so I'm posting the class here and hopefully someone can help me figure out why the SendStringToPrinter doesn't work for me.

Below is the class.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!


Thanks - Trevor


using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Drawing.Printing;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.IO;

                         
public class RawPrinterHelper
{
      // Structure and API declarions:
      [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, CharSet=CharSet.Ansi)]
            public class DOCINFOA
      {
            [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] public string pDocName;
            [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] public string pOutputFile;
            [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] public string pDataType;
      }
      [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="OpenPrinterA", SetLastError=true, CharSet=CharSet.Ansi, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
      private static extern bool OpenPrinter([MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] string szPrinter, out IntPtr hPrinter, long pd);

      [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="ClosePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
      private static extern bool ClosePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

      [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="StartDocPrinterA", SetLastError=true, CharSet=CharSet.Ansi, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
      public static extern bool StartDocPrinter( IntPtr hPrinter, Int32 level,  [In, MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStruct)] DOCINFOA di);

      [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="EndDocPrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
      public static extern bool EndDocPrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

      [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="StartPagePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
      public static extern bool StartPagePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

      [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="EndPagePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
      public static extern bool EndPagePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

      [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="WritePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
      public static extern bool WritePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter, IntPtr pBytes, Int32 dwCount, out Int32 dwWritten );

      // 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, false on failure.
      public static bool SendBytesToPrinter( string szPrinterName, IntPtr pBytes, Int32 dwCount)
      {
            Int32    dwError = 0, dwWritten = 0;
            IntPtr    hPrinter = new IntPtr(0);
            DOCINFOA    di = new DOCINFOA();
            bool    bSuccess = false; // Assume failure unless you specifically succeed.

            //di.pDocName = "My C#.NET RAW Document";
            di.pDataType = "RAW";

            // Open the printer.
            if( OpenPrinter( szPrinterName, out hPrinter, 0 ) )
            {
                  // Start a document.
                  if( StartDocPrinter(hPrinter, 1, di) )
                  {
                        // Start a page.
                        if( StartPagePrinter(hPrinter) )
                        {
                              // Write your bytes.
                              bSuccess = WritePrinter(hPrinter, pBytes, dwCount, out dwWritten);
                              EndPagePrinter(hPrinter);
                        }
                        EndDocPrinter(hPrinter);
                  }
                  ClosePrinter(hPrinter);
            }
            // If you did not succeed, GetLastError may give more information
            // about why not.
            if( bSuccess == false )
            {
                  dwError = Marshal.GetLastWin32Error();
            }
            return bSuccess;
      }

      public static bool SendFileToPrinter( string szPrinterName, string szFileName )
      {
            // Open the file.
            FileStream fs = new FileStream(szFileName, FileMode.Open);
            // Create a BinaryReader on the file.
            BinaryReader br = new BinaryReader(fs);
            // Dim an array of bytes big enough to hold the file's contents.
            Byte []bytes = new Byte[fs.Length];
            bool bSuccess = false;
            // Your unmanaged pointer.
            IntPtr pUnmanagedBytes = new IntPtr(0);
            int nLength;

            nLength = Convert.ToInt32(fs.Length);
            // Read the contents of the file into the array.
            bytes = br.ReadBytes( nLength );
            // Allocate some unmanaged memory for those bytes.
            pUnmanagedBytes = Marshal.AllocCoTaskMem(nLength);
            // Copy the managed byte array into the unmanaged array.
            Marshal.Copy(bytes, 0, pUnmanagedBytes, nLength);
            // Send the unmanaged bytes to the printer.
            bSuccess = SendBytesToPrinter(szPrinterName, pUnmanagedBytes, nLength);
            // Free the unmanaged memory that you allocated earlier.
            Marshal.FreeCoTaskMem(pUnmanagedBytes);
            return bSuccess;
      }
      public static bool SendStringToPrinter( string szPrinterName, string szString )
      {
            IntPtr pBytes;
            Int32 dwCount;
            // 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);
            return true;
      }
}
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Question by:trevorhartman
3 Comments
 
LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
gregasm earned 1000 total points
ID: 13883014
have a look at this article:

http://www.thecodeproject.com/csharp/multipadprintdocument.asp

maybe it will help you
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:iboutchkine
ID: 13885117
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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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:trevorhartman
ID: 13912659
iboutchkine,

I already know how to use the methods.. I'm saying, the sendStringToPrint method just doesn't work for me....  but sendFile does...  trying to figure out why?
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