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Printing labels from vb.net

I would like to print labels from a .net form. I have looked at the possibility of printing directly from vb.net or sending data to Word and printing from there. I see there may be a few ways of putting the data into Word and have experimented with using a Word.XML template type file with some success. I'm looking at replacing text in ordinary Word file now. I haven't worked out how to do this without opening and closing the file for every print yet.

Each label I print will vary slightly in one field (this data is from scales via serial connection). I'd like any advice re neat and foolproof systems for printing this data. The solution is no good if code fails because two word applications are open or anything vague like that. I will print a summary with a total weight from my dataset after printing a batch of labels. It seems neat to save an xml file at this point and fill in a Word.XML template from the saved data. The individual labels have still got me scratching my head and slowly exploring vb.net.

Points: I can do 500 and spread em around if people will be so kind as give some ideas that might save me a bit of time. I don't expect there are right and wrong answers to this, rather there may be insightful assistance If I'm lucky.
3 Solutions
In my experience, the best tool to do this is Crystal Reports.

Word will do the job, but it'll give you lots of headaches (many of the type you mentioned, with open instances of Word doing strange things), and it can get pretty slow too.

Also, printing straight from .Net will work, but styling the output will take you too much time for it to be practical, and if you ever need to change it it will probably be painful.

I have in fact created an application similar to the one you intend, from what I understand. It's also an application that takes input from a scale, and prints out a label to stick on the thing being weighed. Crystal reports behaves wonderfully.

These would might be of some assistance and give a couple of inputs.



PiedBirdAuthor Commented:
Thanks both.
I'll have a little look and get back to you.
I prefer to use MS Access. ENter you records to the database and create report that will print labels. Then call this report from .NET application
PiedBirdAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I don't have Crystal Reports so for the minute I'll work with vbturbo's first link and the Access idea. I've worked with Access reports before but only from Access. I might post another question about how a joint effort of .Net and Access might be structured; a few ideas before I start could be a whole lot quicker than my usual clueless approach.
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