Print to pdf & Email solution

Posted on 2011-10-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a client that has an Old program and they wish to do the following:

Print an estimate to a pdf printer that will automatically attach itself to the default

email system ready to email.
Question by:Joseph Salazar
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    What is the default email client?  You have posted this in the zones covering Outlook Express, Microsoft Office Outlook, and Windows Live Mail.

    Does your client already have a "PDF Printer" installed, and if so what is it?

    My preference is the free PDFCreator:
    AutoSave mode allows you to create unique file names and also perform certain actions after the PDF file is created.  One of them is to "Send an email after auto-saving":

    After installing PDFCreator you can set it as the default printer in (depending on the Operating System) Start menu > Settings > Printers and Faxes dialog.  You can also set printer properties and preferences, but the main program configuration settings are made by running "PDFCreator.exe" in the program folder where there is also a help file "PDFCreator_english.chm".

    The dialog that opens acts as the printer queue and status dialog, but use the Printer menu > Options and you have some very comprehensive settings including the "Auto-Save" ones where you tell it to save to a specified directory and email it when done.

    I have just tested it with Outlook Express in Windows XP and, although I didn't take the time to set up unique file naming, it worked fine with the Date/Time stamp as the file name which is default.


    Author Comment

    by:Joseph Salazar
    One User uses Outlook express

    the other uses outlook 2003
    LVL 38

    Assisted Solution

    As long as each is set as the default email client on the respective computers, PDFCreator should be able to open the correct application with the attachment in place after the PDF file is created.

    It probably just uses the mailto: protocol to launch the default email application.  It would be easy enough to test the mailto: protocol with a simple desktop shortcut.
    Right-Click  New > Shortcut.
    Enter this as the "location of item":      mailto:
    Click next and enter a name like "Mailto_Test".
    Double-Click the shortcut, which would normally take on the icon representing the email application.
    It should open a new message with no recipient, subject line, or body text.
    You can specify a recipient and subject line in a "mailto:" URL ( such as shown below, but not required for this simple check.

    If the "old program" being used to start the Print function does not show the Print dialog and allow the user to select the PDFCreator virtual printer from a list of printers, then you will have to set it as the Default printer.

    Author Closing Comment

    by:Joseph Salazar
    Simply printed to a PDF and emailed it.

    Thanks guys,

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thank you cjoego

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