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Why does Access Report not pick up the default printer's settings.

Posted on 2014-01-31
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Last Modified: 2014-02-04
I am developing an Access 2007 "project" (.ADP) as a front end to a SQL Server 2005 Express database.

On my client's Windows XP PCs, their default printers are configured to print in "Black and White" rather than "Colour" because their printer contract costs them GBP 0.08 per page for colour and only GBP 0.01 per black and white page.

In my Access Reports I try not use any colour, setting all borders and forecolours to black.
However, when I use the "DoCmd.RunCommand acCmdPrint" to print a Report, the usual Windows "Printer" dialogue box pops up with the correct default printer selected, but the "properties" button shows that its is going to print in "Colour", even though the page that eventually gets printed appears to have only black ink on it.

While the "printer" dialogue box is displayed, if a different printer is selected and then the "default" printer is immediately re-selected, the "properties" button reveals that print job will be "Black and White"? It seems that the printer's default settings are correctly read in when the printer is re-selected.

Why does my Access Report initially seem to override the printer defaults and want to produce a "Colour" print? Is there some sort of colour embedded in my reports somewhere? Is there a property (that I can't currently discover) in the design of my reports that would force them to be done in "black and white"?

Any help greatly appreciated.
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Question by:colinasad
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39826300
This is either a "by design" or a bug.  

 Before Access 2002, if a report was set to "Default Printer", it would when opened use the settings currently defined for the default printer including margins, etc.

 This cause formatting problems for some reports.  If however you used "specific printer" in the report, all the settings were saved with the report.   Everyone thought that was great because you got the formatting you wanted, but unless the printer had exactly the same name, port, and driver, you'd get a "Printer not found"

 With Access 2002, Micosoft made the change that no matter which way you set the report (default or specific), the printer settings at the time the report is saved are what used regardless of current settings.

 So, you can either:

1. Get the right settings and save the report.

2. Change the settings on the fly when the report is opened.

 This is all covered in the MSKB article:

Printer properties not inherited by objects that use the default printer
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290293


 If you've already done #1 and it's still defaulting to color, then it's a bug and you will need to do #2.    If you've never done #1 correctly, then you'll just need to do that.

Jim.
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Author Comment

by:colinasad
ID: 39826410
Thanks, Jim.
My client's users are currently having to use option #2.
I don't use the "Specific printer" option in my Report design, so the standard Windows "print" dialogue box always offers the user their own default printer.

A problem is that I develop this application on my own laptop at home, with my own, different printer. I then use Remote Desktop to upload a copy of my ".ADE" file to my client's server. That ".ADE" file is then copied down on to each of the users own PCs.  This means (I think) that the Report is never getting "saved" with their printer settings.

I wonder what will happen if I set my own printer to print in "Greyscales" rather than "Colour" while I am modifying the report on my own laptop. I'll discover if that gets carried across to my client's users when they run the ".ADE" application. My own printer is an HP, their main printer is a Ricoh. It would be impressive if that worked.

I'll also give that article a read.

Thanks.
Colin.
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Author Closing Comment

by:colinasad
ID: 39832946
Thanks, this explained what was happening.
I hadn't appreciated that some of the printer properties on the "development" computer get saved in an Access Report and will in fact overwrite the "default" printer's properties on the client's PCs.
When I set my own printer's property to "Greyscales", then my client's reports became "Black and White" too.
I also discovered that placing ".Printer.ColorMode = acPRCMMonochrome" in "Report_Open" also forced the printer to print in "Black and White".
And another, non-Access, non-VBA solution that my client has gone for is to install a "Black and White" driver for their printer and make that the default printer on their PCs.
Because this was primarily a financial issue for them, it will force all their printing to be done as the less expensive "Black and White" pages.
Thanks for your help.
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