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Printing a text file in vb.net

Posted on 2015-01-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-01-22
I  have an application which is using bartender to print data labels and it works fine except that it won't print multi-line pallet labels and that is a requirement for the job,

From a legacy system I have a procedure which generates all of the code to do this as a text file. In the legacy system the text was written out to a serial port - which is file - but Bartender is using a windows printer.

All I need to be able to do is send my generated text to the windows printer.
Any ideas anyone?
Question by:grwallace
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 40562105
I'd say take a look at this:


This uses a fixed txt file, but of course you can generate a temporary file and use that instead.

Author Comment

ID: 40562307
Well it does send to the printer, but it seems to be sending more than the raw text file
LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 40562310
EDIT: Sorry, seems I can't print either! I'll try to look up another solution.
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Author Comment

ID: 40562333
It is a label printer, and it is in command mode
Sending it simple text "INPUT ON" through the serial port changes the mode, but doing it through the program changes the mode then gives a load of errors
LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 40562473
So it's not a Windows printer?

Author Comment

ID: 40562583
It has work through just a serial port with text commants or it can work as a windows printer through the USP or Ethernet ports. I am working with the Ethernet port
LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 40562960
So to be clear, if you open Word (or wordpad if you don't have Office), and you type a few letters, then use Windows to print it out (selecting the network printer), you will get those few letters printed out?

Author Comment

ID: 40563924
Bizarrely if I send it to the default printer I simply get a blank page!
It reads the file OK but just doesn't print anything
LVL 36

Accepted Solution

Kimputer earned 2000 total points
ID: 40563929
I know, this below code works better. But as I said, are you sure it's a Windows printer? See earlier post about Word printing. If it is, then below will work, otherwise it won't.

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.Drawing.Printing
Imports System.Windows.Forms

Public Class Form1
    Inherits System.Windows.Forms.Form
    Private WithEvents printButton As System.Windows.Forms.Button
    Private printFont As Font
    Private streamToPrint As StreamReader

    ' The PrintPage event is raised for each page to be printed. 
    Private Sub pd_PrintPage(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal ev As PrintPageEventArgs)
        Dim linesPerPage As Single = 0
        Dim yPos As Single = 0
        Dim count As Integer = 0
        Dim leftMargin As Single = ev.MarginBounds.Left
        Dim topMargin As Single = ev.MarginBounds.Top
        Dim line As String = Nothing

        ' Calculate the number of lines per page.
        linesPerPage = ev.MarginBounds.Height / printFont.GetHeight(ev.Graphics)

        ' Print each line of the file. 
        While count < linesPerPage
            line = streamToPrint.ReadLine()
            If line Is Nothing Then
                Exit While
            End If
            yPos = topMargin + count * printFont.GetHeight(ev.Graphics)
            ev.Graphics.DrawString(line, printFont, Brushes.Black, leftMargin, yPos, New StringFormat())
            count += 1
        End While

        ' If more lines exist, print another page. 
        If (line IsNot Nothing) Then
            ev.HasMorePages = True
            ev.HasMorePages = False
        End If
    End Sub

    Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
            streamToPrint = New StreamReader("D:\abc.txt")
                printFont = New Font("Arial", 10)
                Dim pd As New PrintDocument()
                AddHandler pd.PrintPage, AddressOf Me.pd_PrintPage
            End Try
        Catch ex As Exception
        End Try
    End Sub
End Class

Open in new window

Obviously, change D:\abc.txt to a real text file.

Author Comment

ID: 40563966
Yes - that routine does exactly what is says on the tin - prints the text on the label - but it is not actually what I want to do, I am looking to send a raw text file to the printer to load a program into memory and then run it - which is slightly different! This routine prints the program,

I think what I need to do is find the port name and use a streamwriter to write the text directly to it in the same way as the serial port does.  
I have found another article that I am going to try now.
I am going to close the question and award the points as you did answer it correctly, it is just that I possible answered the wrong question!
Thanks for your help
LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 40563985
Thanks for the points.

Can you try this command in a DOS box ?

type d:\abc.txt > COM1

Open in new window

(or change  COM1 to whatever the serial port should be, and of course, point to a real text file)
IF it works, the workaround for now (until better code is found), is to use that command (in the form of a Process).

Author Comment

ID: 40564001
No problem with serial ports - I have been working with them for years
What I would need to do would be the same thing to the Ethernet port on the printer
LVL 36

Expert Comment

ID: 40564006
Oh got it, might not be possible, because the printer's network driver is sitting inbetween you, the commands, the network cable and the printer. It probably requires the engineer who wrote the driver to get this solution!
Using serial port (and type d:\abc.txt > COM1) is talking to the serial port.
Using network, is talking to the printer's network drivers, there's no 1:1 replacement or workaround.

In the past I had some workarounds, but those only work for lpt ports. So try this:

share your network printer, even though you will use it yourself
then use this command
net use lpt1: \\ownpcname\printersharename
now use this command again:
type d:\abc.txt > lpt1
If this works, implement this command line using a Process

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