Print MS Acess report to networked label printer

Hi, I have an Access database that I have placed on our company's network.  There are four of us that use the database on a daily basis (order entry, inv. mgt., shipping, etc.).  I have created a report that prints out shipping labels to a Dymo networked label printer, but I'm having problems getting the report to print correctly from each of the four machines.  If I format a report to print from one of the machines (Page Setup>Printer>[Options]), then the same information does not seem to be copied to the other three machines.  Currently, I can print labels from all 4 machines, but the format on one of the machines is messed up (that problem machine thinks I'm printing onto an address label even though the report has been created and formatted for a larger shipping label).  

I can't quite discern where Access' print control starts/stops, and the machine's device manager>printer starts/stops.  

Is there a way for me to maintain print control from within the report so that everybody's machine prints the same?

Thanks,
Ken
Ken MilamEngineerAsked:
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
<<Is there a way for me to maintain print control from within the report so that everybody's machine prints the same?>>

 Short answer is no as it is the driver installed and the options of that which control the printing.

 Access report settings control the page layout, margins, etc, but that's all based on the driver and it's settings.  If you have a different driver and/or settings, the report gets adjusted to it.

 The answer is that the driver and the setting should be identical on all four machines.

 As an aside, another issue is that it sounds like your sharing the same copy of the Access DB.   This should not be done.  Your app should be "split" having a backend with just the data, and a "front end" everything else, and then each user should have a copy of the front end, all pointing to the same backend (which is shared).

Jim.
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Ken MilamEngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks, Jim.  I've been a little worried about our current dbase structure b/c its functioning as our ERP system and has grown quite large over the last 10 years.  I'm not sure I'm ready to purchase a full blown ERP system, but splitting the dbase in the manner you describe is desirable.  Is this an easy task that I (mid level end user) can tackle, or do I need to bring in a pro?
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
Is this an easy task that I (mid level end user) can tackle, or do I need to bring in a pro?

For the most part it's straightforward enough....there's even a "wizard" that helps you do it.

The only place where you'll get caught is if you open tables as a table and use a index to perform a seek operation (and not many do that).   Other than that, the splitting itself is easy.

What people usually find most challanging is distributing the Front Ends to each user, but even that can be handled easily enough.   There are a number of "Front end updaters" floating around out there, but it can be as simple as using a batch file that either always copies a new FE to the user, or the app itself checks for an update.   Bunch of different ways that can be handled.

Jim.
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PatHartmanCommented:
You should be able to set the master copy of the app to use a custom printer rather than the default.  When you copy the database (once you have split it), that setting should follow assuming that all PC's use the same path to the printer. If the printer is somehow mapped differently on different PC's you will not be able to do this without each user having to customize the setting.  If you are getting different results on different computers, make sure you have the latest copy of the printer driver installed on EVERY PC.  Download the driver from the manufacturer's website to make sure you have an updated version.

I don't know if different versions of Access and Windows could cause issues but I'm guessing they could if there are font differences.  If PC A doesn't have the font the report was created with, Access substitutes something it thinks is close.  So look into that if installing a new driver doesn't resolve the issue.

As Jim suggested, start a new thread if you want advice on splitting and help with it.
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PatHartmanCommented:
The selected answer does not appear to have any relevance to the question.
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
<<The selected answer does not appear to have any relevance to the question.>>

 I think we understood the question a little differently, but I don't see why what I said does not.  

 If the drivers and settings are identical on all four machines, then it doesn't matter whether the report is saved with "use default printer" or with a specific printer.   In the later case, Access would set some of the printer driver settings rather than default to what the driver has, but if all four were identical to start with, then it would not matter.

 If another program is changing the settings for the driver, then it would be better if the reports were set for a specific printer, or applied some of the settings when run when set with "use default", with the latter being the better choice.   As you know, when set for a specific printer, everything much match (printer name, driver used, and port) for it to work.

 and not everything can be set from Access.   DPI on a thermal bar code printer or the darkness of bar codes for example cannot.

 We maybe could have explored the situation a bit more, but what I said was accurate.

Jim.
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Ken MilamEngineerAuthor Commented:
I think this was my mistake, Jim.  Earlier, I might have selected the wrong reply as the "answer".  I corrected my "reply" : "answer" association earlier this morning.  Pat was just trying to assist the community w/ a properly scored "answer".
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)President / OwnerCommented:
I hadn't realized you made a correction.  I don't pay all that much attention to who gets awarded what or points.

Jim.
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PatHartmanCommented:
Thanks for changing the selection Ken.  I was pretty sure that Jim had answered the question but his answer wasn't the one that was original selected.  Sorry Jim, I should have been more clear in my comment.
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