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TextPrinter

TextPrinter for .NET

Introduction

The .NET platform provides a printing api which can be used for printing text and graphics. .NET printing api always prints in graphic mode which can result in very slow printing if you use a dot matrix printer. TextPrinter is an assembly developed to overcome this problem.

When to use TextPrinter:

  • If you are going to print text and lines only.
  • If you require fast printing.
  • If you use a dot matrix printer.

TextPrinter does not only send the text you want to print but it also sends the appropiate printer commands for using bold and italic fonts, selecting font types, size of the font, character sets etc...

Note that each printer family will use a different set of commands for this reason you must check if your printer is supported. Some of the supported printer are:

  • Epson printers or compatible that support the ESC P command set
  • HP printers or compatible that support the PCL 3 (also known as Laser Jet Plus emulation)
  • HP printers or compatible that support the PCL 5
  • IBM proprinters or compatible
  • IBM laser printers that support the PPDS command set
  • Diablo printers

You can also use the so called "Plain" printer, but in this case you will not be able to use italic and bold fonts, or any other feature other than printing text.

 

Installation

 

The product and the examples can be executed by just unzipping the downloaded file into an empty directory and running the appropiate EXE file.

If you need compile a program which uses TextPrinter you must add the rtextpr.dll file to your project.

 

API Tutorial

The following tutorial provides an introduction to the main classes of the package.

 

PrinterFactory

The PrinterFactory class is used to get a TextPrinter implementation for the type of printer you specify:

TextPrinter printer=PrinterFactory.getPrinter(printertype);

where printertype can be:

  • IBM-PROPRINTER
  • EPSON-ESCP2
  • EPSON-ESCP
  • IBM-PPDS
  • HP-PCL3
  • HP-PCL5
  • DIABLO
  • PLAIN (default if any other value passed)

 

PrinterPort

The PrinterPort interface is used to physically access the printer. There are 2 classes implementing the PrinterPort interface:

  • FilePort: writes into operating system file. Example of use:

    FilePort port=new FilePort("c:\\myoutput.txt");

  • WindowsPrinter: access the printer using windows api. Example of use:

    WindowsPrinter port=new WindowsPrinter("printerName");

The PrinterPort class is passed to the TextPrinter.startJob() method as described in the next section.

 

TextPrinter

The TextPrinter object returned by the PrinterFactory is the core of the printing process. It must be used in the following way:


[c#]
// create the properties of your job
JobProperties job= printer.getDefaultJobProperties();
// start job with given properties on given port
printer.startJob(port,job);

// print your text here

// end printing
printer.endJob();

You need to call the startJob() method providing the port object (see previous section) and the properties you request for your job. The JobProperties include properties like paper size and format.

The printing finishes when you execute endJob().

Printing of you text can be performed in 2 manners:

  1. You can specify the absolute possition of the text you want to print. For example:


    [c#]
    prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
    printer.printString("Hello",10,0,prop); // print at row 10, columns 0
    printer.printString(....)
    ....
    // print page when done
    printer.newPage();




  2. or you can continuosly print:


    [c#]
    prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
    printer.printString("Hello",prop);
    printer.newLine();
    printer.printString("Hello",prop);
    printer.newLine();
    ......


The TextProperties class is used to set the appearance of your text (font, size ....).


JobProperties

 

The JobProperties class is used in the startJob method to some global properties. The most important are:

  • Size of the page (JobProperties.rows and JobProperties.cols properties).
  • Margins of the page (JobProperties.topMargin, JobProperties.bottomMargin, JobProperties.leftMargin and JobProperties.right Margin properties).
  • Page orientation ( JobProperties.landscape). Note that not all printers support landscape printing.

 

TextProperties

 

Whenever you print a text you must pass a TextProperties object which is used to specify the following properties:

  • Style of the font (TextProperties.italic , bold, underlined , subscript , superscript, doubleStrike and doubleWide). Note that not all printers will support all styles.
  • Font type (TextProperties.fontName). The names of the fonts depend on the printer.
  • Font size (TextProperties.pitch). Possible values are 10 , 12 and 15 characters per inch.
  • Character set (TextProperties.characterSet). The names of the character sets depend on the printer.

 

 

Examples

 

The following example can be used to test the capabilities of your printer:


[c#]

TextPrinter printer=PrinterFactory.getPrinter("HP-PCL3"); // use the correct printer type here
JobProperties job= printer.getDefaultJobProperties();
printer.startJob(port,job);

// plain style
TextProperties prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
printer.printString("This must be NORMAL",prop);
printer.newLine();

// bold style
prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
prop.bold=true;
printer.printString("This must be BOLD",prop);
printer.newLine();

// italic style
prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
prop.italic=true;
printer.printString("This must be ITALIC",prop);
printer.newLine();

// underlined
prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
prop.underlined=true;
printer.printString("This must be UNDERLINED",prop);
printer.newLine();

// double wide
prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
prop.doubleWide=true;
printer.printString("This must be double wide",prop);
printer.newLine();

// double strike
prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
prop.doubleStrike=true;
printer.printString("This must be double strike",prop);
printer.newLine();

// subscript
prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
prop.subscript=true;
printer.printString("This must be subscript",prop);
printer.newLine();

// superscript
prop=printer.getDefaultTextProperties();
prop.superscript=true;
printer.printString("This must be superscript",prop);
printer.newLine();

printer.endJob();

 

Supported printers' features

 

The following tables show the features supported by each printer:

 
Epson-ESC P and P2
HP-PCL3 and 5
IBM-Proprinter
Bold
Yes
Yes
Yes
Italic
Yes
Yes
Underlined
Yes
Yes
Yes
Font types
Roman, SansSerif, Courier , Prestige, Script , OCR-B, OCR-A , Orator, Orator-S
Univers, LinePrinter, CG Times, Courier, Albertus Antique Olive, Clarendon, Coronet, Garamond Antiqua, Letter Gothic, Marigold, CG Omega, Arial, Times New Roman, Symbol, Wingdings
Character sets
437 (USA), ISO-IR-69 (France), ISO-IR-21 (Germany), ISO-IR-4 (England), Denmark (Denmark), Sweden (Sweden), ISO-IR-15 (Italy), ISO-IR-17 (Spain), Japan (Japan), ISO-IR-60 (Norway), Denmark II (Denmark II), ISO-IR-85 (Spain II), Latin America (Latin America), Korea (Korea), 932 (Japanese), 850 (Multilingual), 851 (Greek), 853 (Turkish), 855 (Cyrillic), 860 (Portugal), 863 (Canada-French), 865 (Norway), 852 (East Europe), 857 (Turkish II), 862 (Hebrew), 864 (Arabic), 866 (Russian), ISO8859-7 (Latin/Greek), ISO8859-1 (Latin 1), ISO8859-2 (Latin 2), 862 (Iceland)
ISO-IR-60 (Norwegian 1), ISO-IR-61 (Norwegian 2), ISO-IR-4 (United Kingdom), ISO-IR-69 (French), ISO-IR-21 (German), ISO-IR-15 (Italian), ISO-IR-14 (JIS ASCII), ISO-IR-57 (Chinese), ISO-8859-1 (Latin 1), ISO-IR-11 (Swedish), ISO-IR-17 (Spanish 1), ISO-IR-10 (Swedish 2), ISO-IR-16 (Portuguese 1), IISO-IR-84 (Portuguese 2), ISO-IR-85 (Spanish 2), ISO-IR-6 (ASCII) ISO-IR-2 (IRV), ROMAN8, 1252 (Windows), PC-8 (437 USA default), 850
437 (USA), 850 (Multilingual), 860 (863), 865 (Norway), 858, ISO-IR-6 (ASCII), ISO-IR-69 (French), ISO-IR-21 (German), ISO-IR-4 (United Kingdom), ISO-IR-17 (Spanish 1), ISO-IR-15 (Italian), ISO-IR-17 (Spanish 1), ISO-IR-60 (Norwegian 1), ISO-IR-85 (Spanish 2)
Double strike
Yes
Yes
Double wide
Yes
Yes
Condensed fonts
Yes
Size (chars per inch)
10, 12, 15
10, 12, 15
10, 12
Superscript / Subscript
Yes
Yes
Landscape
Yes
Quality draft
Yes
Line interscape
6, 8
1,2,3,4,6,8,12,16,24,48
8,12,18,24

 

 
IBM-PPDS
Diablo
Plain
Bold
Yes
Yes
Italic
Underlined
Yes
Yes
Font types
Character sets
Double strike
Yes
Double wide
Yes
Condensed fonts
Size (chars per inch)
10, 12 , 17.1
Superscript / Subscript
Yes
Landscape
Yes
Quality draft
Line interscape
8,12,18,24