Subject Re: Printing to HP Envy printer
From Allan Bennett <>
Date Wed, 06 Nov 2019 03:11:00 -0500
Newsgroups dbase.getting-started

Mervyn Bick Wrote:

> On 2019-11-04 12:48 PM, A. Bennett wrote:
> > I've been using dBase PLUS v2.01 for many years now, and it does everything I want.  For about three years, during which I purchased a new HP Envy inkjet printer, I had not needed to print any reports from my programs, but now that I do I'm finding the the printer doesn't like them.
> >
> > When I go to print a report the Print Setup window gives me the option of 'HP ePrint + JetAdvantage' or 'HP Envy 5000 series PCL-3' or 'Fax'.  The ePrint option appears to do nothing;  the HP Envy option does print, but it's extremely slow, taking over 4 minutes for a single A4 page, and often showing an HP error report that it can't print from dBase PLUS despite having just done so.  My reports are in the format:-
> ....
> > Do I need to change my programming syntax, download a new driver, or what please?
> >
> Back in the days of dBASE for DOS before the days of WYSIWYG printing
> streaming text direct to the printer using the ? command was the way to
> produce reports.  Most printers had some form of control language which
> allowed one to embed sequences of characters headed by the escape
> character to give some measure of text formatting.
> With the advent of Windows came WYSIWYG printing and printer
> manufacturers began to drop the streaming text feature from their
> printers.  PCL (I think 6 is the highest)  was/is HP's control language
> so the Envy range of printers looks as if it still retains the ability
> to handle streamed text using an appropriate driver.  It should not,
> however, take 4 minutes to stream a page of text.  What may be happening
> is that the printer can't actually handle streamed text itself and the
> driver is converting the stream to a WYSIWYG page before submitting it
> to the printer.
> One thing you can try is to install the Windows generic text printer
> driver.  How one does this depends on the version of Windows so I
> suggest you Google this.
> While the generic text printer driver may speed up the printing a bit
> (if it actually works with the HP Envy printer) it still leaves you with
> a very spartan looking report.  It will be a bit of a learning curve but
> getting to know the dBASE report designer as Alex has suggested is well
> worth the effort.
> Using the report designer is far less intuitive than, say, using the
> form designer but it's not difficult, just different.  Ken Mayer's dBASE
> Report Book is a worthwhile investment if you are going to be creating
> more than simple table listings.
> To get started though you should look at the reports section of the
> dBASE Tutorial.
>   Before you even start reading the tutorial you should follow the two
> links in the Additional Reading section which lead to two articles in
> the dBASE knowledgebase..
> The tutorial is designed so that each step builds on what has gone
> before.  This means you may not be able to actually build the reports in
> the tutorial but you should be able to glean enough information to be
> able to use the report designer for a straightforward report.
> Essentially all that it takes is open a new report, drag a table from
> the Navigator onto the report, pick fields from the Field Palette and
> place them in the appropriate places on the pink detail band.  Don't use
> the green or blue bands.  Pick a text object from the Components Palette
> and place it on the white page template area as a heading.   Add the
> heading to the text object's text property and you're basically done.
> The rest is mainly "making pretty" i.e setting fonts, fontsizes,
> colours, lines and so on. :-)
> In nine cases out of ten you will probably not need to use the green
> reportgroup header band anyway.  My advice is to use the Inspector to
> set it's height property to zero the moment you open the report
> designer.  I have two custom reports on which I base all my reports.
> One for portrait layout and one for landscape layout.  In both cases the
> reportgroup headerband height is set to zero.  I have never (yet :-) )
> needed to change this for a report.
> Mervyn.
> Thank you Mervyn and Alex.  I remember trying report writer many years ago, when it first came out, and being completely baffled by it, so continued with the ? and ?? method I'd used since the beginning.  It gives reports exactly as I want them.

It looks like 'advances' in technology have maybe exceeded by programming capabilities.  I'm using Windows 10, so I'll search for a generic driver that might improve things.  I'll have a look at the report writer again, and the info links you've provided, and see if I can make head nor tail of it.