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TOPIC: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work
#751
Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 6 Months ago  
I have a utility called "PDF Exchange Lite" that shows up as a printer under Windows XP Pro; it renders the output as a PDF file. When I select this printer in AbsoluteTelnet for pass-through printing, nothing happens -- no errors and no output. The printer works when printing from MSWord, Wordpad, IE7, etc..
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Steve Wyatt
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#752
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 6 Months ago  
A further detail: The utility I referred to is actually called "PDF-XChange Lite 3.0".

SW
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#753
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 6 Months ago  
Steve,

Look at Options->Properties->VTOptions in the 'passthu printing' section. Do you have 'print direct to printer' enabled? If so, you probably want to turn that off. With this option enabled (the default), Absolute tries to bypass the Windows printer drivers and stream the data directly to the printer. In your case, since there is no *real* printer, there's no telling where the data is going.

Try disabling that option and post back here with your results.

Brian
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#754
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 6 Months ago  
Brian:

Thank you for the response.

Once again you nailed it; I followed your advice and the PDF-print is working.

Steve Wyatt
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#755
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 6 Months ago  
Brian:

We are now trying to use pass-through printing to print tabular reports that were previously printed on 14 7/8"(wide) x 11 (high)" paper - generally these reports have line lengths up to 132 characters per line. Here also we are trying to print to the PDFXChange printer. We get most of the data in the resulting PDF file, but all of the characters after character position 101 on each line have been truncated.
On the other hand, I can select "Send To File" in AT properties, then print the same report and save it to a file. I can then open that file in Notepad, do a File...Print and select the PDFXChange printer, and in the resulting PDF file the right-most characters are not truncated, and the output is fine.

Can you help me out?

Steve Wyatt
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#756
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
I'm still looking at this. The problem here is that the passthru printing is very dumb. It doesn't have any concept of paper size, orientation, etc... It just dumps data to the printer and is probably defaulting the width of an 8x11 sheet of standard paper.
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#757
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
Could you send me a PDF that demonstrates the problem?

Thanks,

Brian
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#758
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
Brian:

I certainly can. Actually, I can send you the PDF file (created via pass-through print and selecting the PDFXChange printer) and a text file (created via pass-through print with "Send To File" selected) for the same exact report.

How do I send them to you?

Steve Wyatt
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#759
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
Email:

(bpence at celestialsoftware.net)
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Last Edit: 2010/08/04 10:24 By bpence.
 
Brian Pence
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#760
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
Steve,

I've got a short answer and a long answer for you.

The short answer is to go to Options->Properties->Appearance and decrease the size of the 'printer font size' option to allow for more data in the printout. You must have this value set too high.

The long answer is a bit more complicated. From the pdf you emailed me, I see escape sequences at the beginning of the output. These escape sequences are PCL commands to the printer to reset and change the font.

<ESC>E (reset printer)
<ESC>&k2S (change to 16.7 cpi font)

This tells me a couple of things. First, you originally must have been using a *real* PCL printer (laserjet or equivalent) to produce this output. By using the 'direct to printer' method, all of this data would have been sent directly to the printer to be sorted out and the terminal would only have been the conduit for the data. The host could control the printer by using printer-specific escape sequences to affect the output. This method is fine, but creates a dependence on a particular printer type for correct output.

Now, you've replaced your real printer with 'PDF Exchange', which is not a PCL printer. It won't recognize the PCL escape sequences. You can feed it text, but who is responsible for determining the font size, for example.

In your tests, when you save Absolute's output to a text file, then print it from notepad, you will end up using notepad's default font and font size, which may be sufficient. You can achieve a similar result by changing the 'printer font size' on AbsoluteTelnet's Apperance page. Neither of these is a great answer if the host needs to be able to change the font size on the fly to accomodate different types of output.

The real answer is that you need something that converts pcl to pdf rather than a print driver that converts to pdf. I'm looking at a couple of tools that might work. I'll keep you posted.

Does any of this make sense?
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#761
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
Brian:

Thanks for the response.

It makes complete sense; and when I changed the printer font size in AT the PDF output was no longer truncated on the right.

Yes, the original reports at the site in question were all sent to PCL printers, hence the "hard coding" of the PCL commands. I knew they were being included in the PDF output, but PDF didn't seem to care about them and I didn't want to remove them until we had proven the concept of PDF printing.

Thanks again for the help.

Steve Wyatt
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#762
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
If you only need a single font size, then you'll be ok with reducing the size in Absolute. If you need to be able to change the font size, you'll end up having to use a printer specific solution which won't likely be compatible with PDFXChange.

As an alternative, it might be possible to keep the PCL codes, have Absolute save to a txt file, then fire off a (third party) PCL2PDF converter.

A more seamless solution would be to write a PCL emulator for Absolute, but that would be a pretty large piece of work. But, perhaps for a few select sequences it wouldn't be hard.
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#763
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
BTW,

If you like the support you get here, I'd appreciate if you leave a review on download.com:

www.download.com/3000-2155-10044821.html...lpage&tag=button

Thanks,

Brian
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#764
Re: Printing to "PDF-Exchange" doesn't work 13 Years, 5 Months ago  
Brian:

I have done so; and I was honest. ;-)

SW
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