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Line Printer Class in C#

, 26 Sep 2008
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A simple C# class for printing on old dot matrix line printers.

Introduction

This class simplifies the job of printing text on line printers, in C#. I had an application that needed to print on one of such printers, so I ended up writing this helper class. Basically, it's a wrapper for the spooler API (winspool.drv); the text to be printed is sent in "RAW" mode to the spooler so that no graphics printing is involved.

Using the code

The use of the class is pretty easy. First, the desired printing device is selected by either writing the PrinterName property or by calling the ChoosePrinter() method:

LPrinter MyPrinter = new LPrinter(); // creates the printer object
MyPrinter.ChoosePrinter();// let user choose the printer device

// alternatively:
MyPrinter.PrinterName = "Epson FX-80";
// uses a specific named printer

The actual printing is done like this:

MyPrinter.Open("Document Title Here"); // opens and tells the spooler the document title
MyPrinter.Print("Some text....\r\n");  // actual printing (CR+LFs are neeeded)
MyPrinter.Print("\x0C");               // sends a form feed (ejects the paper)
MyPrinter.Close();                     // Close the spooler

All methods Open(), Print(), Close(), and ChoosePrinter() return a boolean, in case you want to check if the operation was successful.

Some basic text effects can be achieved by sending control codes to the printer, according to the following table:

Code Description
14 enlarged characters on
20 enlarged characters off
15 compressed characters on
18 compressed characters off
ESC + "E" bold characters on
ESC + "F" bold characters off
12 FF (form feed)

For more codes, check the printer's manual.

Points of interest

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell if an installed printer is a line printer or a graphical one (laser or inkjet), so I was not able to filter the print dialog of ChoosePrinter(), making it display only line printers. This means that the user has to choose the right printer.

History

  • 29-Sep-2008: first (and possibly only one) version.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under A Public Domain dedication

About the Author

Antonino Porcino
Software Developer
Italy Italy
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberwkiess0115-Jan-12 15:37 
QuestionMake gujrati print in C# PinmemberCHAVADA SURAJ12-Dec-11 15:03 
AnswerRe: Make gujrati print in C# PinmemberAntonino Porcino12-Dec-11 21:36 
AnswerRe: Make gujrati print in C# Pinmemberlukac23-Dec-11 0:39 
QuestionLine Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma16-Aug-11 1:03 
AnswerRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberAntonino Porcino16-Aug-11 3:55 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma16-Aug-11 17:50 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma16-Aug-11 19:42 
I am able to create a bitmap out of the coordinates which i want to plot and also can store it in an image file (bmp,jpeg, etc). Now can you please guide me that how can i step forward.. which you said as... """and then convert such canvas into special printer codes (that can be later sent with the LinePrinter class). You convert line by line, scanning from top to bottom, turning pixels into bytes and sending them after a special ESC""".
can you please tel me how can i do this all?
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberAntonino Porcino16-Aug-11 20:57 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma17-Aug-11 0:06 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberAntonino Porcino17-Aug-11 1:50 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma17-Aug-11 4:56 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberAntonino Porcino17-Aug-11 5:32 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma17-Aug-11 18:18 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberAntonino Porcino17-Aug-11 22:26 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma17-Aug-11 23:04 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma17-Aug-11 23:32 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberAntonino Porcino18-Aug-11 0:09 
GeneralRe: Line Printer Class problem PinmemberZil-e-Huma17-Aug-11 22:13 
Questionprint image ? PinmemberYusufHermanto6-Aug-11 5:06 
GeneralPrint UniCode characters and other font size Pinmemberunodei24-Sep-10 19:58 
GeneralRe: Print UniCode characters and other font size PinmemberAntonino Porcino24-Sep-10 23:45 
GeneralRe: Print UniCode characters and other font size Pinmemberunodei25-Sep-10 2:32 
GeneralRe: Print UniCode characters and other font size PinmemberAntonino Porcino25-Sep-10 7:18 
GeneralRe: Print UniCode characters and other font size Pinmemberunodei26-Sep-10 14:31 

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