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Line Printer Class in C#

, 26 Sep 2008 Public Domain
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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

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About the Author

Antonino Porcino
Software Developer
Italy Italy
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralRe: change font size Pin
k-924-Jan-14 23:34
memberk-924-Jan-14 23:34 
GeneralRe: change font size Pin
k-91-Feb-14 4:11
memberk-91-Feb-14 4:11 
QuestionClass to print on any windows printer Pin
eyanson13-Jun-13 15:21
membereyanson13-Jun-13 15:21 
AnswerRe: Class to print on any windows printer Pin
Antonino Porcino13-Jun-13 21:33
memberAntonino Porcino13-Jun-13 21:33 
QuestionFor Virtual Printer like Bullzip PDF Printer Pin
Member 901324221-May-13 11:28
memberMember 901324221-May-13 11:28 
AnswerRe: For Virtual Printer like Bullzip PDF Printer Pin
Antonino Porcino21-May-13 21:01
memberAntonino Porcino21-May-13 21:01 
GeneralRe: For Virtual Printer like Bullzip PDF Printer Pin
Member 901324222-May-13 6:44
memberMember 901324222-May-13 6:44 
QuestionArabic Fonts doesn't work correctly Pin
M. Mokhtar28-Apr-13 7:47
memberM. Mokhtar28-Apr-13 7:47 
When printing Arabic fonts it doesn't work correctly?
AnswerRe: Arabic Fonts doesn't work correctly Pin
Antonino Porcino28-Apr-13 8:49
memberAntonino Porcino28-Apr-13 8:49 
GeneralRe: Arabic Fonts doesn't work correctly Pin
M. Mokhtar28-Apr-13 8:57
memberM. Mokhtar28-Apr-13 8:57 
GeneralRe: Arabic Fonts doesn't work correctly Pin
Antonino Porcino28-Apr-13 21:05
memberAntonino Porcino28-Apr-13 21:05 
GeneralRe: Arabic Fonts doesn't work correctly Pin
M. Mokhtar3-May-13 10:57
memberM. Mokhtar3-May-13 10:57 
GeneralRe: Arabic Fonts doesn't work correctly Pin
M. Mokhtar3-May-13 10:54
memberM. Mokhtar3-May-13 10:54 
GeneralRe: Arabic Fonts doesn't work correctly Pin
Antonino Porcino3-May-13 21:57
memberAntonino Porcino3-May-13 21:57 
GeneralThanks for posting Pin
Petar Srdanovic15-Mar-13 0:23
memberPetar Srdanovic15-Mar-13 0:23 
QuestionBill Printing Issue Pin
Kamran Ismail3-Mar-13 19:06
memberKamran Ismail3-Mar-13 19:06 
AnswerRe: Bill Printing Issue Pin
Antonino Porcino3-Mar-13 21:28
memberAntonino Porcino3-Mar-13 21:28 
QuestionNot working in VB.NET Pin
Peter Yulius10-Jan-13 3:37
memberPeter Yulius10-Jan-13 3:37 
AnswerRe: Not working in VB.NET Pin
Antonino Porcino10-Jan-13 6:48
memberAntonino Porcino10-Jan-13 6:48 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
wkiess0115-Jan-12 15:37
memberwkiess0115-Jan-12 15:37 
QuestionMake gujrati print in C# Pin
CHAVADA SURAJ12-Dec-11 15:03
memberCHAVADA SURAJ12-Dec-11 15:03 
AnswerRe: Make gujrati print in C# Pin
Antonino Porcino12-Dec-11 21:36
memberAntonino Porcino12-Dec-11 21:36 
AnswerRe: Make gujrati print in C# Pin
lukac23-Dec-11 0:39
memberlukac23-Dec-11 0:39 
QuestionLine Printer Class problem Pin
Zil-e-Huma16-Aug-11 1:03
memberZil-e-Huma16-Aug-11 1:03 
AnswerRe: Line Printer Class problem Pin
Antonino Porcino16-Aug-11 3:55
memberAntonino Porcino16-Aug-11 3:55 

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