14 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2015 10:47 AM by bertrand

    FileMaker Pro ignores default printer



      FileMaker Pro ignores default printer


      FileMaker Pro


      Tested on 11 and 12

      Operating system version

      Tested Mac OS X 10.7 and Windows 7

      Description of the issue

      With FileMaker Pro, the Print command always set the last printer you selected as the new printer by default. By this way, it totally ignores the system setting on both Windows and Mac platform. It is specially problematic when the print command is scripted and when the without dialog box is checked because there is no action script step to restore the default printer. That means, if you want to assign a specific printer for a specific button (for exemple to print dymo labels), when this button is used, all of following print script executed will use the dymo printer !

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      - Set a default printer on your system preferences
      - Open FileMaker Pro and print a record with another Printer
      - Quit FileMaker Pro (for ensure the test)
      - Restart FileMaker Pro and use the Print command

      Expected result

      The system default printer must be proposed

      Actual result

      The last printer used by FileMaker Pro is proposed

      Configuration information

      All configurations tested present the same problem. All version of FileMaker too.


      No workaround found.

        • 1. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

               Try to add a button that performs the Print step and make sure it doesn't restore print settings. 

          • 2. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

                 Yes, i did but i got the same result. The only way would be to hardsetting the default printer in all other Print step...

            • 3. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

                   Is the file hosted from a different computer using FileMakerk Pro or FileMaker Server?

              • 4. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

                     Thank you Mikhail and PhilModJunk. Following your comments, I completed my tests, using different files and both hosted and local files. Conclusions :

                     FileMaker save "his" default printer by file.

                     When you close a file, FileMaker save "his" default printer like he does for current model, current record set and global fields.

                     So, if your file is local, the system setting will always be "bypassed" except when you create a new file.

                     But if the file is hosted, the system setting will only be "bypassed" until you close the file.

                     Unfortunately, it confirms my first post : there is no pretty solution for this issue.

                • 5. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer


                       This behavior remain the same on FileMaker Pro 13.

                       Bye, Fred

                  • 6. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer



                    Seems to be the same on FM 14. Any fix or at least a workaround?



                    • 7. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

                      Not as far i know. .


                      And it never was answered by a TS-Personel nor (by the way) acknowledged "as a bug", even if i do not know any other popular app that ignore the OS default printer setting.


                      However, here are some tracks to better live with it :


                      • Try a plug-in as PrinterSwitch or ChangePrinter to see if match your purposes.
                      • With custom menus (Pro Advanced), substitute the Print command by your own generic script which is storing the printer name on different calls of Print step managed by a If and Else If chain. Use for instance a Script Parameter to indicate the printer you want, for instance, depending on layout or even better, check a very useful and recent post about switches by DavidJondreau instead of script parameters.
                      • Write AppleScripts or VBA Scripts and perform them from FileMaker scripts.


                      But one more time, i doubt it can replace the ability and flexibility of supporting OS-level default printer.

                      • 8. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

                        Oh and be aware about 64-bit compatibility of plug-ins. Sounds like PrinterSwitch from myFMbutler.


                        Benjamin, in the actual state of things what plug-in would you advise to better control printing over scripts ?

                        • 9. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer
                          Benjamin Fehr


                          I haven't made up my mind yet. I actually made everything ready for use of MyFMButtler PrinterSwitch when I got the news that they're on delay.


                          Among considerations:

                          Dracoventions (FMP 14 ready)

                          Change Printer Plugin for FileMaker Pro (FMP 14 ready)



                          not FMP 14 ready:

                          SetPrinter™ - FileMaker Plugin from MedDB, LLC

                          … and MyFMButtler PrinterSwitcher

                          • 10. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer



                            You can use "lpd" command to set the default printer using Applescript in FileMaker. This works fine.



                            • 11. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

                              Merci Bertrand !


                              I'm not sure how it works nor able to find a such command from FileMaker Pro 14 AppleScript dictionary.


                              Could you attach a sample script to illustrate this ?

                              • 12. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer

                                Yes this works fine.


                                You can find everything you need near this post in FMSource by Clem.


                                If you open "System pref" and "Printers and scanners" at same time, you can see the default printer value change as you change it in FileMaker.


                                The best is to do :

                                - get default printer and save the result

                                - set default printer to a new printer

                                - print your document

                                - set default printer to the printer saved in result.

                                Doing like that you leave the environment as it was before you modified it.



                                • 13. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer
                                  Benjamin Fehr

                                  Printer setup is stored within the FMP file afaik. A work around i used to use was to have a dedicated FMP file for every different Printer setup (Printer, Format, Portrait/Landscape, copies).

                                  Every file had a Printer Setup routine with Print script with "show print dialog" to do setup once in order to have it stored within the file.

                                  General Print script was set with "don't show Print dialog".

                                  Doing printer setup after any update meant wasting paper for every file to get PrintSetup stored again.

                                  • 14. Re: FileMaker Pro ignores default printer



                                    I sell solutions for restaurants, bars and hotels. That means that it is often necessary to manage several print stations. (ex :  for a restaurant a printer in kitchen for orders, another in room for the bar and the case for orders and bills). Using Applescript for Macs or Java and registry falsification for Windows, I can manage in a unique file all situations.


                                    I also create a table which indicates which task uses which print station and a table that indicates which print station uses which printer . A bill is always print by case printer, an order is always print by kitchen printer. This can be the same as different.


                                    First, get the list of printers define for the computer.
                                    Second, set a particular printer of the list for each position of works, preserved in a customer table.

                                    Third, set a position of works for each task, preserved in a customer table.

                                    Fourth, using a general script with 8 parameters as printer, format, orientation, etc... I can satisfy all needs.


                                    I have only 2 files to manage each solution (version n and n+1).

                                    Each solution is composed of two files : one for the complete application (scripts, layouts, general tables, list of values, etc..), one for the datas of the customs (articles, bills, task/print setup, service, etc...). All my solutions can be set to every langage exept arabian and japanese without modification.



                                    PS I never waste sheet or roll of paper only for testing.