12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2015 6:09 PM by Lemmtech

    How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder




      I hope someone out there can help me with this. I have a  new 14.v4 solution that needs to print to a dot matrix printer and guess what it turns out 14 isn't compatible with this particular printer (and I suspect any dot matrix). Therefore I am forced to output the job to PDF but I need that PDF to print without any user interaction or UI so the customer doesn't have to select print in acrobat every time the file opens.


      Things work just fine by the way in 11 just not in 14 and FMI Tech support while nice have no solution for me. This is a Win 7 64. Any help would be VERY much appreciated.




      Mark Lemm

      LemmTech Enterprises

        • 1. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

          ScriptMaster and Java printing?? I have achieved this, presumably your printer driver is installed??

          • 2. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

            Which printer?


            I am using 14v3 on OSX and I can print to dot matrix printers. Specifically Oki and Epson. There must be drivers out there for Windows.


            I discovered FM has issues when you have multiple printers connected. In my case I had a 600dpi laser connected and a 300dpi max dot matrix. The second I did a print on the laser it saved and started sending 600dpi to the dot matrix and it would start blinking lights and doing nothing. I believe recovering the file resets this internal print setting in FM. It took a while to track down the problem.


            My solution was to have a "print" machine with only the dot matrix and other low resolution printers attached.


            If it prints on the same OS with all other apps the problem is FM. FM does not care about printing. It is a low priority for them from my experience. My print machine needs a copy of FM Pro running, so why would they ever fix the printing issues and give up all the print robot license sales.

            • 3. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

              Thanks for your reply it's an FX-2190 and the drivers are not compatible with version 14 works fine in 11 just not 14 weirdest thing I have ever seen. Yes it does work just with with other apps and you're right FM does not care about printing when it's one the most important aspects of using any database.

              • 4. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                This is not an issue of FM 14 not being compatible with the driver. FM uses the system printing and system drivers. You have to work around FM's lack of proper easy printing, but it should work.


                Are you getting any specific errors?


                The other solution with a print robot is that you can run FM11 on whatever OS you need to get the print to work. I use a table with a print flag for which layout to use and some parameters to get the right data in the print. The client trying to print sets the fields in the print table and the robot runs an OnTimer script every 2 seconds doing a find for any records with a print flag and then loops through printing them.


                I fought through this for about a month and had a number of calls to FM paid support and calls and emails with Oki people to get it straight. My insight came when after I had deleted the print preference data from FM and reinstalled the print drivers, I could get it to print up until I printed something on a different printer on the network.


                Try to figure out why it is not working. If you can print to the printer when it is directly connected to a machine with FM 14 after the stored print setting in the FM file have been cleared and it is the only printer connected you might have some hope. You might try a fresh file with a simple test print to ensure there are no bad settings stored in the file.


                Dot Matrix printing is still heavily used in many industries around the world. For things that need paper and won't be paperless for a long time it is just a faster way to get the documents you need. I have an option to print 5 sheets from a laser vs the multi sheet dot matrix forms, but when you look at the time it takes the dot matrix is at least 2x faster if not more. It is an ancient technology but it is not dead for a reason.

                • 5. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                  Thanks for all your help believe me I've tried everything it just doesn't work period. No errors just prints half the page and then stops and spools the rest of the paper out blank and the same exact location on the paper every time. Tried every driver there is, direct connect usb, network, oki data mode nothing works it still will only print half the page. I created custom paper sizes and adjusted every setting in the driver only made things worse. I completely agree there is a place for impact printing and for multipart forms they are faster but in this case I see no alternative then laser and frankly I can't spend any more time on it than I already have. I have suggested this to my client and am waiting a reply.


                  Thanks again for all your suggestions they are truly appreciated. Like you said FM doesn't care about printing least of all to a dot matrix printer.

                  • 6. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                    You could try MBS Plugin.


                    We do have a PDFKit.Print function to print on Mac directly from container field to printer without dialog.

                    For Windows we do have a DynaPDF.Print method which can print to a given named printer.




                    • 7. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                      I have looked at your plugin and it might work. I have to print to a specific form used by my client to I would shave to save the layout as a PDF then print that pdf silently to their printer. It looked like I have to buy the dynapdf software and your plug in as well which would be a tough sell to my customer but if it's the only option I may have to do that.


                      I am going to try and push them into carbonless collated multi-colored reams of paper instead which I hope they are willing to do. There are some definite benefits of doing this but some drawbacks as well so we shall see. Thank you for your suggestion. I am very familiar with your plugin and feel its one if the better ones out there.

                      • 8. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                        Thanks everyone for you suggestions I was able to get my customer to leave the dot matrix world by showing them this alternative


                        much better then trying to output PDF and then print to the printer. It's trade off to be sure but I think the benefits far out weight the drawbacks by switching to a carbonless laser printer based form that I create in FileMaker rather them having to buy custom forms. That printer was a PIA so I think they will be happy to leave it behind!

                        • 9. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                          Well I guess if it works for them...


                          Do you still need the NCR paper function for hand written notes or data?  I have always wondered how people physically manage this kind of paper situation. Staples?


                          I have found that a lot of human error occurs when the pages are not bonded together well. Lost pages and mixed up sets.

                          • 10. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                            Well they have never tried before so will shall see. I think each group writes on their own colored copy I am not sure. I honestly thought they wouldn't do it but they said it was fine so I am going to go with it.


                            I agree the papers could get mixed up but only one person is doing this. They dispatch trucks and frankly I don't know what they do with all the different colors. I am converting them from an Access 97 solution and this is the way they have always done it. If I could have kept them using the FX-2190 I would have but it simply did not work with FM14. If they wanted to use FileMaker this was their best if not only choice really.

                            • 11. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                              If they are not using the NCR function you do not need NCR Paper (No Carbon Required).  It will still mark up the sheets below it if you write on it with a pen just like a carbon form would. You might be able to find some standard pre collated paper for cheaper.

                              • 12. Re: How to Auto Print PDF's Saved To A Folder

                                thanks this was just the first product I found that was collated with the different colors you're right there may be other ways to go but I will leave that up to them. At $342 for 5k sheets thought that is a pretty good price and they only need about 6k a year so I think they will be fine. I appreciate all your input on this issue clearly you know a lot more about it than me!