12 Replies Latest reply on May 26, 2012 9:05 AM by wscott

    Printing a string again


      I am using Filemaker Pro with Windows 7. I use a ticket no. to find the record with name. I then want to concatenate a string which includes the name and send it to an electronic display. I can print from notepad to the display with generic serial printer driver, so that works.

      The Print command seems to print only records. How can I send the string to the display?

        • 1. Re: Printing a string again

          Is the electronic display connected via a serial port?  If so, you'll probably need a serial port plugin to do what you need.  You'll also need some details on the serial interface options of the display unit.  Here's a plugin option: http://www.troi.com/software/serialplugin.html


          Hope this helps.


          Mike Rauch

          • 2. Re: Printing a string again

            Yes, its a serial connection and I have a usb to serial adapter.

            My question is quite elementary. What command in script do I use to transmit the string?

            It doesn't appear to me that the Print command in filemaker is set up to do that.

            What am I missing?


            • 3. Re: Printing a string again

              Bill is expecting too much,


              The FMP Print command uses the Print drivers supplied by the OS. Since there is no "Print" driver specifically for your Serial Device FMP doesn't have any way to communicate with it. Remember, FMP doesn't know anything about the device being address. It is just using the OS supplied resource for "Printing". The only way I know to send a character string to the USB port is a plugin or possibly a System command of some kind. FMP cannot do it alone.


              Search the Archive for "Cash Drawer". IIRC that discussion was about a serial interface too.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Printing a string again

                The "generic serial printer driver" allows me to send a message to the display using the print command in windows notepad.

                I just print a string on notepad. e.g. {{begin message}}hello world{{new line}}  , hit print and the message appears on the display.

                Is it not possible to print a string from fmp to a printer?


                • 5. Re: Printing a string again

                  >>Is it not possible to print a string from fmp to a printer?


                  No, it is not.  The traditional solution for working with serial type interfaces is to utilize a plugin that is set up to do that, like the Troi Serial plugin I referenced earlier.  But, I understand that can be a bit complex for something that seems so trivial.


                  How about generating a file and then have that file print...


                  Export Field Contents [ "TO::stringField" ; "filewin:/c:/theString.txt" ]

                  Send Event ["aevt" ; "pdoc" (the print option) ; "filewin:/c:/theString.txt"]


                  That will print to your default printer, which may or may not be a problem.


                  Mike Rauch

                  • 6. Re: Printing a string again

                    Its disappointing that such a simple task can't be done from fmp. However thanks for the help.


                    • 7. Re: Printing a string again

                      It seems odd that you can print a record from fmp but not a field.


                      • 8. Re: Printing a string again



                        Did you give my work-around a go?  Simple two-line script.  The only downside is you can't control which printer the Send Event command goes to (at least not directly, it will go to the default printer).

                        • 9. Re: Printing a string again

                          Not yet. But I looked at the commands and will try it. I am afraid it might take too long. I have to do 500 names in about 3 hours.

                          Thanks a lot for your help.


                          Sent from my iPhone

                          • 10. Re: Printing a string again

                            Not sure which part would take long.  Does it take a while to flash the name when you print from notepad?  If not, then you shouldn't have any problems.  Will you have the name list up-front?  In a specific order? Flashed at specific intervals or manually?  Several ways to do it based on the anwers to those questions.

                            • 11. Re: Printing a string again


                              I wrote this program in Knowledgeman over 10 years ago for our Lions Elimination Draw. I later upgraded to Paradox in Windows but it is not been maintained so I thought I'd go to Filemaker.

                              The procedure has been:

                              draw ticket

                              enter ticket no.

                              check ticket against name that comes up

                              hit enter to send name etc. to electronic display.

                              I'll try your work around tomorrow and see how it works.