4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2015 8:45 AM by edpod2101

    Filemaker print using Zebra ZPL language

    clausboysen

      Hi everyone.

       

      Im currently doing a simple labelprint to the Zebra LP 2844 Plus and can of cause use the windows print command to get the label layout as seen on screen.

       

      Since I am going to print barcodes it would be preferable to make the print command in the Zebra ZPL ( I or II ) language to skip installation of bar-code fonts on every PC (200+). And is driven by a FM-ser-adv. 11 on a MAC server - and controlled by FM GO.

       

      I've looked into the DDE commands, but without succes yet. I have created a calculationfield to prep. the output string in the ZPL language, but since I cannot initiate any send-function to the printer I am in a bit of a problem.

       

      Could anybody help me in my quest for using the "native" ZPL language ang get at simple print like ^XA^FO65,150^BY2^BEN,30,Y,N^FD123456789012^FS^XZ

       

      If needed we will upgrade to the FM 12, and Server 12 if it will provide the solution.

       

      Thank you for your kind assistance.

       

      BR.

      Claus B.

        • 1. Re: Filemaker print using Zebra ZPL language
          Lemmtech

          I have printed text based labels using Zebra printers but not bar codes. I know of no way for FM to send any type of command to a printer least of all in a properitery language. My guess is you will have to load a bar code font.

          • 2. Re: Filemaker print using Zebra ZPL language
            clausboysen

            Thank you.

            But there might be some URL-command or other command to call the printer-driver and make it print my scripted text (as then would be interpretated by the printer as barcode).

            If anyone has clues to this please assist.

             

            BR.

            • 3. Re: Filemaker print using Zebra ZPL language
              edpod2101

              I am searching for a similar solution.  I am converting an Access application that uses VB to print barcodes on a Zebra GK420t desktop printer.  The VB app sends ZPL strings to print the labels.  I know that it has been some time since your post but if you found a solution I would much appreciate some guidance.  The converted application will run on FM 13 server with users running Mac and Windows.  Labels will be printed mostly from the Windows machines.  However, there may be occasional Mac users printing barcode labels.

               

              Thanks

               

              EP

              • 4. Re: Filemaker print using Zebra ZPL language
                edpod2101

                With guidance from others I have gotten this to work within FileMaker.  As you stated, you need to format a text file with ZPL commands embedded with data.  In my case it was a food processing operation that needed to print labels to attach to packages on the last step of the process.  I created a file (PrintCommands) within FM that contained the proper ZPL commands with placeholders for the data, one record for each ZPL command.  My FM script then created a label text file by reading PrintCommands and the other FM files that contained the product information for each label.  After writing the label file I exported it to a windows directory within my FM script (tab format worked ok).  If a label file already existed in that directory it was overwritten, which is what I wanted.

                 

                Next there are 2 options.  You can use a free ScriptMaster plug-in to run a windows script or you can use SendEvent to send a windows command to direct the file to the printer (I used print path/filename.tab >lpt1).  My Zebra printer connected to the printing station using USB so I first had to redirect the USB port to LPTx. (I used net use ...) to assign my printer to LPT1.

                 

                I saved all the parameters in a table and moved them into global fields on startup.  I created the windows commands within a script and execute the script whenever labels needed to be printed.  It works without any user intervention other than pressing the Print Labels button.  Because I kept the ZPL commands in an FM table I was able to create a print alignment function where the user could print a test label after adjusting the width and height adjustments using up/down, left/right buttons.  When it was aligned properly I saved the values back into the ^FOx,y ZPL command and updated the associated record in the PrintCommands file.  It appears that alignment was only needed the first time. 

                 

                The process has worked very well.