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Printing across a network using C#


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Hi all

I am currently writing a service that will run once per day, retrieve data from a SQL database, and print some reports.

Here is the problem:

I have an xml config file which contains a report code (eg RPT001) and the printer it is to print to. This means that in future if I want to, I can simply change the printer name without too much disruption and the reports will be redirected elsewhere.

However, I am unable to set the printer name so that the report gets printed out. When I use :

// If we have specified a printer name print to this one otherwise the

// default printer will be used

if (_printerName != "")

{

pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName = String.Format("{0}", _printerName);

}

A call to pd.PrinterSettings.IsValid, always returns false.

I have been looking into the PrintingPermissions topic, however I am unable to find a proper clear sample of how to use it so that I can grant access to my code to be able to print across the network.

The printers are connected to a central print server, however specifying "\\servername\printer" doesnt seem to work either.

To complete the picture, the code which performs the printing is in its own DLL and the service references this DLL.

What changes need to be made and where to get this to work?

Any and all help is very much appreciated :D

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Hi,

Printing permissions work like so:

PrintingPermission perm = new PrintingPermission(System.Security.Permissions.PermissionState.Unrestricted);
perm.Level = PrintingPermissionLevel.AllPrinting;

Setting PrinterSettings.PrinterName should accept the sting network printer name, however, it might be easier to create a server side local printer that points to the network printer, and print to the local printer instead.

I haven't done much printing in .NET yet, but I will keep looking into it for you.

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Ahh thanks for the reply, but where do I put this code?

Does it go into my service, or into the printing DLL.

Ultimately the service I am writing will sit on a server somewhere and just poll every day, so I need it to be as hassle free as possible

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Thanks Antaris for your help.

I actually got it working without the code permissions part. Turned out the printer names had been renamed to all caps and that was throwing the code off.

So when I changed these in my config file it worked fine.

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Fair enough, I couldn't see any reason why it wouldn't accept a network printer outright, but at the same time, I didn't realise network share names were case sensitive. Hmm

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Ok, I'm back again with a similar issue and this one has me stumped.

After running fine for months, I added a new printer name to the xml file, in the same format ... \\server\printername

However, when the code runs normally, I get an error back saying the printer name is invalid:

// If we have specified a printer name print to this one otherwise the 
// default printer will be used
if (_printerName != "")
{
pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName = String.Format("{0}", _printerName);
}


if (pd.PrinterSettings.IsValid != false)
{
			//  Print stuff here
}

However, when I step through the code in debug mode, IsValid becomes true and the reports print fine.

I figured it had something to do with how long it was taking me to step to the next line of code (some sort of network delay possibly on name resolution), so I added a Sleep statement on the current thread to see if that would fix it - no such luck.

I know the printer name is valid, as I can print to it when I step through the code in debug mode, however this has to be deployed and just work so this cant be an option.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Is the production application running the same version of the source code as the project version (have you made any changes to it since production?).

It might be a lower-level network issue, not problems with your code.

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Yeah the versions are the exact same, the only thing that was different is the name of the printer being passed in.

I've actually now got this working:

1) Tried the source code on a colleagues machine ---> worked flawlessly, not a problem (!)

2) Removed the network printer from my machine (again) and it now works no problem (!)

So thats that little bit sorted out.

Now if only I could make the pages print properly in landscape mode, I'd be done.

I've tried setting

e.PageSettings.Landscape = true

in the PrintPage event handler, but it doesnt work the way I want it to.

Back to the drawing board. . . . . . . .

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Qwerky windows flaws eh?

Now if only I could make the pages print properly in landscape mode, I'd be done.

I've tried setting

e.PageSettings.Landscape = true

in the PrintPage event handler, but it doesnt work the way I want it to.

Back to the drawing board. . . . . . . .

You would have thought that would be the answer, but alas no, you have to apply that setting earlier:

public void DoPrint(string printerName) {
   PrintDocument document = new PrintDocument();
   document.PrinterSettings.PrinterName = printerName;
   document.DefaultPageSettings.Landscape = true;
   document.PrintPage += new PrintPageEventHandler(this.PrintPage);
   document.Print();
}

protected void PrintPage(object sender, PrintPageEventArgs e) {
   // do work
}

Hope that helps!

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Hi Antaris, thanks for your help, I tried that but that doesnt work either :(

I am working with custom written print code and I need to make it physically rotate the output on the page (like landscape, only every control and text box etc... has to be rotated by 90 degrees).

So its the mapping of one set of co-ordinates to another thats kind of got me a little stumped.

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You could also try modifying the PaperSize and Margin properties of the PrintDocument object. Thats the last thing I can think of, otherwise I am as stumped as you are.

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Any gurus want to offer an explanation to this little doozey ?

I have some very simple test code to test whether or not the network printer I am printing to is valid or not (based on its name)

When I have it for printer 1 (example) I get True before and after I change the printer name

PrintDocument pd = new PrintDocument();

Console.WriteLine("PrinterSettings: {0}", pd.PrinterSettings.IsValid.ToString());
pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName = @"\\printserver\printer1"
Console.WriteLine("PrinterSettings: {0}", pd.PrinterSettings.IsValid.ToString());

However when I have it for printer 2 (example) I get True before and False after I change the printer name.

Although when I delete printer 2 from Printers and Faxes and add it again, I get True, True, but any change to the printer preferences of this printer gives True, False again.

PrintDocument pd = new PrintDocument();

Console.WriteLine("PrinterSettings: {0}", pd.PrinterSettings.IsValid.ToString());
pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName = @"\\printserver\printer2"
Console.WriteLine("PrinterSettings: {0}", pd.PrinterSettings.IsValid.ToString());

I am absolutely tearing my hair out over this now, and am about to throw it in the bin (figuratively of course).

Does anyone have any advice to offer me, network related, or hardware, or anything, it would be so much appreciated.

Thanks :D

By the way, printer 2 is a lexmark t644 printer, if that helps anything.

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