For troubleshooting help, see Windows 95 Print Troubleshooting.
For alignment help, see Printing Help and
Print Alignment Files.
Note to Vista Home users: You must run CHARTER.BAT as Administrator. See Vista Home.
Dot matrix printers are the only choice for printing multi-part forms. CharterHouse expects the printer to be in IBM Proprinter mode. RTFM.
Laser and inkjet printers work with CharterHouse; they are essentially identical. Inkjet printers are far more expensive per page because the ink is expensive, especially with color printers.
In general, we discourage multipurpose printers (scanner + FAX + Etc.) because we believe that the printer should be available now, not whenever the FAX finishes arriving. Do you want a FAX on your invoice form?!
NOTE to Windows 7 and newer users: If you have a physical parallel
port on your computer but no printer attached to it, and if there is a way to
disable that port in CMOS setup, you are advised to do so. If there is no
way to disable in CMOS, then the next best alternative is to disable LPT1 in
Device Manager (and then reboot). If
NET USE LPT1: \\ServerName\PrinterShareName
says your credentials (login name and password) are incorrect, the physical port is causing the interference, which you can prove by changing LPT1: to LPT2:.
Although DOS is able to handle more than 3 printers, CharterHouse rejects any input into the PREPARE YOUR PRINTER prompt where the LPT port exceeds 3.
Where possible, use a parallel port printer and assign it one of the three possible parallel port numbers LPT1:, LPT2: or LPT3:. If you must use a USB printer, then you must find a way to assign it to one of the parallel port numbers. If you use an operating system where this is possible, you can share the printer (using a short name with no spaces) and then, from a CMD or COMMAND ("MS-DOS") prompt, assign the port:
net use LPT#: \\ComputerName\PrinterShareNamewhere "#" is in the range of 1 through 3, "ComputerName" is the network name of the computer (see PROPERTIES in MY COMPUTER), and "PrinterShareName" is the short name you assigned when sharing the printer. Since this is DOS, your printer share name must contain between 1 and 8 characters - perhaps "MyPrinter". You should probably insert the "net use" into the batch file you use to run CharterHouse, placing it on a separate line just above "CH %1".
In order to be sure that NET USE LPT# \\ComputerName\ShareName will work, first run NET VIEW \\ComputerName on the computer to which the USB printer is attached. If you get an error message rather than a listing that includes the printer you have already set up as shared, there is some problem with networking on this computer. Tamlin does not support either hardware or networks, so you need to have a technician correct such a networking issue. When networking works, so will NET VIEW \\ComputerName. Please be aware that for remote computers to be able to use this printer, anything that interferes with network connections might prevent the NET USE LPT# command from working. For example, an incorrectly configured firewall might be the culprit.
DOSPrint redirects an LPT port number in the range from 1 through 3 to the
printer you specify.
CharterHouse prints to a printer port number in the same range.
When you print from CharterHouse, you will see a PREPARE YOUR PRINTER prompt, containing something like
1:NULLwhere 1 is the LPT port number and NULL is the name of a file that configures the printer to match the description displayed at the top of the PREPARE YOUR PRINTER prompt. Most users just smack the ENTER key without thinking about what they're doing. Please LOOK before you leap.
Verify your setup:
Right click on the DOSPrint icon in the System Tray and select CONFIGURE. You should see at least one line containing a port number and a printer (a "complete" line). If not, you need to configure DOSPrint.
Assuming that there is at least one complete line in DOSPrint, make sure that the specified printer is working and that the port is less than 4.
Now get back to that PREPARE YOUR PRINTER prompt and make sure the port matches what you set in DOSPrint. Hit ENTER to print when correct.Notes:
Many USB printers disconnect after a period of idle time. We have seen many cases where the only solution is to reboot the computer to which the printer is connected. If this happens to you, buy a parallel port printer, because nothing else will correct the problem.
Make sure it is easy to set Top Of Form.
Make sure the printer can emulate an IBM Proprinter. This means that when you send the decimal value 018 (eighteen) that the printer is set to Pica (10 CPI) and when you send 015 (fifteen) that the printer is set to Compress mode (17 CPI). It is not necessary that the printer respond to 012 (twelve), the Form-Feed character, because CharterHouse never sends a Form-Feed. The "standard" width of most carriages is 80 Pica characters, but printing forms pushes that limit. The printer must print at least 82 characters before the paper auto-advances to the next line!
It is also recommended that your batch file contain a line that is located above CH and MMDATE that says FIXLPT
Hopefully the following, a letter sent to a customer, will help.
Most laser printers are now USB. If yours is, you must SHARE it, even if it is attached to the computer you run Lyon on. If any workstation runs Vista or Windows 7, it must be the 32 bit version and the batch file that runs Lyon (usually CHARTER.BAT) must be "run as Administrator". Even if everything else works, printing in Vista or 7 requires Administrator.
All DOS programs, including Lyon, require that the printer be addressed as an LPT device. Nothing else can be made to work.
Tamlin Software does not provide either hardware or networking support; we support the accounting software only.
Similar to mapping a network drive, you must "capture" the printer on all
computers that run Lyon such that the identifier becomes one of LPT1 or
LPT2 or LPT3. If you need help to make sure the printer is available to a
particular computer, have your tech run
from a CMD prompt. The printer must appear in the resulting listing.
If the printer is connected via a network cable, it is usually impossible to use it in Lyon. Your tech might "make it happen" as described above for a USB connected printer, but don't depend on it.
If the printer can be connected using a parallel cable, it will automatically be set up by Windows as one of LPT1 or LPT2 or LPT3, where the digit is determined by the number of parallel connected devices.
Once the printer is available as one of LPT1 or LPT2 or LPT3, you then make sure you pay attention during printing to make absolutely certain that the PREPARE YOUR PRINTER prompt contains the digit corresponding to the digit you used when you captured the laser printer.
Here are a few examples of the correct content of PREPARE YOUR PRINTER when
the laser printer was captured as LPT2 and NET USE shows LPT2 in the "Local"
2:RESET - is for forms such as work orders and checks
2:LASER-N - is for 80 column reports
2:LASER-C - is for wide, 132 column reports
Note that a delay when printing AR sales invoices is normal, but an error 25 (or any other error for that matter) means that the printer is not correctly captured or that you specified the wrong digit. Also remember that it is important that the AR SYSTEM CONTROL (F4 #13) setting be configured for a laser printer.