Printing Cheques and/or Receipts

To print cheques and receipts you must tell the system that you want to do so and where you want to print them.

Our software was previously setup to print cheques and/or receipts to their own dedicated dot matrix printer. This method of printing BYPASSES the Windows drivers for the printers and talks directly to the printers (via an LPT port or COM Port) and as a result the printing is VERY fast. Because you may be printing to that cheque/receipt printer from multiple computers you might have it set up as LPT1: on the computer to which the printer is connected but the same printer might be LPT2: on the other computers that print to it. To get around this problem we have to tell each computer where to print by clicking on the FILE menu from the main screen and then SETUP PRINTERS.

To make this work prior to windows XP each computer needed to have a line in the C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file saying something like SET ID=FRED. Every computer needed to have a different ID (eg SET ID=FRED, SET ID=JULIE, SET ID=JACK etc). The program then picks up that ID and uses it to determine where to print. In SETUP PRINTERS you need to select each computer's ID and set the Receipt and/or cheque printer for that computer. The SET ID function is no longer required as now our software uses the USER ID of the person logged into the computer instead.

For this to work you ALSO have to have the cheque/receipt printers visible on every computer as a LPT port and so you have to redirect the printer ports on all of the computers (other than the computer into which the printer is plugged). Normally (unless the computer has more than one printer port) a printer is plugged into the LPT1: port on the computer it is connected to. You then need to share this printer and to assign LPT2: to \\GEOFF\EPSON on the other computers (assuming that the printer is an Epson dot matrix printer and it is shared using the name EPSON and it is connected to the computer whose network name is GEOFF). For further information about how to set this up see our network setup notes.

Note that the printer can be set to be LPT1, LPT2, LPT3 through to LPT4. It can also be connected to a serial port instead of a parallel (LPT) port and so can be connected to COM1, COM2, COM3 or COM4. Setting it to 0=No Printer turns the printing OFF. Setting it to 9:\PRINTER.OUT causes the output to go to a text file called C:\PRINTER.OUT instead of to a printer. This is normally only used for test purposes or if you want to re-print cheques or receipts but don't want to waste printer paper.

Note that to set up the printers you must first set them up in Windows by

  1. clicking on the START menu
  2. and then PRINTERS AND FAXES
  3. and ADD NEW PRINTER etc

Ausbroker and Rent Master can store a different set of printer setting for each computer on your network so that (as an example) all computers could print receipts to the same receipt printer and all computers could print cheques to the same cheque printer but each computer could print their reports and statements to a different printer. You could also have all of the computers in the back office print their receipts to a receipt printer in the back office while the front reception desk computer prints it's receipts to the receipt printer at the reception desk.

When you log into Windows when you first start up your computers you MUST log into each computer with a different user name as our software now uses the name by which you logged into Windows as the means to determine where things get printed.

Now, when you set up the printers you need to do it on the computer that you are going to print from. So if you want to set it up on Deb's computer you have to run the setup option on Deb's computer. The username shown in the printers screen is the name used to log onto THAT computer and you shouldn't change this to someone else. If the username is something like COMPUTER1 instead of DEBBIE that's OK - leave it as COMPUTER1 and setup the printers for user COMPUTER1. Then, from the main screen, click on EDIT then OTHER MASTER FILES then USER IDS. Now for the user COMPUTER1 make the name, phone number and email address DEBBIE's details so whenever the computer refers to user COMPUTER1 it will display Debbie's details.

Now we supply formats for printing receipts and cheques to inkjet printers (not recommended) and laser printers and so the system no longer needs to talk via LPT ports. HOWEVER these functions will still work for people who wish to continue to use this method. if you choose a style of cheque or receipt (from the drop down list) which is designed for a laser printer then the printer selections change to normal windows printer names.

We have found that sometimes you can't NET USE LPT1 successfully under Windows XP (unless there IS no LPT1 port present so you may have to map to LPT2 (ie NET USE LPT2 \\ComputerName\PrinterName).

Also we have found that sometimes you get errors when trying to print to these ports from Rent Master or Ausbroker but there is a way to get around this - look at the screen dump image below - notice the REDIRECTED PRINTING tick box? Tick it if printing to LPT1, LPT2, LPT3 etc gives an error. What happens then is (assuming that you have set up the cheque/receipt printing to print to LPT2) then the program sends the output to a text file called (C:\RentMstr\Tmp-LPT2.Prn or C:\Broker\Tmp-LPT2.Prn or C:\Acctng\Tmp-LPT2.Prn depending on what program of ours you are running.) Then this file is copied to the LPT2 printer port using the windows command processor (CMD.EXE) using the command line Cmd /c Copy Tmp-LPT2.Prn LPT2 which seems to work just fine. This all happens behind the scenes - you only need to tick the box.