PRINTER SETUP AND OPERATION



If your printer is a dot matrix printer connected to port "LPT1:" and prints 66 lines/page, no printer setup is necessary. If your printer is a laser or ink jet printer, or is connected to another port, or if you need to operate more than one printer, or if you otherwise need to adapt to your printer, you must use the Printer Setup facility as described below. This facility is "generic" and platform-independent and does not depend on special "device drivers". The setup procedure is the same no matter what operating environment you are using and can be used with new printers not yet invented at this writing.



PAPERSAVERô PRINT PREVIEW FEATURES: DATASMITH Payroll is uniquely designed to provide useful on-screen reporting on any microcomputer system by:



Assuring that the operator is able to actually view each line for a certain minimum time before the next line is printed. This advanced technique assures you that on-screen reporting will be just as useful on your new 300 MHZ Pentium as on your old 386.

Allowing the operator to pause and scroll up, down, right, or left in order to view or review any portion of the report. This advanced capability allows the operator to search for the cause of any exceptional results which may appear in the totals at the end of the report without printing the entire report on paper several times.



The Printer Definition screen allows you to define up to four different "printers" for use with the payroll system. The four printers are referred to as "PRINTER 1", "PRINTER 2", PRINTER 3", and "PRINTER 4".



NOTE: The Printer Designation "PRINTER 1" is NOT NECESSARILY the same as the DOS designation "LPT1:"! You control the meaning of "PRINTER 1" via the Printer Definition screen. If you do not define any printers, printer output for "PRINTER 1" through "PRINTER 4" will all be directed to LPT1: by default. You are not required to define or use more than one printer.



Most payroll reports give the operator an opportunity to direct the report to one of these printers, the screen, or a text file on disk. A few of the reports will restrict the choices: for instance, the check writer will not allow the report to be printed to the screen for security reasons, and also because the checks would always have to be recalculated and reprinted if they were printed on the screen.



Each payroll "printer" may be an actual physical printer, or may be the same printer set up to operate in different modes:



You could set up PRINTER 1 as your laser printer in Portrait orientation, and PRINTER 2 as your laser printer in Landscape orientation. You could use the printer definition to select different fonts for PRINTER 1 and PRINTER 2. You could set up PRINTER 3 as your dot matrix printer with compressed print, and PRINTER 4 as your dot matrix printer with normally-spaced print.



The setup entries for each PRINTER are as follows:



PORT Is the hardware connection to your printer. Values allowed by Payroll are

LPT1:, LPT2:, LPT3:, COM1:, COM2:, COM3: or COM4:. Some of these values may not be valid for your hardware: check with your dealer.



PRINTER TYPE Identifies the general type of printer. This choice determines the

method used for controlling the printer. The choices are:

Laser or Ink jet

Laser with PJL

dot Matrix/other



Laser or Ink jet is the choice used for Hewlett-Packard and H-P Compatible Laser Printers. This type of printer can be used for most Payroll reports by setting the printed page length to 60 when using Portrait Orientation or 45 when using Landscape Orientation. These settings compensate for the fact that laser printers cannot print the top 3 lines or the bottom 3 lines on each page. Note that some government-designed forms cannot be printed properly with a laser printer, so be sure you have access to some other printer for producing these reports.

Laser with PJL is the choice used for Hewlett Packard Network Printers which connect directly to your LAN without a separate print server. These printers use HP's Printer Job Language (PJL) to switch languages (PostScript, PJL, etc.) and accomplish other control functions. Payroll automatically puts these printers in PCL mode, and restores them when the report is completed.

Dot Matrix/Other is the choice used for an IBM/Epson compatible standard dot matrix printer, or any other printer (chain, train, comb, drum, daisy wheel, etc.) which uses tractor feed and does not automatically skip top and bottom margins.

LINES/PAGE Identifies how many lines/page your printer expects from the

computer. You can use the Page Length control feature to make reports print on 7", 8.5", 14", or 17" forms.



CONNECTION This item allows the operator to choose between

"Network/Shared" and "Local/Dedicated" operation. Network/Shared causes all printout to be sent to a spool file and then released to the printer after the report is completed. This operation shares the printer more efficiently when there may be several users competing for the same printer, and assures that printer output from other users will not disrupt a long payroll report. Local/Dedicated operation causes all printout to be sent directly to the printer immediately as the report is being composed. The printer must be dedicated to payroll during operation in Local/Dedicated mode.



PAYFORM ENABLED This item enables or disables the PAYFORM option.

PAYFORM, which is available only when using a laser printer, allows plain-paper reports to be printed on user-defined "letterhead" created by your laser printer as the report is being printed. This feature can be used to personalize reports with the company's or payroll preparer's name on every page. It can also be set to leave a wider margin for binding, and to insert user-scanned graphics in the page header or as a background.



HEADING CHARACTER This character is repeated across the page to separate the

heading from the body of a report. If your printer is graphics-capable, you may want to change this character to improve the appearance of your Payroll reports. The default Heading Character is the equal sign ("=").



If your printer is capable of producing graphics characters, you can enter the code for one of these characters by holding down the ALT key, entering the numeric code for the character on the numeric keypad, and then releasing ALT. For example, a solid double bar graphic character from the "PC-8" character set would be entered as ALT 205.



SEPARATOR CHARACTER This character is repeated across the page to

separate the subsections or minor divisions in the body of a report. If your printer is graphics-capable, you may want to change this character to improve the appearance of your Payroll reports. The default Separator Character is the minus sign ("-"). A solid single bar graphic character from the "PC-8" character set would be entered as ALT 196.



NORMAL SETUP STRING This is the control character string which will be

sent to the printer before any printed output is sent. You can use this entry to select fonts, reset the printer, or to perform any other operation needed when printing plain-paper payroll reports. If there is no special setup required, leave this entry blank. Typical entry for dot matrix printers is "|0|". The laser screen illustrated above shows a typical entry for landscape orientation reports.



WIDE REPORT SETUP STRING When the operator selects a WIDE report, this is

the control character string which will be sent to the printer instead of the "Normal Setup String". You can use this entry to select compressed fonts, change page orientation, or to perform any other operation needed when printing wide plain-paper payroll reports. If there is no special setup required, leave this entry blank. The Printer Definition setup supercedes any control string setup which may appear in the Company Record. Typical entry for dot matrix printers is "|15|". The laser screen illustrated above shows a typical entry for landscape orientation reports.



RESTORE NORMAL OPERATION SETUP STRING This is the control character

string which will be sent to the printer after printed output is completed after a Wide report. You can use this entry to reset the printer, or to perform any other operation needed to restore it to "normal". If there is no special setup required, leave this entry blank. The Printer Definition setup supercedes any control string setup which may appear in the Company Record. Typical entry for dot matrix printers is "|18|". The laser screen illustrated above shows a typical entry for landscape orientation reports.



SAMPLE PRINTER SETUP SCREENS:



HP Laser Printer using portrait orientation:





HP Laser Printer printing in landscape mode:





Epson-Compatible Dot Matrix Printer



USING MULTIPLE PRINTER SUPPORT:



When you select a report, the following selection screen will appear:



SELECTING A DESTINATION FOR THE REPORT: You can 'Click' your choice with a mouse. You can also use your keyboard without a mouse to select PRINTER1, PRINTER2, PRINTER3, or PRINTER4 by typing '1', '2', '3', or '4'; or to select the Screen by typing 'S', or to send report output to a text file on Disk by typing 'D'. When you select DISK FILE, you will be asked for a file name.



To prevent accidental over-writing of data files, we suggest strongly that you use the extension ".PRN" on all disk file names! There are no Payroll program files or Payroll data files which use this extension.



Avoid using ".EXE", ".PAY", ".SRT", ".BAT", ".SYS", ".PIF", and other extensions which might have meaning to the operating system or other programs and which may cause undesireable results.



Text files on Disk are useful in situations where the report from Payroll must be edited before printing. These files are standard ASCII with each line delimited by CR-LF, and can be viewed and edited with virtually any text editor or word processor. Text files on disk can also be easily converted to FAX, HTML, or other alternate forms for transmission, display, or publication.



PRINT CONTROL SCREEN During printing, the Print Control Screen will

appear as in the illustration below. Through controls in the area at the bottom of the screen, the operator can cause the print process to Pause or be Canceled.



If output has been directed to the screen, the report will appear in the large white area in the upper part of the screen. The operator can cause screen output to speed up, slow down, or pause. When output to the screen is Paused, the Page Up and Page Down, scroll right, and scroll left controls allow the operator to search through the entire report for items of interest. This is particularly useful when a total on the last page of a long report appears to be an unusual value: the operator can investigate the cause without producing hundreds of pages which will be subsequently shredded and thrown away.



When printing to the screen, actual printing speed is under operator control. Control may be exercised by "clicking" on features in the Print Control window with a mouse, or from the keyboard as follows:



Numeric key 9 increases printing speed each time the key is hit.



Numeric keys 1 decreases printing speed each time the key is hit.



Hitting the "P" key or the space bar will cause printing to pause. When printout is paused:



the "C" key will cancel the report

the "R" key or the space bar will cause printing to resume.

the "<" key will cause the display to scroll one character left.

the ">" key will cause the display to scroll one character right.

the "^" key will cause the display to scroll up one line.

the "V" key will cause the display to scroll down one line.

the "Page Up" key will cause the display to scroll up one screen.

the "Page Down" key will cause the display to scroll down one screen.



For maximum operator convenience, the program responds to either the shifted or unshifted version of the scrolling control keys during printing: "," is the same as "<"; "." is the same as ">"; "v" is the same as "V"; and "6" is the same as "^".



When the report is directed to a printer or a disk file, the print speed control is disabled. The pause/cancel feature is always active, regardless of the report's destination.



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