PrinterSwitch 2: Installation and Setup
What does it do?
myFMbutler's PrinterSwitch is a plug-in for FileMaker® Pro 9 and higher for both Windows and Macintosh that allows you to easily control printer switching from within your FileMaker solutions. Moreover, PrinterSwitch also allows automatic PDF creation from within FileMaker without the need for a 3rd party PDF printer driver. The name and destination of the PDF can both be set from within your solution. Unlike the built-in PDF functionality of FileMaker itself, PrinterSwitch PDF’s can also be created in runtime solutions.
What do I need?
FileMaker Pro 9 or higher (including 10 and 11), running on MacOS X 10.5 or higher, or Windows XP or higher, including Windows Vista and Windows 7)
How do I make this work?
First of all, install the plugin - make sure to quit FileMaker first if it is running:
On Windows, use the included Installer application, which will automatically install all components, the plug-in as well as the PDF printer driver software. The plug-in will be installed in the following location:
C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Local Settings\Application
Data\FileMaker\Extensions (on Windows XP)
C:\Users\[user]\Local Settings\Application Data\FileMaker\
Extensions (On Windows Vista/7)
The myFMbutler PrinterSwitch folder, containing the manual and example files will be installed in the Documents folder.
A shortcut to this folder will also be installed on your Desktop.
If you want to remove PrinterSwitch, run the same Install application, and click ‘Remove’ (be sure to quit FileMaker before doing this). Alternatively, you can use ‘Add & Remove Programs’.
On Mac OS X, run the installer.
The plug-in will be copied to:
The manual and example files will be installed at:
In order to remove the plugin, quit FileMaker and remove the plugin file from the Extensions folder.
We have supplied several example files (to maintain compatibility with FileMaker 7, our examples use only globals, not variables):
The Basic example offers a look at how you can easily use PrinterSwitch to change printers by user selection, or by integrating it in a script.
The Filtering gives an overview of how PrinterSwitch allows you to filter the list of printer names that are shown.
The PDF example shows how you can also use PrinterSwitch to create PDFs. Contrary to FileMaker’s built-in options, the PrinterSwitch PDF capability can also be used in runtime solutions.
The Capture-Restore Settings example explains how to use the capture and restore functions, to automatically set paper size, paper source, page orientation and even custom printer settings.
The PrSw MultiUser Example1 shows you how to assign a specific printer per user for a number of predefined printer setups (e.g. laser printer, a label printer etc).
The PrSw MultiUser Example2 integrates the Capture & Restore functions on Windows to capture complete setups along with your printer selection.
Basic printer selection
In the 'Basic Selection' tab, to make a printer selection from within FileMaker, just select a printer from the Printer Name popup list - you should get an 'OK', which implies PrinterSwitch has selected the printer. Now choose 'Print…' to print to the currently selected printer. The ‘Rebuild Printer List’ button will rebuild the printer list, i.e. execute the PrSw_PrinterNames function, which will update the list of printer names. Refer to p. 9 of this manual for a full overview of all PrinterSwitch functions. The ‘license info’ shows the PrinterSwitch licensing information. For an overview of the PrSw_Version function, please refer to the PrinterSwitch functions overview in Chapter 5.
Filtered printer selection
The 'Filtering' example gives an overview of how PrinterSwitch allows you to filter the list of printer names that are shown. You can add patterns that will filter the PrinterNames list that is returned by the PrinterSwitch plug-in, using either ‘ignore’ to omit certain printers from the list, or using ‘only’ to show only a specific type of printer. (see also p. 11 of this manual for more details about the ‘PrSw_Configure’ function).
Note: When changing one of the pattern fields in our example, the filtered printer list will be shown in the pop-up dialog only after clicking the 'Rebuild Printer List' button.
Creating PDFs from within FileMaker
Another function of the PrinterSwitch plug-in is automatic and dynamic PDF creation. To create a PDF, enter the file path of your choice in the PDF file path field. You can enter either a Mac or Windows file path, or both. If you then select 'Print', the PDF will be generated.
Note: on Mac OS X, a standard printer always needs to be selected in order to print to PDF - on Windows, PrinterSwitch will always default to the myFMbutler PrinterSwitch PDF printer for creating PDF's).
Note for Windows users: The myFMbutler PrinterSwitch PDF Printer is only available for use from within FileMaker. The PDF converter driver cannot be used from within other applications.
PDF file paths on Windows will look like this:
C:\\Windows\\temp\\Example.pdf (i.e. with double backslashes)
PDF file paths on Mac OS X will look like this:
/Users/[your username]/Desktop/Example.pdf (full path name) or
~/Desktop/Example.pdf (user directory path name)
Note: if a file with the same name already exists on the file path you specify, the file will automatically be replaced. If the PDF file path field is empty, PrinterSwitch returns to normal printing.
Capture-Restore Settings example
The Capture-Restore example shows you how to save a specific printer setup, consisting of not only page orientation, paper size and paper source for a certain printer, but also certain driver-specific settings.
The example lets you store an unlimited number of settings, and then later retrieve them at the time of printing. Check the field information in the example, as well as some of the sample scripts, to see how you can integrate this functionality in your Windows solutions, and also how to combine it with resetting the current (default) Windows printer after completing your scripts, or when closing your FileMaker files.
More details can be found in the Chapter ‘About Windows Print Options’.