Custom Paper Sizes on Windows 2000

TECH TIP: Custom Paper Sizes on Windows

Windoes XP/2000/NT have a completely different printing architecture from Win 9x. This is particularly apparent when it comes to custom paper sizes.

Window XP handles paper sizes via Forms that are defined at the operating system level.

  1. Open the Windows printer panel
  2. Select File | Server Properties. The Print Server Properties dialog is displayed.
  3. From this dialog you can view all of the Forms currently defined for your machine.

There are basic forms installed by the operating system. Additional forms may be added by printer driver installations or applications.

ReportBuilder defines a Custom paper size as one that is NOT already defined and known to the printer driver. There are Win API calls ReportBuilder uses to retrieve a list of available paper sizes known to the printer driver.

When printing a report, ReportBuilder first tries to find a pre-defined paper size it can use – one that matches the paper dimensions of the report. If it cannot find one, then it uses a Win API call to add/modify a Form named ‘Custom’.

Security Issues:

Each printer installed to Windown has security rights associated with it.

  1. Open the Windows Printer panel
  2. Select the printer icon for the printer
  3. Press the right mouse button to display the popup menu and select Properties.
  4. From the properties dialog select the Security tab
  5. From the Security tab, press the Permissions button
  6. A list of user groups and their associated rights will be displayed.
  7. The rights are: No Access, Print, Manage Documents, Full Control.

*** A group must have at Manage Documents or Full Control in order to update forms.

By default Administrators have full control. However Users by default have only Print rights.

Troubleshooting Tips:
  1. To test paper sizes you can run demo 121 in the main reports demo app. This demo displays a printer settings dialog and is very useful for testing printer drivers with various paper sizes.To test a paper size:

    a. Selecting the printer
    b. Specify the paper size
    c. press preview
    d. Press print to display the print dialog.
    e. From the print dialog press the Properties button to display the printer driver’s built-in dialog. You should be able to verify the printer setting from here.

    These are the values communicated by RB to the printer. If these are set correctly then RB has done its job, the rest is up to the printer.

  2. Try printing to this same paper size using other apps such as MS Excel and MS Word. If they cannot do it, then it is likely a limitation of the printer.
  3. Try downloading the latest printer driver from the manufacturers web site.
  4. Try testing with another printer.

If test number 1 above works properly then e-mail with the exact configuration
you are using: Delphi version, ReportBuilder version, OS XP/2000, Win9x), and printer model.

We can download the driver and try it out here.