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Printing with Anzio

Introduction

AnzioWin and Anzio Lite both support passthrough printing and print screen. Within the AnzioWin and Anzio Lite products we utilize the Windows printer drivers and interact with them and their options.

Additional information can be found in Troubleshooting Printing in Anzio.

Printer setup

By default (when Anzio is started with no default file), AnzioWin and Anzio Lite will point at what ever the default printer is for Windows. If you go under the Anzio File menu to Printer Setup, you can then make changes as need be.

Print Level, Print Wizard, Print Screen, Eject, Flush Timer

Print Level is a feature unique to Anzio Lite and AnzioWin. The print level is designed to give some flexibility to the user who is trying to do passthrough printing from a host system. There are three levels of printing available to Anzio:

High
With high turned on, AnzioWin and Anzio Lite lets the Windows printer driver determine how best to handle the incoming print job. If there are printer-specific codes or non-recognizable printer codes sent from the host, Anzio lets the printer driver decide what to do with it (sometimes they are stripped, other times not).

Low
Low level allows Anzio to put the printer driver in to what they call "low" or "raw" level printing. Escape sequences that are printer specific do get sent to the printer, but other matters, such as page size, portrait, landscape, etc., that are Windows driver defined, will be handled by the printer setup.

Spool (later versions of AnzioWin and Anzio Lite)
The spool print level writes directly to the Windows spooler. While this does not send data direct to printer as "raw" does, this does bypass the Windows printer driver. The Windows Print Monitor will still redirect this output to the desired port as it would other print jobs. If you have specific print jobs that send printer-specific data, this is your best bet. This would solve problems such as the extra form feed that the Windows printer driver adds at the end of print job.

Raw
Raw print level takes Windows completely out of the loop. The Windows printer drivers are not interacted with and all data is passed as is to a specific port. As in spooler above, this would solve problems such as the extra form feed or needing to send printer-specific codes.

AnzioWin also contains another option called Print Wizard. Print Wizard always works in the high print level, and manages your documents output through a Wizard type approach, analyzing incoming data and adjusting it to the print driver information, fonts and "tag" options it has available to it. Print Wizard will also automatically set the print level as it determines the type of incoming data.

The Print Screen command is just that, it allows you to print what ever is on the active Anzio screen. This includes when you are in Review mode (Alt-R) or in Diagnose mode (when reviewing/debugging screen I/O).

The Eject menu item does just what it says. If there is any print data in the print queue, an eject will force the close of any open job and hence Windows will usually do a form feed.

Anzio also contains a Flush Timer. The flush timer is a timer that determines how long Anzio should wait for a job to be complete. In the world of passthrough printing, there is not always a logical end to a print job, rather each page becomes a separate image. Anzio can handle the timed delays for page ejects with the flush timer.

A flush timer of zero, keeps the print job open (and no page eject is done) until the user forces an eject with the menu item or the host closes the job. A flush timer of 5 would wait 5 seconds for additional information to be passed to it, while a timer of 10 would wait 10 seconds. In this manner, you can set the flush timer higher and do several print screens or small passthrough print jobs at one time without having Windows force form feeds in between page images.

Passthrough printing

Passthrough printing, or transparent printing is the ability to pass data from a terminal emulation or telnet session through the current logged in terminal out to its local printer. This is done by sending a "passthrough on" or "transparent print on" escape sequence, then the data you want printed, and finally a "passthrough off" or "transparent print off" escape sequence.

Passthrough printing in Anzio is dependent on the terminal type and the host application having the ability to support passthrough printing. If the host application does not support this type of printing, you can always run the print job to a file and do simple passthrough printing via a script file.

AUX printing

In most cases, dumb terminals can print to an attached printer through passthrough printing. In many manuals this is referred to as "aux printing", printing to the auxiliary port. On most terminals, these printers are attached serially. In the case of PCs, most printers are attached parallel. To configure aux serial devices, in AnzioWin and Anzio Lite version 12.0, we have added the command AUX-SETUP. In other versions of Anzio, this needs to be done through various Windows dialogs external to Anzio.Do a Ctrl-Shift-f to get to the Function: line and enter AUX-SETUP to configure what port your AUX device is on. You will be asked for the device name. Usually this will be COM1 or COM2 or one of your other serial devices, but it could also be your parallel printer, i.e. LPT1. If a serial device is entered, Anzio will then call up a dialog box allowing you to set various communications parameters for that device.

Also see our document Using Aux Devices With Anzio.

Troubleshooting printer errors

Additional information can be found in Troubleshooting Printing in Anzio.

Numeric Printer Errors

One noted problem in early releases of Anzio is if you allow Anzio to always point at the default printer, and the default printer in Windows changes, then Anzio's printer definition file (internal to the software) is looking for the wrong printer and may cause printer errors. To correct this problem, go to Anzio's Printer Setup and select a different printer, save defaults, and then re-select the original printer and save defaults again.If you do not have additional printers defined, then run Anzio with the command-line parameter of NONE. This starts Anzio off with no default file. You will then need to reset the terminal type, connection type and re-save the default files over the original.

This problem has been corrected in the latest releases of Anzio.

Raw And Low Mode Printer Errors

Not all PC printers allow you to print in "raw" or "low" level mode. If Anzio is set for "raw" or "low" and you receive a numeric printer error, it is possible that the printer does not understand the mode or can not handle the data coming across. Check out the printer with a Print Screen or with Anzio set for "high" and see if it works. Then call us for more information.

Serial Printers

Serial printers are a problem in as much as many of the Windows printer drivers do not properly initialize the default serial communications for the printer. Without the printer's serial port baud rate, parity and data bits being set correct, Anzio may fail to be able to print properly on these printers. Call for more information if this seems to be the case.

General Steps To Try

As a good practice when you are troubleshooting printing errors in Anzio, it is advisable to always try a Print Screen followed by an Eject (eject will always force a form feed to the printer). Another step to try is to make sure simple applications, such as Windows NotePad, can print to the printer. Also look through the Windows printer driver for the specific printer and see if there are any abnormal options that are turned on, but do not necessarily apply.

Troubleshooting passthrough printing

There are several items that must work together for passthrough or transparent print to work properly. First the PC emulation must support passthrough printing, which Anzio does. Second the terminal emulation for the host may need to support the proper escape codes for passthrough printing. And third, the application must be able to support an external printer script or must support passthrough printing from within. A good example of this is Pine. Pine is a UNIX-based e-mail menu system that does support passthrough printing according to the terminal type you are using. Other examples, such as Dynix and Innopac (library database systems) support passthrough printing as well.

However, troubleshooting what is happening is not always easy. Some steps to follow are as follows:

  • Make sure the proper printer is selected in the Printer Setup. Is it your default printer? If so, try selecting a different printer. If not try selecting and printing to the default printer as a test.
  • Try Print Screen to be sure printing in general is working correctly
  • Does the print stream from the host contain any printer-specific escape sequences? If so, set Anzio for "raw" or "low" print level and try it.
  • If this is a serial printer and data is coming through as garbage, check the Windows printer driver and make sure the printer is initialized with the proper printer settings first. If you are trying to print "raw" (no Windows involvement), try first printing from NotePad to that printer, and then through Anzio (the Windows printer driver will initialize the printer first in this case).
  • If the printer is a network printer, try switching to a local printer as a test. Does print screen work to the local or the network printer?
  • If you are running AnzioWin, try turning on Print Wizard if its not on. If its on, turn it off and try selecting a Print Level other than high.

If all else fails, give us a call. If you have done the above tests, let us know their results and we can analyze more quickly where the problem lies.

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