Matrix printers and direct print

You might wonder if it is possible to print to a matrix printer with ForNAV Direct Print. It is!

Even though it is possible, there are some tricks you need to know. If your matrix printer has a Windows printer driver, then you can print normal ForNAV, RDLC, or Word reports directly to the printer. However, there is a problem with this approach. The printer will handle the print job as graphics instead of simple text characters, which will cause the printing to be slow on most matrix printers. Graphics and matrix printers have never been useful for anything other than making your matrix printer play music with the printer head.

Matrix printers like raw text. Luckily, ForNAV direct print supports sending raw text to a printer. This feature was first introduced to support the special Zebra printer language for printing nice labels fast. However, the Zebra language feature can be used with any direct printer to send raw text to the printer. 

That means that instead of building a traditional report in ForNAV, RDLC, or Word, you can make a processing-only report that creates a large text string and sends that to the printer. You may consider building the text in a BigText variable in AL code. When the raw text string is ready to send to the printer, you use the Zebra functionality in direct print described here:


That's it!

Final note: In the days before BC 22, you may have used a trick with the generic Windows printer driver named "Generic / Text Only" to print to your matrix printer. The problem is that in the old days of on-premises, the NST could use native Windows printing. With Cloud and universal code, this is no longer possible. All print jobs in BC are first created as a PDF document. When printing the PDF to the generic text printer, the characters and their position are lost in translation.

Creation date: 12/8/2023 10:23 AM      Updated: 12/8/2023 10:23 AM