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SYMENU System Manager Introduction 21

Printing System


Application Overview


ELLIOTT allows you to use virtually any Windows-enabled printer, including fax and PDF writer.  It also prints any job that traditionally only worked well in MS-DOS mode through “Raw Data Pass Through” support.  Additionally, you may specify your own preferences for the printer including paper size, orientation, the number of copies, font and collating sequence for each report or printed form.  Elliott will remember these defaults each time the report or form is printed.  This function can save you a great deal of time and help ensure consistent printed output.


For example, you may have a specific printer that you use for printing invoices, where special invoice forms are always loaded.  Once you have specified this printer for printing invoices, it will always default to that printer – this will prevent you from accidentally sending invoices to the wrong printer!

Run Instructions


The following screen is the print options window that will display every time a report is printed:





The first time the Print Option Window is displayed for each report, the default printer for this workstation will be selected.  You may use this default or change it by putting a checkmark in the appropriate box in the Select column.  Subsequently, each time you choose this report for printing, these selections will be used by default.  If you wish to print the report to another tray on the printer or to another printer that is not listed, then you can click the Add Configuration button to add another printer with the desired properties.


Printing Destination


In the Destination group, users can choose between four different printing destinations:


            Printer – Send printed output to a Windows printer or port.

            Screen – Display printed output to the screen.

            Disk – Spool printed output to disk.

            Defer – Defer this print job and define start date and time.

            E-mail – Send the output directly to the e-mail client.


Choose A Different Printer or Port


When you choose to print to a printer, depending on the font you choose, either the default Windows printer, or default port will display.  If you choose font 0 or 99, then a Windows printer will be used.  If you choose font 1 – 98, then the printer port will be used (Raw Data Pass Through).




By using the Raw Data Pass Through method, you can only choose LPT1, LPT2 or LPT3 as a destination.  If the printer is attached directly to the workstation on one of the LPT ports, then the output will be sent to that port.  If the printer is a network printer, then you can map the LPT port by using the port capture in Windows 95/98.  If you are using Windows 2000 or higher you will discover that Microsoft has discontinued the port capture feature.  You will either have to attach a printer directly to the workstation or use the Windows printer option (Font 00).  For this reason we are recommending that all checks, invoices, picking tickets and other forms be printed on a laser printer.  Printing to a laser printer does not require the output to be sent directly to the printer and will prove faster and less expensive in the long run.  Netcellent has significantly improved the capability and support for laser printers in Elliott.


By using the Windows Printer method, you have more options and flexibility.  Output can be sent to more than one destination and each destination can have its own print properties.


Sel - Select

This column allows you to select which printer you wish to print your form or report.  You can place a checkmark in more than one box to select multiple destinations.  If you do not see the printer you wish to print to, you can add the printer to your list by clicking the Add Configuration button.  This will bring up the print dialog window and allow you to choose a printer that exists on the system.



When you click on the “Properties” button, you will be able to make additional selections on a printer’s specific features:


More and more high-end printers are adding unique new features.  Some allow for such things as two-up and four-up printing, duplex printing, special watermarks for official documents, choosing the default bin for paper source, landscape or portrait printing, and so on.  ELLIOTT now allows you to save these settings as a configuration.  You can even create multiple configurations for the same printer.



You can print up to 9 copies of the same report to each configuration.  You can choose to collate your output when you print multiple copies of a report.  For a print job of 3 pages printing two copies, to collate means to print pages 1-2-3-1-2-3.  Not to collate means print pages 1-1-2-2-3-3.  The collate function is supported in Elliott by opening the output as multiple print jobs with the same content.  If you do not collate the output, then the support of multiple copy printing comes from the printer hardware.  Usually a laser printer has enough memory to hold a full page and allow printing of multiple copies while a dot matrix printer may not be able to.  Therefore, to print multiple copies on your dot matrix printer, you most likely need to choose the “collate” option. 


To choose the “non-collate” option will disable the Elliott laser form “copy” function.  Since the “non-collate” function is supported through printer hardware and the copy content has to be identical, it is not possible to print “Copy 1” on the 1st copy and “Copy 2” on the 2nd copy.



For the font selection box, we suggest you choose font “00” for “Use Windows Printer Default” unless the printing output is incorrect.  Choosing font “00” implies that (1) you want to use a Windows printer and use Windows printing conventions.  (2) You will let Elliott determine what font to use to produce the best output on the printer you choose. 


For example, when you try to print a 132-column report on a HP LaserJet with 8 ½” x 11” paper, Elliott knows to choose a compressed font so that the 132-column printing result will fit on the letter size paper.  On the other hand, if you print an 80-column report (i.e. Picking Ticket), the system knows the regular 10 pitch font will fit, and does not use the compressed font.  Since this is determined by Elliott automatically, the user does not need to know what font to use for a particular print job.


Beginning with Elliott 7.4, you can specify a font in the printer configuration.  You can save this configuration and select it for printing instead of using the font dialog, which will prompt you for the font each time you print.

Raw Data Pass Through


Letting Elliott choose the best-fit font usually produces the best result.  However, in some situations, you may want to control the font yourself instead of letting Windows figure it out for you.  This may happen in the following two situations:  (1) The printing slows down significantly on a dot matrix printer,  (2) The alignment is incorrect with form printing such as:  invoices, POs, checks, statements, etc.


When you use a font between “01” to “98”, this will tell Elliott not to use a Windows printer. Instead, it sends printing output to port LPT1 – LPT3.  This is called the “Raw Data Pass Through” method.  Since this bypasses the Windows printer driver and sends output directly to a port, it will produce identical output and results as in the DOS print environment.


By default, When the system uses the Raw Data Pass-Through method no form feed characters will be sent to the printer port at the end unless it is a report.  The system determines whether a print job is a report or a form by checking (1) If any form feed characters are sent, (2) if any page breaks are encountered.  If either of these two conditions are met, the print job is assumed to be a report.  Otherwise, it will assume the print job is a form.  Since form printing uses line feed to control advancing pages and controls line-count manually to prevent automatic form feed (where the page heading will be printed), this method will work well.  If for any reason you need to print an extra page at the end of printing, you can mark the check box  Form feed after printing”.  This box is only available if you use “Raw Data Pass Through”.  When printing to a network printer, your windows/network client setting will also determine whether or not an extra form feed character will be sent at the end of your print job.


If you need to send the output to a network printer, you must capture your local port to a network printer first.  To capture a local port in Windows 95/98 OS, you go to printer setup and choose properties for the printer.  At the “Detail” tab, choose “Capture Printer Port”.


Draft Mode with Dot Matrix Printer


The Raw Data Pass Through method works well with Windows 3.1/3.11, Windows 95 and 98.  It can work for a Windows NT/2000 Workstation’s local printer.  However, it won’t work for a Windows NT/2000 workstation trying to print to a network printer.  To print to a network printer on a Windows NT workstation, you must use the Windows printer conventions (font 0 or 99).  Make sure to keep your Windows NT/2000 workstation’s printer name under 15 characters to avoid potential printing problems.


If you need to print to a dot matrix printer from Windows NT, 2000 or XP workstation, you probably want to setup your printer driver to print in “Draft mode” to speed up the printing.  To do so, you can go to “Start” -> “Settings” -> “Printers”.  Right click on the printer you need to configure and choose “Properties”.  In General Tab, you can find “Printing Preferences” button and click on it.  Click on the “Advanced” button in Printing Preference window.  Change the Print Quality to “Draft”.  Click “OK” button to exit and save.


The use “Draft Quality” for dot matrix printer driver is also applicable to Windows 95/98 machine.  The procedure is different from Windows 2000 machine: First you will choose “Start” -> “Settings” -> “Printers” and right click on the printer you need to configure and choose “Properties”.  Choose “Device Options” tab and change “Print Quality” to Draft.  Click “OK” button to exit and save.


Font Dialog



You may choose to let Elliott prompt you with a font dialog box before printing starts.  To do so, choose font ‘99’.  Before the printing starts, the previous font dialog box will display:


Users can then pick the desirable font, style and size for this print job.  The highlighted font style and size is the best-fit font selected by Elliott.  When you use Font 99, you may see a font with “TT” beside it, which means this is a true type font (soft font).  If you see a “Printer” icon beside it, it means this is a printer built-in font.  By default, Elliott will pick built-in fonts over true type fonts since true type fonts are a soft font and may take longer to print.  Typically, with laser printers, the speed difference between a true type font and printer built-in font is not significant.  However, with dot-matrix printer, there may be significant performance differences.  


Font 99 is a good tool to diagnose printing problems when the print result is incorrect or slow.  Understanding why the best-fit font picked by Elliott does not produce the correct results can often help forge a solution to the problem.

How does Elliott pick the best-fit font?


When you use font 00, Elliott will pick the best font for the print job.  It will first query the print driver to see if there are any built-in fonts for this printer.  If there are, then it will use the best-fit built-in font for the report.  The system picks built-in fonts over soft-fonts (like True Type fonts) because built-in fonts are typically faster than soft-fonts.  This is especially important for dot-matrix printing.  A built-in font will have a symbol of a printer beside the font name in the Font Dialog Box.


When there are no built-in fonts available, Elliott will pick the best-fit soft-font available.  By looking at the font dialog box (using font 99), we will discover the available fonts (including built-in and soft font) and size for this printer driver and many times discover the reason why Elliott can not produce the right result.


Many times when the print output is incorrect, it is the result of the printer driver.  A typical solution is either to download the latest driver from the printer’s manufacturer website, or to use a different, but compatible, printer driver.  If none of these methods work, your last resort is to use “Raw Data Pass Through”.

Font Selection for Dot-Matrix Printers


Generally speaking, dot-matrix printers are relatively slow.  Therefore, it is desirable to select a “built-in font”, which is a fast font for printing.  Most of the time, Elliott will select a “built-in” font automatically.  Sometimes, however, Elliott will select a slower font that is technically a better fit than any “built-in” font.  If it is a long report, you may wish to override the font that Elliott selects.  Of course, you can select the “Use Font Dialog for More Options” and select the desired font yourself each time.


Elliott provides another way to help ensure that fast, “built-in” fonts are selected automatically.  You may supply a file named DOTMATRX.CFG in the \NSI or \ELLIOTT root directory with the following information:


Line 1: A number from 1 to 10.  This number indicates the relative importance of this list over Elliott’s internal font-selection algorithms.  The higher the number, the more likely this list will be used.  You might wish to try and initial value of 3 and raise it as necessary to get the desired result.  Some examples of the meaning for different number are: “9” means use this font if all possible unless it is a true type font.  “10” means us this font if all possible even if it is a true type font.


Line 2: Entries comprised of two columns.  The first column contains the first few characters of the name of a printer (e.g., “Oki” or “Okidata” for Okidata printers and “Epson” for Epson printers).  The second column contains the first few characters of the desired font name (e.g., “Line” for “Linedraw”).  The first and second columns are separated by one or more spaces.


When this file is present and Elliott selects a font for a dot-matrix printer, it will search this file for an entry that matches the selected printer in column one and an available font from column two.  When such an entry is found, it will override the “best-fit” font that Elliott would otherwise select, if the priority number from line one is high enough.  You might need to experiment to get these entries to select the desired fonts.  Once set, Elliott will automatically select the desired fonts for your dot-matrix printers.  The following is an example of how this file may look:



Panasonic Draft 10cpi


This is a typical setting to use with wide green bar paper (14” x 11”) and Draft is the typical font to allow printer print in the fast mode.  To use wide green bar paper, you should also choose the paper size as “Custom” and define the size of the paper as 14” x 11”.  The font you choose in DOTMATRX.CFG file should be a printer built-in font.  However, “Script” font will never be used.  Soft Fonts, like True Type fonts, will be ignored because of the speed problem.  To find out what is a printer built-in font versus a True Type font, print a short document and select font 99 to activate font dialog.  In the font dialog, the font with a printer icon is a printer built-in font.  The font with a “TT” icon is a True Type font (soft font).  Only define those fonts with a printer icon in DOTMATRX.CFG file.


In most situations, you do not have to pick the specific font size and system is intelligent enough to pick to correct font to fit print on the paper you specify, therefore, you can make DOTMATRX.CFG file look like following:



Panasonic Draft


In certain situations, the printer driver you use may have definition problem and may cause the system not to use the Draft font you try to select (for example Panasonic 118 drivers for Win95/98).  You may try the following with DOTMATRX.CFG file:



Panasonic Draft|*


The vertical symbol “|” should follow “Draft” immediately.  This means even if the vertical height of the font is defined incorrectly, the system will be forced to select it.  The Panasonic 1180 printer driver for Win95/98 mistakenly defines the vertical height as 33 dots where it should really be 24 dots.  According to driver definition, there are 144 dots in an inch and therefore 144/33 = 4.36 lines/inch.  This font won’t be able to support the 6 lines per inch requirements by Elliott and therefore will not be selected unless you specify the “|*” symbol.  You may also try “|33=24” to be more specific in overriding the 33 dots to 24 dots.  Since most users won’t have this kind of technical knowledge, the easier solution to try is “|*”.



Report Width

In order for Elliott to correctly pick the best-fit font, it has to know the number of columns on the report to be printed.  The report width is determined by looking at the 1st line of the report at the time of printing.  In most situations, the 1st line of a report is the line with a page number, which is also the widest line of the whole report.  Therefore, the system can correctly determine the report width in terms of number of columns and set up the correct font and size to accommodate the report. 


For example, when users wish to print a 132-column report on a HP LaserJet in portrait mode, the system will automatically determine that we need a 16.67 point pitch font to fit the 132- column report on 8-1/2” paper.  If users choose to print Landscape, it will choose a different pitch because the paper is now wider.


However, in some situations, the 1st line may be blank, or it may not be the widest line of the whole report.  This may be the case when you print an invoice, a check, a label, or GL financial statements.  An invoice may begin with a few line feeds first.  If the first line is blank, the system will assume it is an 80-column report.  When the system prints the GL financial statement, the system automatically assumes it is a 132-column report.  However, if this assumption is not correct, users can set up the EL700U.CFG file specify the actual length of the report and override the system defaults.  The following is a sample EL700U.CFG file:






The EL700U.CFG file should be placed in the \Elliott7 directory or whichever directory you install Elliott.  In the same directory, there is an EL700S.CFG file that serves the same purpose.  However, the EL700S.CFG file is a standard file distributed by NETcellent and users should not change the content of the file.  Anything specific to the user should be put into the EL700U.CFG file.


In the above example, CPINVPRT is the printing program for COP Invoices.  The spooled report will be using the same name.  Entering a line CPINVPRT=132 indicates that the COP Invoice is 132 columns wide instead of the 80 columns that the system normally assumes (because the first few lines are probably a line feed).  The next example, PLSTMT=175 indicates that the profit and loss statement is a 175-column wide report.  By default, the system assumes all financial statement reports to be 132 columns.  PLSTMT is the spooler name, not the actual print program name.


More than 95% of the time, the spool report name is the print program name.  There are some exceptions when the report name is the Spooler name as in V6.x DOS mode.  You can find the spool report name by printing the report to disk and the system will show you the name of the spooled report at the bottom of the screen.  This is the name you want to use when entering it into the EL700U.CFG file to indicate a different length than the system default.


Each user may set its default printing margin by going to “Print etc.” tab in “Setup/Preference” toolbar.  These value are saved in user’s registry area.  The following are system default values if user do not set custom value:








[Non-Laser Printers]






You will notice there are separate sections for laser printers and non-laser printers.  Do not change the laser printer margin to zero as no laser printer can print a page without any margins.  If the above section is not in your NSI.INI file yet, it means you have not printed any reports yet.  Simply sending a report to the printer will create these sections with the default values.

Page Length


Since users can determine the paper size with Elliott, the number of lines per page is really dependent on the paper size users select.  The system assumes 6 lines per inch. By removing the top and bottom margin defined,  the system can predict how many lines exist per page.  


However, you should be aware that there are certain print programs that have 60 lines per page hard coded and therefore will not work correctly with this assumption. 


Most of these programs are form printing programs like invoices or pick tickets.  We suggest you print the form using Raw Data Pass Through.  The alignment may not work correctly if you do not use the “Raw Data Pass Through” option when you print a form.  If you do not wish to use the “Raw Data Pass Through” option with forms, then you must go to the Windows printer setup and set up a custom form for the printer that matches the length and width of the form (i.e. checks).


The reason we support the Raw Data Pass Through feature is to support Form Printing.  Since users do not need form feed with form printing, and the printing position of data on the form needs to be accurate, it is best if the data is sent to the printer directly (Raw Data format) without any manipulation by the Windows printer driver to distort the true position.


To use the Raw Data Pass Through feature for form printing, choose a font between 01 and 98; this will tell ELLIOTT to print directly to the printer port without any printer driver manipulation.  If you choose font 00, it tells ELLIOTT to choose the best-fit font automatically and send the output to a Windows printer.


If you need to send the printout to a fax modem, the Raw Data Pass Through feature will not work.

Windows NT, 2000 or XP Workstation’s printing


If you use a Windows NT, 2000 or XP workstation, you need to know that it will not support capture of the LPT1- LPT3 printer ports.  This means you cannot print to a network printer with the Raw Data Pass Through feature (which is the default method of printing with Elliott).  If you need to print to a network printer, then you will need to use the Windows printing method by choosing the font ‘00’.  The Windows printing method may have alignment issues with checks, statements or invoices.  Therefore, you may need to consider printing to a local printer for printing these types of forms when using a Windows NT workstation.

Laser Form Support


If you want a complete Windows printer solution without using the Raw Data Pass Through method, you should look at the Laser Form Printing and Designer in chapter 9.  This will help you with form printing in two ways: (1) Print laser forms without alignment issues.  (2) Setup a template with number of columns, page length, and margin pre-set to produce a correctly aligned form.

Option Button


If you wish to change printing output and make it appear more professional, you can do the following:

            Shading your report heading

            Put a separator line between the heading and body

            Make a report bold


Click on “Option” button of the “Print Option” window and the following will display:




Try the various options and see what happens to your report.  The Form Template combo box, Edit Form and New Form buttons are for Laser Form Printing and Design.  Refer to chapter 9 for more information.


The default report print format can be setup with EL700CF. The value is stored in EL700.CFG file (under \NSI or \ELLIOTT).

Print to Screen


When you choose to print to screen, Elliott will utilize notepad by default to display your output.  You may choose your favorite editor to display the screen output.  A good choice will be WordPad, which does not have any limitations on the size of the print job.  When you use notepad, you might encounter a message indicating that the output is too large for notepad to open it and would you like to use WordPad instead if you should answer “Yes”. 




If you would like to avoid seeing this message in the future, you can change your default editor to WordPad in preference setup.  The following is a sample of a report that was sent to screen by using notepad for viewing.





Please be aware that even though notepad will let you print the output to the printer, it will not produce the right result (i.e. it will not compress the 132-column report).


If your notepad displays the output with incorrect alignment, chances are you are using the word wrap feature.  Turn off word wrap feature by going to the “Edit” menu and selecting “Word Wrap” in Notepad.  Incorrect alignment may also be caused by an incorrect font.  Normally, notepad will use a mono spacing font.  However, if you choose a proportional spacing font, then it may cause an alignment issue.


Temporary Directory for Print to Screen (and E-mail Attachments)


Reports that are printed to screen, as well as e-mail attachments, are first written to a temporary file, then opened by your editor, (or sent by your E-mail package).  The directory where the temporary file is written is determined as follows:


1.       If the environmental variable TMP is set and points to an existing directory, this directory is used.

2.       If TMP does not work and an environmental variable TEMP is set and points to an existing directory, that directory is used.

3.       If neither TMP nor TEMP work, the Windows System directory with \TEMP attached is tried.

4.       If none of the above work, the normal data directory for the current company is used.

Defer To Disk


Deferred processing is a powerful tool in Elliott to automate daily or month end routines.  All deferred requests must be spooled to disk.  This is because in a Windows environment, there is no way to guarantee that the deferred processing machine will have the same printer driver as the request machine.  Therefore, all deferred processing has to be spooled to disk.


When you choose to defer a report to disk, a “Defer Print Option” window will pop up and ask for the following information:


  • Starting Date/Time: This is the date and time when this report will be executed.  The Deferred Processing Server will execute this report at the time specified if the Defer Server is not processing any other request.  If the Defer Server is processing other requests at the specified date and time, then this request will wait in the queue along with any other requests that may be waiting until the Defer Server is available to process the request.  For more information on the Defer Server, refer to the Chapter 8, “Defer Report Processing Manager”.


  • Batch Code: This is a user definable field where any value can be entered. During deferred report processing, users can specify to process a specific batch code.  One reason for using a batch code is to have multiple deferred processing servers to improve the throughput.  Each deferred processing server can handle certain batch codes to distribute the load.


  • Recurring Frequency:  This can be as a one time defer request, or it may recur on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  For example, any daily postings to the journal can be deferred and recur on a daily basis.  This means you will set up the defer request one time and the defer server will perform the posting for you automatically on a daily basis.  During the weekend, there may not be any need to post and you can stop the deferred processing server.  The next time the defer server is started it will only process the daily defer request and skip the missing days.  Monthly defer processing is usually setup for the month end process.  By using the recurring method, users can make deferred processing a powerful automation tool with minimum user intervention.


  • Description:  The description specifies how you want this defer request to be read by the “Defer Report Processing Manager”.  This is important information, do not leave it blank.

When Things Go Wrong


Most of the time, printing within Elliott is convenient and straight-forward.  This is especially true with printing to screen or disk.  However, you may encounter issues when you try to print a hard copy report.  If you are having some difficulty with Elliott’s printing. Consider the following:


·        Use the Latest Printer Driver

ELLIOTT uses advanced printer driver capabilities to provide you with the best output with the least intervention on your part.  Sometimes, this makes Elliott more particular than software packages like Microsoftâ Word or Excel.  If the printer driver does not match the printer capabilities correctly, was installed improperly, or has been replaced by the printer manufacturer since it was installed on your computer, you may need to reinstall the printer driver.  By far, an incorrect printer driver is the single most common cause of printing problems with Elliott.  The first thing to do when experiencing printing problems with Elliott is to download and reinstall the appropriate printer driver.  This usually resolves most printing problems.


·        Try Printing with WordPad, Word, or Notepad

If you are not able to print correctly from these Microsoft programs, you are likely to experience problems printing from Elliott as well.  Once you resolve any problems printing from these programs, you should be able to print from Elliott too.


·        Print a Test Page from Windows Printer Properties

If you cannot successfully print a test page from Windows Printer Properties, then this is not a Windows compatible printer and you will not be able to print with Elliott by using the Windows printing method either.


·         Use Font Dialog

Choose font 99 and the system will display the font dialog before printing starts.  The font dialog will display the available fonts for this printer driver and highlight the font and size that Elliott believes to be the “best-fit.”  By seeing all the available fonts, you might discover the reason why the printing result is incorrect.


·        Use Raw Data Pass Through

By selecting a font between 1 and 98, you are using Raw Data Pass Through.  Raw Data Pass Through always works, except this method of printing in Windows is being phased out.  Raw Data Pass Through is fully supported with Windows 3.1/3.11 and Windows 95/98.  Raw Data Pass Through may work with Windows NT and Windows 2000 local printers.  However, Raw Data Pass Through will not work with Windows NT/2000 workstation on network printers.


·        Create a Printer Log File

If you have to use the Windows Printer and you cannot get it to work right, you should contact your technical support representative.  He or she may ask you to produce a Printer Log file for remote analysis.  To do this, you need to go to preference setup, under the diagnostic tab check “Log Next Print Job”.  The next time you print from Elliott, instead of producing a hard-copy, two files will be created in your \ELLIOTT root directory:





You may return to your preference setup, under the diagnostic tab, right click the file path and name beside “Log Next Print Job”.  Click OK on the next screen and the system will start to perform an analysis and return the analysis results in notepad.  Either e-mail the result or fax the output to your technical representative for further analysis.





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