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Chapter 15
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Chapter 15

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Learning the territory 

Printing involves the most chronically difficult part of electronics: interfacing with mechanical equipment.  The good news is that laser and inkjet printers have tended to make printing less mechanical and more electronic.  Printing XE "printing" in QuickBooks falls into three general areas:  checks, large forms such as invoices, and reports. 

Modern printers XE "printers"  feature the improved appearance of proportional type spacing. Less space is used by I and l, with m and w taking much more.  This complicates the task of arranging printed output into nice tabulated columns.  Application programs, such as QuickBooks, cooperate with several Windows programs to cope with this problem and print well-laid-out and good-looking documents.  Impressive looking printed copy is the rule.  The fact that you are looking here implies that you have encountered some exception.  Apple Computer has maintained a tight rein on Macintosh peripherals, and problems are rare.  Some of the information here applies to Macintosh versions, but no information unique to that platform is presented.

A chain of programs and other files is involved in printing.  Solution of some printer problems requires understanding of the jobs performed by the following files:

Drivers are XE "drivers:printer"  programs dedicated to providing an interface with an external device -- hard disk, floppy disk, etc., and of course, printers.  The printer driver provides the operating system with a standardized interface for a specific printer.  Drivers generally include the brand name of a printer. The suffix .DRV usually indicates a driver.  Windows 95 keeps these out of sight.

Type fonts XE "Type fonts"  are the different styles and shapes of letters and numbers used.  The term also refers to the files containing the logic to generate the type fonts, generally using .FOT or .TTF as a suffix.

WIN.INI XE "WIN.INI" is one of the text files that Windows reads when it starts.  The name probably means Windows Initialize.  This file can be opened and edited with the Windows Write editor.  Most of the Windows setup changes modify this file automatically.

WARNING

Do not alter WIN.INI unless you can boot up from a floppy disk, and are sure you can return this file to its original condition!  Messing it up can result in a computer that you cannot start. Instructions for working with WIN.INI and similar files are covered in the Windows chapter.

QBW.INI XE "QBW.INI" is the initialization file for QuickBooks, in the QBOOKSW directory.  It is similar to WIN.INI.  Badly mangled, it would render QuickBooks useless.

WPR.INI XE "WPR.INI" contains some printer control information.  The content is in text format, but information is not available on the meaning.  This file is added to the WINDOWS directory during QuickBooks (3.1 or 4.0) installation, and the same information is in \QBOOKSW\WPR.IN$.  Version 3.0 keeps WPR.INI in the QBOOKSW directory.

WPR.DAT XE "WPR.DAT"  (in the \QBOOKSW directory) stores all the printer setup information from QuickBooks. If this file does not exist, QuickBooks invents it.

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Last modified: May 21, 2004