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More printer problems and solutions 

First  XE "printer problems"  XE "problems, printer" check all of the setups above. If troubles persist, try the type-specific ideas below, which are a grab bag of printing problems I am aware of, and solutions that have been found for them.

The run-around:  printing is an interaction between several programs, principally QuickBooks and the printer driver.  Difficult problems may require more than one contact each with Intuit and with the printer manufacturer.

Drivers can be the root of many problems.  Printer manufacturers have had to release corrected drivers to handle problems.  The nice thing about updated drivers: they are useful only on the affected printers, so the manufacturers distribute them free.  The first place to look is the World Wide Web.  Downloading and installing a new driver can be a fast and inexpensive solution.  Usually a file with a name like readme.txt will contain instructions.

Little white lies can help.  In QuickBooks 3.0, users sometimes found better operation by emulation, that is, by using a driver slightly different from their actual printer. Hewlett-Packard Laserjet 4 printers ran better with a Laserjet 2II or III driver, and the Deskjet 500 driver was used for later printers.  Intuit believes that emulation is not needed with QuickBooks 5.

Checkalignment XE "Check printing" printing just a little high, low, or to one side:  Using File|Printer Setup|Check Printer|Align, you can move the print position up or down 0.33 inch, and left or right 0.50 inch.  Check printing is also discussed above, in Printer setup.

Check Printing with tractor feed printer:  one check prints correctly, then printer advances too far, and next check prints down in the voucher.  The printer setup (above) probably is for Paper Feed Page Oriented.  Changing to Continuous should get the checks all to print correctly.

Wallet checks print with stub containing a fixed set of information. This cannot be changed.

Invoice printing problems.   

In QuickBooks 5, forms customization allows selection of nearly any type font to be printed.  In the earlier versions, fonts for the variable text can be XE "Invoice printing"  changed in the printer setups.  The heading font (BILL TO, SHIP TO, etc.) is hard coded into the program, and cannot be changed.

Fax transmission of  XE "fax transmission:forms" printed forms is possible, within limitations.  Most fax software can be set up to look like a printer.  It is only necessary to select Fax in the QuickBooks printer setup for the forms involved.  This is an expedient way to transmit invoices, within limitations.  QuickBooks cant pass the fax phone number to the fax driver, so a phone number must be entered for each customer.

E-mail transmission of  XE "e-mail transmission" invoices has been requested. It is possible.  Well, it is barely possible.  Because of differences between Windows 95 and Windows 3.1, the instructions are general.

1.  A printer must be set up as Generic/Text Only.   That printer must be connected to the output File.

2.  In QuickBooks File|Printer Setup, set up the Invoice Printer as Generic/ Text Only.  The font style and type seem to make no difference.

3. Print the invoice, using choices of Plain Paper (NOT with boxes) and [x] Print company name and address.  Then you will have the opportunity to name the destination path and file name.  This will record the invoice in that file.

4. Test the file by printing it with a copy command. One way is to start DOS and enter COPY INVOICE.TXT LPT1: to send it to the printer.  Do not edit the file in a text editor or word processor (WP) program.  (You can look at it if you do not save it.) Using a DOS command prompt from Windows, this worked for me.  However, I never could figure out why the printer decided that it was instructed to print 95 copies.

5. Advise customers to print it in the same manner and not to bring it up in a WP.  It has a lot of line-feed characters, which printers thrive on, but which seem to gag WP programs.

6. This will leave your invoice printer setup somewhat out of whack.  You will have to restore it to the original configuration.

Should print not be aligned in columns, a change in font style and size may be tried.  Courier is a likely choice.  Larger sizes should reduce the number of characters across the page.

Three printing problems, three possible solutions:

1.  Printer setup is not saved:   You change a printer setup, but the new setup is not saved.

2.  GPF when printing:   When starting to print, an error message appears about a General Protection Fault.

3.  GPF in printer setup:   Attempting to print or to set up a printer, QuickBooks terminates with an error message saying that something has caused a General Protection Fault. 

First solution:

a. Click File|Printer Setup|Invoice printer (or the printer selection for whatever you are printing.)

b. Change the selection to anything else.

c. Exit QuickBooks.

d. Start QuickBooks again.

e.  Go to the printer setup again, and change back to the correct printer.

Second solution: check the file structure for problems (using Scandisk or the like) and then reinstall QuickBooks.  With this done, try the first solution again.

Drastic solution 1:  If neither of these methods works, a more harsh procedure can be tried. The general idea is to discard all of your printer setups and start again.

a.  In File Manager, (QBOOKSW directory) rename WPR.DAT to WPR.OLD (or anything else.) 

b. Start QuickBooks, and go to printer setup.  All of the  printer setups will have to be entered again. QuickBooks will save the information in a new WPR.DAT file. 

c.  If this does not produce improvement, rename the new WPR.DAT file, and rename the original file back to WPR.DAT.  Of course, the basic problem is not solved, so you will have to call Tech Support.

Drastic solution 2:  Upgrade.  QuickBooks 5 does not seem to have this problem.

Landscapeorientation can  XE "landscape orientation" only be selected in the Windows Control Panel printer setups, and will apply to all printing.

Company name  XE "company name:printing" will not print or will not desist from printing on checks or invoices:  In QuickBooks 4 and earlier, the selection is made when the forms are printed, in the last dialog box before printing starts.  (Many people do not see it.)  If a selection is in effect for printing invoices onto letterhead or preprinted forms, the company name option will not be available.  The selection is remembered, separately for each form.  Print Preview will use whatever selection was in effect when the forms were last printed onto paper. QuickBooks 5 accepts this choice in customizing forms, meaning that you can use a variety of invoice forms, controlling the information printed on each.

Logo stopped  XE "logo:printing" printing onto checks or invoices: the company data file contains a record of the location of the logo file.  If the logo file is moved, the new location must be set up as described previously under this heading.

Loss of printed copy on the right side of the form, or at the bottom: printers generally cant print on all of the paper.  Most have unusable margins on all sides.  In some cases, the driver gives QuickBooks the impression that the printable area is larger than it actually is.  The printer setup has a margin adjustment.  Setting the margins wider will reduce the area where QuickBooks is attempting to print.  Then QuickBooks will only be trying to print within the actual printable area.

 

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Last modified: May 21, 2004