What does the Preprinted Form option on the Report Definition window do?

David Meego - Click for blog homepageThis is a reposting of an article I originally wrote on my Developing for Dynamics GP blog.

When working with the Report Writer to print a report onto a preprinted form it is important to ensure that the report prints to the same position regardless of the printer or printer driver used. This article explains the option that allows a report to always print in the same physical position.  This can also be handy for plain paper reports; for example: An invoice that had an address which needs to show through a “windowed” envelope.

Normally, reports are printed with the top starting down from the top margin and to the right of the left margin.  These margins are defined in the driver and are used to ensure that the report does not attempt to print into the printer’s non-printable areas at the edge of the paper. This means that printing using different printers or printer drivers (which might have different margins) could cause the entire report to be shifted and print incorrectly.

By marking a report as a Preprinted Form using the option on the Report Definition window, you are removing the effect of the margins as defined by the driver. The report is now positioned relative to the edge of the paper.  Initially, you will need to move the report fields in from the left edge and add some space at the top of the Page Header or Report Header sections to create your own margins.  However, now when you change printer drivers, the report will still print in the same location regardless of the driver’s margin settings.

Note:  When you use this option, it is your responsibility to design the layout so that the fields stay within the printable area.

The following information comes from the Dexterity Online Help:

Preprinted Form

Select this option to remove the built-in margin from the layout area when designing a text report. With this option selected, you can place fields anywhere in the layout area. However, if you place fields outside of the printer’s predefined margins, data outside of the margin will not print.

If Preprinted Form is not selected, a margin will appear in the report layout area; the margin is drawn to show the default printer margins of the printer you are currently connected to. Dexterity will not allow you to place fields outside of this margin.

If Preprinted Form is not selected and you lay out a report while connected to one printer, then save the report layout, connect to a different printer and reopen the report layout, the margins may shift, depending upon the default margins of the new printer. If the margins shift, fields in the layout area will shift with the left and top margins. This shift may force fields outside of the area bounded by the right margin.

For text reports, the Preprinted Form selection is available only if the Best Text Fit option isn’t selected. The use of preprinted forms isn’t an option when Best Text Fit is selected because the size and spacing of the font used for Best Text Fit reports varies based upon the data in the report. Therefore, you can never be certain that text will appear in the appropriate position on a preprinted form.

Hope this information is useful.


This article was originally posted on the Developing for Dynamics GP Blog and has been reposted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

Please post feedback or comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.