Lining up for printing on preprinted paper form

Discussion in 'HTML' started by FC, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. FC

    FC Guest

    Hi all:
    I am trying to find out if there is a way to line things up before
    printing using html. I have a dot matrix printer and a pre-printed 4
    copy form. I am going to get the data from a database and it will be
    displayed in a web page. I want the user to be able to load the form on
    the printer and hit print and my data will be lined up with the
    pre-printed fields on the paper form. Any ideas? I am also open to
    alternative ways to achieving the same thing.

    Thank you all,

    FC
    FC, Mar 28, 2006
    #1
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  2. FC

    Jose Guest

    > I am trying to find out if there is a way to line things up before
    > printing using html. [...]
    > I want the user to be able to load the form on
    > the printer and hit print and my data will be lined up with the
    > pre-printed fields on the paper form.


    Nope. HTML gives a browser "suggestions" but the browser is always in
    control, and each browser may do things differently, especially in
    layout. For total layout control (such as for printing), use PDF. It's
    a more unwieldy format and requires the user to have a PDF viewer (most
    do) but, especially if you keep to the lowest level of PDF (so users
    don't have to continually upgrade just to see the page) it should do
    what you want.

    Jose
    --
    Nothing takes longer than a shortcut.
    for Email, make the obvious change in the address.
    Jose, Mar 28, 2006
    #2
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  3. FC

    Dan Guest

    FC wrote:

    > I am trying to find out if there is a way to line things up before
    > printing using html. I have a dot matrix printer and a pre-printed 4
    > copy form. I am going to get the data from a database and it will be
    > displayed in a web page. I want the user to be able to load the form on
    > the printer and hit print and my data will be lined up with the
    > pre-printed fields on the paper form. Any ideas? I am also open to
    > alternative ways to achieving the same thing.


    I do something similar with our intranet based invoicing system using
    CSS, but I know what printers we use, what browsers, installed fonts
    etc - even then there are times when in f*cks up a bit.

    I would suggest that a CGI script that exports a PDF might be the best
    way for you to go - how easy it would be depends on your webhost - if
    you have a nice one, or self-host, then there are heaps of Perl modules
    on cpan.org that would help you out.

    Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Dan (back in alt.html... old skool style)
    Dan, Mar 28, 2006
    #3
  4. FC

    Andy Dingley Guest

    FC wrote:

    > I am trying to find out if there is a way to line things up before
    > printing using html.


    This is easy with CSS and you certainly don't need to mess with PDF

    Just use all those absolute positioning tricks and absolute dimension
    units that are seen as so bad to use for on-screen work. Font sizes in
    points too. You can hide all this behind @media print { } so it
    doesn't even look bad on-screen either.

    The only real problem left are your margins and footers. You need to
    set these to some known value before printing, because they affect
    positioning on the paper but they're not settable from CSS. Either do
    it by hand (given it's a dedicated machine and printer) or use MeadCo's
    ScriptX ActiveX control to set them on the HTML page (with some
    browser portability issues).
    Andy Dingley, Mar 29, 2006
    #4
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