Setting up C-Law software for using your printer

Introduction

C-Law Cashier software can use virtually any Windows printer as it uses the standard Windows printer object which builds up a page of data and then sends it to the printer.

C-Law uses the Courier New font which is a fixed pitch non proportional true type font. A fixed pitch is used since columns of figures have to line up accurately. This means that there is no scope for wrapping text onto another line and the text has to fit accurately to the page.

Printers communicate with Windows via their driver which is a bit of software installed or resident in Windows which knows the details about the printer including width and length of the page on the chosen printer and can be interrogated by Windows for this information. C-Law uses this to decide what size of font to use and how many lines can be sent to a page.

Unfortunately in practice whilst this works a lot of the time it is not infallible and sometimes the text does not fit properly on the page.

To overcome this C-Law software has a page setup system built in to it which allows a page to be sent to the printer in a simple format with a border which will easily detect any errors. The user can then adjust the font size or margins to adjust for the best result. Once set up the settings are remembered and there should be no need to adjust them again – unless the printer or the driver is changed.

There is also (as from the end of May 2005) an option present to set up how dark the typeface is to appear - normal or bold. And on some computers you may be able to select between two different fonts or "typefaces" to suit your preference. 'Courier New' or 'Lucida Console'. The latter produces a rather bigger typeface with a more modern appearance than the standard Courier font.

 

Page Setup

 To use this feature of C-Law software choose the file menu on the main C-Law screen and select Printer Settings and under this Page and Font Setup.

You will now have a screen which shows towards the top the name of the default printer and then a drop down list box which lists the three standard printouts in C-Law.

 

 

The three print types are :-

As you select each type the screen shows the settings which will be used for each - landscape or portrait and the font size. These can be changed by the user and will be automatically memorised.

Margins

Allied to this is the margin setup feature which is accessed from the menu bar.

 

The text entry boxes allow you set a top left or bottom margin. There are two sections for portrait and landscape mode. There is a field for a right margin but this has no effect. The right margin with a fixed font is a product of the left margin plus the fontsize. A bigger left margin will make the right hand margin go further to the right unless the font size is reduced.

Similarly the bottom margin is really a product of the top margin size plus the font size but in this case there is scope for adjustment since C-Law 2000 series software uses the bottom margin setting to determine when it sends a page of data and starts a new page. So if for example the prints have one or more lines of text which overflow onto a new page this means C-Law is out of synchronism with the page length and the answer is to increase the bottom margin figure for the appropriate print type (landscape or portrait) until this no longer happens. This can also be used to create the desired size of bottom margin.

Going back to main page setup screen there is a test button which will send a test print in the chosen format (Wide Normal or In-between) and then you can adjust the margins and/or fontsize until you have a satisfactory result.

You need to do this for all three formats. Then try your settings with actual printouts for the final test and adjust again if needed.

Fonts and bold typeface

On the setup screen (shown above) you will see that there is a line showing the current selected printer font and whether it is selected to print in Normal or Bold (dark).

On the menu bar of the screen there is a "Font" item that can be clicked to change the fontname or the bold selection.

Clicking on the "Bold" item changes the Bold setting shown on the setup screen.  If bold is selected it will make prints appear using a much darker, more contrasting, typeface.

Clicking on Font Type allows you to select either Courier New or Lucida Console printer fonts. These are the two fixed width fonts that are usually present on modern Windows computers. If you do not have the Lucida Console font installed you may be able to install it from your Windows CD. (If it is not installed you will not have the option of selecting it in C-Law.)   Lucida Console has a slightly larger size and a more modern appearance than the standard Courier font.

It is not unfortunately possible to use other Windows fonts (eg: Arial) as they are "proportional" fonts with different spacing for different letters of the alphabet and this means that for text based accounts printouts with columns of figures the columns will not line up properly on the page. A completely different and highly complex printout system would be needed to be able to make use of proportional fonts such as Arial etc for accounts prints.

Note: Changing the font type may well change the page length available so you should do any test prints and setting up AFTER setting the Font you want to use.

Settings only need to be done once

These set up procedures once done can be left and forgotten about – unless you decide at any stage to change the printer or the printer driver software when the may need to be repeated.

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