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Tech Tip: 4D does not print
Published On: April 3, 2007

When printing forms, Quick Reports, labels, etc. from 4D you may notice the the resulting documents can look different on different printers. Additionally some features may not work (like the "scaling" option in SET PRINT OPTIONS).

What is important to understand is that 4D does not "print". 4D builds a print job according to the specifications provided by Microsoft and Apple. It is up to the printer driver to interpret the print job and translate it so that the printer can produce the printed page.

An easy way to illustrate this is that you can print the same item from 4D to an HP printer or a "Generic plain text" printer driver. In one case you get a printed page that might have images, text with formatting, etc. In the other case you get a text file, which will be potentially missing some information like the images. The important thing to realize is that 4D built the same print job in both cases. There is no special code to detect one driver from another (if there was it would defeat the purpose of the print job API's).

When troubleshooting printer issues it is important to ask "does this fail with only one printer model, or all printers?"

If all printers fail then the issue may be in 4D.

If only one printer model fails then the problem is in the printer driver, not 4D.