Answer: The ability to print invoices to a text file allows the company to save paper and look professional by emailing digital copies to clients. There are quite a few benefits to print to a text file, including viewing invoices, transactions, and lengthy reports before committing them to paper. In addition, for long reports where only a portion of the information is needed, the company can sort through the data and copy & paste only the important information they need.
NOTE: If the company needs only to print reports to a text file, please follow the steps in Article #132 How to Print a Report to a Text File as the steps in that article require less setup and are a better fit for that immediate need of report-to-text file printing.
- In Solid Business Central™, navigate to [System / Configure / Workstation].
- If these steps are being performed on the Server PC, the computer that Solid Route Accounting™ - Enterprise Edition was first installed onto, then a screen will show allowing the user to set which cost center and workstation to adjust these settings for. If this setup is for this Server PC, then leave CC as 999 and workstation as 01, and use [CTRL+END] to continue.
- All five available printer types will be displayed in the top half of the following 'Workstation Configuration' screen. The steps below can be applied to any of these five printer types. However, please keep the following in mind before deciding which printer type to make into the text file printer:
- Printer types '3. Label' and '5. Cheque' are recommended for this setup since few companies use these printer types—the '3. Label' type printer is used for printing out customer mailing address labels, and the '5. Cheque' printer is used for printing cheques to suppliers.
- The most commonly used printer types are '1. Invoice' and '2. 8.5 x 11', which are for transactions and reports/statements, respectively, and for that reason are typically left set to actual office printers.
- Printer type '4. Slip' is not recommended for this setup since it will confine all print-to-text data into a 4" wide area as a 4" slip printer is what this printer type is intended for.
- If the company actively uses all four printer types listed in 'a.' and 'b.' above, please contact a Solid Customer Service Representative to discuss what other options are available.
- Once it has been decided which printer to convert to a text file printer, for that printer type, set the 'Win' field to 'N', and then delete all the information that is in its 'Address' field. When ready, in the Address field, enter in what the name of the text file is to be. Solid recommends using a file name such as 'AREPORT.TXT' as the letter 'A' at the start will put this file name at the top of the alphabetical list of other file names within the 'Si' folder making this file easier to find. This filename can be anything, though, so long as the file name ends in '.TXT' to print/be created as a text file.
- Once the (file name).TXT has been set in the 'Address' field, next set the 'Def' field to '1'. This will produce the best text file format.
- Lastly, set the Ch?' field for all printer types to 'Y' for yes. What this field does is that whenever a print job is ready to be sent to a printer, Solid Business Central™ will present a window that allows the user to choose which printer type they actually want to use to print. From this list, the new (file name).TXT printer will also be available to select. When all is set, use [CTRL+END] to save these new settings.
To print to the new text file printer:
- Find something to print in Solid Business Central™, such as [Datafile / Supplier / Report / List].
- When ready to print, the window should show, 'Choose Printer', with the default printer type for this kind of print job already highlighted. From this list, highlight the (file name).TXT printer and use the [Enter] key to select it. The text file will have now been created.
NOTE: The file is created very quickly, and as such, there may not be any visual cue to the user that the file has indeed been created. The only way to verify this is to look at the file itself.
- To view the newly created text file, navigate on the office PC to the folder that the Solid Innovation business system has been installed to, typically found at [START / My Computer / Local Disc (C:) / Si].
- Once inside the folder, find the (file name).TXT Text Document.
NOTE: If this computer has been set to 'hide known file extensions', this file will show only its '(file name)' and will not display the .TXT ending.
- Open this (file name).TXT document, and the report should now be displayed.
One last note to consider with using print-to-text file is that the next time this printer is used, the contents of (file name).TXT will be replaced with the new content. Therefore, if a report or transaction needs to be saved while viewing the text file in Microsoft Notepad or a similar text editor, use [File / Save As] to save this text file elsewhere on the computer and give it any desired file name. Once saved as a text file, it can then be attached to an email for sending, copied onto a disk or CD, or printed to a printer directly from the text file.