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.NET Framework Topics: Printing

 

The Print Dialog Box

 

Introduction to Printing

Besides saving or opening files, another operation users perform on a document consists of printing it. Printing is the ability to render, on paper, the result of a document or the contents of various controls. This is performed using an external device called a printer peripheral or simply a printer. To do this, users need access to a printer device.

There are two main ways users print a document. They can ask the application they are using to send the document directly to a printer or they can use a dialog box to decide how the printing should be done.

   

Practical LearningPractical Learning: Introducing Printing

  1. Start Microsoft Visual Basic
  2. Create a new Windows Application named CollegeParkAutoRepair1
  3. In the Solution Explorer, right-click Form1.vb and click Rename
  4. Type CollegeParkAutoRepair.vb and press Enter
  5. From the Menus & Toolbars section of the Toolbox, click MenuStrip and click the form
  6. Design the menu items as follows:
     
    MenuItem DropDownItems
    Text Name Text Name Image Shortcut
    &File mnuFile &New Repair Order mnuFileNew new.ico Ctrl+N
        &Open Existing Order... mnuFileOpen open.ico Ctrl+O
        &Save Current Order mnuFileSave save.ico Ctrl+S
        Separator      
        &Print mnuFilePrint printer.ico Ctrl+P
        Separator      
        E&xit mnuFileExit    
  7. Design the form as follows:
     
    College Park Auto-Repair
    Control Name Text Other Properties
    Group   Order Identification  
    Label   Customer Name:  
    TextBox txtCustomerName    
    Label   Address  
    TextBox txtAddress    
    Label   City:  
    TextBox txtCity    
    Label   State:  
    TextBox txtState    
    Label   ZIP Code:  
    TextBox txtZIPCode   TextAlign: Right
    Label   Make / Model:  
    TextBox txtMake    
    TextBox txtModel    
    Label   Year:  
    TextBox txtCarYear   TextAlign: Right
    Label   Problem Description:  
    TextBox txtProblem    
    GroupBox   Parts Used  
    Label   Part Name  
    Label   Unit Price  
    Label   Qty  
    Label   Sub Total  
    TextBox txtPartName1    
    TextBox txtUnitPrice1 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtQuantity1 0 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtSubTotal1 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Enabled: False
    TextBox txtPartName2    
    TextBox txtUnitPrice2 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtQuantity2 0 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtSubTotal2 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Enabled: False
    TextBox txtPartName3    
    TextBox txtUnitPrice3 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtQuantity3 0 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtSubTotal3 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Enabled: False
    TextBox txtPartName4    
    TextBox txtUnitPrice4 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtQuantity4 0 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtSubTotal4 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Enabled: False
    TextBox txtPartName5    
    TextBox txtUnitPrice5 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtQuantity5 0 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtSubTotal5 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Enabled: False
    GroupBox   Jobs Performed  
    Label   Price  
    TextBox txtJobPerformed1    
    TextBox txtJobPrice1 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtJobPerformed2    
    TextBox txtJobPrice2 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtJobPerformed3    
    TextBox txtJobPrice3 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtJobPerformed4    
    TextBox txtJobPrice4 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    TextBox txtJobPerformed5    
    TextBox txtJobPrice5 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    GroupBox   Order Summary  
    Label   Total Parts:  
    TextBox txtTotalParts 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Label   Total Labor:  
    TextBox txtTotalLabor 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Label   Tax Rate:  
    TextBox txtTaxRate 7.75 TextAlign: Right
    Label   %  
    Label   Tax Amount:  
    TextBox txtTaxAmount 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Label   Total Order:  
    TextBox txtTotalOrder 0.00 TextAlign: Right
    Label   Recommendations  
    TextBox txtRecommendations   Multiline: True
    ScrollBars: Vertical
  8. Right-click the form and click View Code
  9. Create a method named Calculate as follows:
      
    Imports System.IO
    
    Public Class CollegeParkAutoRepair
        Private Sub Calculate()
            Dim Part1UnitPrice As Double, Part2UnitPrice As Double
            Dim Part3UnitPrice As Double, Part4UnitPrice As Double
            Dim Part5UnitPrice As Double, Part1SubTotal As Double
            Dim Part2SubTotal As Double, Part3SubTotal As Double
            Dim Part4SubTotal As Double, Part5SubTotal As Double
            Dim Part1Quantity As Integer, Part2Quantity As Integer
            Dim Part3Quantity As Integer, Part4Quantity As Integer
            Dim Part5Quantity As Integer
            Dim Job1Price As Double, Job2Price As Double
            Dim Job3Price As Double, Job4Price As Double
            Dim Job5Price As Double
            Dim TotalParts As Double, TotalLabor As Double
            Dim TaxRate As Double, TaxAmount As Double
            Dim TotalOrder As Double, TotalPartsAndLabor As Double
    
            ' Don't charge a part unless it is clearly identified
            If txtPartName1.Text = "" Then
                txtUnitPrice1.Text = "0.00"
                txtQuantity1.Text = "0"
                txtSubTotal1.Text = "0.00"
                Part1UnitPrice = 0.0
            Else
    
                Try
                    Part1UnitPrice = CDbl(txtUnitPrice1.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Unit Price")
                    txtUnitPrice1.Text = "0.00"
                    txtUnitPrice1.Focus()
                End Try
    
                Try
                    Part1Quantity = CInt(txtQuantity1.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
    
                    MsgBox("Invalid Quantity")
                    txtQuantity1.Text = ""
                    txtQuantity1.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtPartName2.Text = "" Then
                txtUnitPrice2.Text = "0.00"
                txtQuantity2.Text = "0"
                txtSubTotal2.Text = "0.00"
                Part2UnitPrice = 0.0
            Else
    
                Try
                    Part2UnitPrice = CDbl(txtUnitPrice2.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Unit Price")
                    txtUnitPrice2.Text = "0.00"
                    txtUnitPrice2.Focus()
                End Try
    
                Try
    
                    Part2Quantity = CInt(txtQuantity2.Text)
                    End
                Catch ex As Exception
    
                    MsgBox("Invalid Quantity")
                    txtQuantity2.Text = "0"
                    txtQuantity2.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtPartName3.Text = "" Then
                txtUnitPrice3.Text = "0.00"
                txtQuantity3.Text = "0"
                txtSubTotal3.Text = "0.00"
                Part3UnitPrice = 0.0
            Else
    
                Try
                    Part3UnitPrice = CDbl(txtUnitPrice3.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Unit Price")
                    txtUnitPrice3.Text = "0.00"
                    txtUnitPrice3.Focus()
                End Try
    
                Try
                    Part3Quantity = CInt(txtQuantity3.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Quantity")
                    txtQuantity3.Text = "0"
                    txtQuantity3.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtPartName4.Text = "" Then
                txtUnitPrice4.Text = "0.00"
                txtQuantity4.Text = "0"
                txtSubTotal4.Text = "0.00"
                Part4UnitPrice = 0.0
            Else
    
                Try
                    Part4UnitPrice = CDbl(txtUnitPrice4.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
    
                    MsgBox("Invalid Unit Price")
                    txtUnitPrice4.Text = "0.00"
                    txtUnitPrice4.Focus()
                End Try
    
                Try
                    Part4Quantity = CInt(txtQuantity4.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Quantity")
                    txtQuantity4.Text = "0"
                    txtQuantity4.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtPartName5.Text = "" Then
                txtUnitPrice5.Text = "0.00"
                txtQuantity5.Text = "0"
                txtSubTotal5.Text = "0.00"
                Part5UnitPrice = 0.0
            Else
    
                Try
                    Part5UnitPrice = CDbl(txtUnitPrice5.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Unit Price")
                    txtUnitPrice5.Text = "0.00"
                    txtUnitPrice5.Focus()
                End Try
    
                Try
                    Part5Quantity = CInt(txtQuantity5.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Quantity")
                    txtQuantity5.Text = "0"
                    txtQuantity5.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            ' Don't bill the customer for a job that is not specified
            If txtJobDescription1.Text = "" Then
                txtJobPrice1.Text = "0.00"
                Job1Price = 0.0
            Else
                Try
                    Job1Price = CDbl(txtJobPrice1.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Job Price")
                    txtJobPrice1.Text = "0.00"
                    txtJobPrice1.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtJobDescription2.Text = "" Then
                txtJobPrice2.Text = "0.00"
                Job2Price = 0.0
            Else
                Try
                    Job2Price = CDbl(txtJobPrice2.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Job Price")
                    txtJobPrice2.Text = "0.00"
                    txtJobPrice2.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtJobDescription3.Text = "" Then
                txtJobPrice3.Text = "0.00"
                Job3Price = 0.0
            Else
    
                Try
                    Job3Price = CDbl(txtJobPrice3.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Job Price")
                    txtJobPrice3.Text = "0.00"
                    txtJobPrice3.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtJobDescription4.Text = "" Then
                txtJobPrice4.Text = "0.00"
                Job4Price = 0.0
            Else
                Try
                    Job4Price = CDbl(txtJobPrice4.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Job Price")
                    txtJobPrice4.Text = "0.00"
                    txtJobPrice4.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            If txtJobDescription5.Text = "" Then
    
                txtJobPrice5.Text = "0.00"
                Job5Price = 0.0
            Else
                Try
                    Job5Price = CDbl(txtJobPrice5.Text)
                Catch ex As Exception
                    MsgBox("Invalid Job Price")
                    txtJobPrice5.Text = "0.00"
                    txtJobPrice5.Focus()
                End Try
            End If
    
            Part1SubTotal = Part1UnitPrice * Part1Quantity
            Part2SubTotal = Part2UnitPrice * Part2Quantity
            Part3SubTotal = Part3UnitPrice * Part3Quantity
            Part4SubTotal = Part4UnitPrice * Part4Quantity
            Part5SubTotal = Part5UnitPrice * Part5Quantity
    
            txtSubTotal1.Text = FormatNumber(Part1SubTotal)
            txtSubTotal2.Text = FormatNumber(Part2SubTotal)
            txtSubTotal3.Text = FormatNumber(Part3SubTotal)
            txtSubTotal4.Text = FormatNumber(Part4SubTotal)
            txtSubTotal5.Text = FormatNumber(Part5SubTotal)
    
            TotalParts = Part1SubTotal + Part2SubTotal + Part3SubTotal + _
                    Part4SubTotal + Part5SubTotal
    
            TotalLabor = Job1Price + Job2Price + Job3Price + _
                            Job4Price + Job5Price
    
            Try
                TaxRate = CDbl(txtTaxRate.Text)
            Catch ex As Exception
                MsgBox("Invalid Tax Rate")
                txtTaxRate.Text = "7.75"
                txtTaxRate.Focus()
            End Try
    
            TotalPartsAndLabor = TotalParts + TotalLabor
            TaxAmount = TotalPartsAndLabor * TaxRate / 100
            TotalOrder = TotalPartsAndLabor + TaxAmount
    
            txtTotalParts.Text = FormatNumber(TotalParts)
            txtTotalLabor.Text = FormatNumber(TotalLabor)
            txtTaxAmount.Text = FormatNumber(TaxAmount)
            txtTotalOrder.Text = FormatNumber(TotalOrder)
        End Sub
    End Class
  10. In the Class Name combo box, select mnuFileNew
  11. In the Method Name combo box, select Click and implement the event as follows:
     
    Private Sub mnuFileNew_Click(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                     ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
                                     Handles mnuFileNew.Click
            txtCustomerName.Text = ""
            txtAddress.Text = ""
            txtCity.Text = ""
            txtState.Text = ""
            txtZIPCode.Text = ""
            txtMake.Text = ""
            txtModel.Text = ""
            txtCarYear.Text = ""
            txtProblem.Text = ""
    
            txtPartName1.Text = ""
            txtUnitPrice1.Text = "0.00"
            txtQuantity1.Text = "0"
            txtSubTotal1.Text = "0.00"
            txtPartName2.Text = ""
            txtUnitPrice2.Text = "0.00"
            txtQuantity2.Text = "0"
            txtSubTotal2.Text = "0.00"
            txtPartName3.Text = ""
            txtUnitPrice3.Text = "0.00"
            txtQuantity3.Text = "0"
            txtSubTotal3.Text = "0.00"
            txtPartName4.Text = ""
            txtUnitPrice4.Text = "0.00"
            txtQuantity4.Text = "0"
            txtSubTotal4.Text = "0.00"
            txtPartName5.Text = ""
            txtUnitPrice5.Text = "0.00"
            txtQuantity5.Text = "0"
            txtSubTotal5.Text = "0.00"
    
            txtJobDescription1.Text = ""
            txtJobPrice1.Text = "0.00"
            txtJobDescription2.Text = ""
            txtJobPrice2.Text = "0.00"
            txtJobDescription3.Text = ""
            txtJobPrice3.Text = "0.00"
            txtJobDescription4.Text = ""
            txtJobPrice4.Text = "0.00"
            txtJobDescription5.Text = ""
            txtJobPrice5.Text = "0.00"
    
            txtTotalParts.Text = "0.00"
            txtTotalLabor.Text = "0.00"
            txtTaxRate.Text = "7.75"
            txtTaxAmount.Text = "0.00"
            txtTotalOrder.Text = "0.00"
    
            txtRecommendations.Text = ""
            txtCustomerName.Focus()
    End Sub
  12. Under the above End Sub line, create the following common event:
     
    Private Sub SetAndLeave(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                ByVal e As EventArgs) _
                                Handles txtUnitPrice1.Leave, _
                                        txtUnitPrice2.Leave, _
                                        txtUnitPrice3.Leave, _
                                        txtUnitPrice4.Leave, _
                                        txtUnitPrice5.Leave, _
                                        txtQuantity1.Leave, _
                                        txtQuantity2.Leave, _
                                        txtQuantity3.Leave, _
                                        txtQuantity4.Leave, _
                                        txtQuantity5.Leave, _
                                        txtJobPrice1.Leave, _
                                        txtJobPrice2.Leave, _
                                        txtJobPrice3.Leave, _
                                        txtJobPrice4.Leave, _
                                        txtJobPrice5.Leave
            Calculate()
        End Sub
  13. Display the form
  14. From the Dialogs section of the Toolbox, click OpenFileDialog and click the form
  15. Change its properties as follows:
    Title: Open Existing Repair Order
    DefaultExt: rpr
    Filter: Repair Orders (*.rpr)|*.rpr|All Files|
    Name: dlgOpen
  16. From the Dialogs section of the Toolbox, click SaveFileDialog and click the form
  17. Change its properties as follows:
    Title: Save Current Repair Order
    DefaultExt: rpr
    Filter: Repair Orders (*.rpr)|*.rpr|All Files|
    Name: dlgSave
  18. On the form, click File and double-click Open Existing Order
  19. Implement the Click event as follows:
     
    Private Sub mnuFileOpen_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
                                      ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
                                      Handles mnuFileOpen.Click
            dlgOpen.InitialDirectory = "C:\College Park Auto Repair"
    
            If dlgOpen.ShowDialog() = Windows.Forms.DialogResult.OK Then
    
                Dim fleCPAR As FileStream = New FileStream(dlgOpen.FileName, _
                           FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read, FileShare.Read)
                Dim CPARReader As BinaryReader = New BinaryReader(fleCPAR)
    
                Try
                    txtCustomerName.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtAddress.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtCity.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtState.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtZIPCode.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtMake.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtModel.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtCarYear.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtProblem.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
    
                    txtPartName1.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtUnitPrice1.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtQuantity1.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtSubTotal1.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtPartName2.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtUnitPrice2.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtQuantity2.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtSubTotal2.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtPartName3.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtUnitPrice3.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtQuantity3.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtSubTotal3.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtPartName4.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtUnitPrice4.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtQuantity4.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtSubTotal4.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtPartName5.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtUnitPrice5.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtQuantity5.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
    
                    txtSubTotal5.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobDescription1.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobPrice1.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobDescription2.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobPrice2.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobDescription3.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobPrice3.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobDescription4.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobPrice4.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobDescription5.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtJobPrice5.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
    
                    txtTotalParts.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtTotalLabor.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtTaxRate.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtTaxAmount.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtTotalOrder.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                    txtRecommendations.Text = CPARReader.ReadString()
                Finally
                    CPARReader.Close()
                    fleCPAR.Close()
                End Try
            End If
    End Sub
  20. In the Class Name combo box, select mnuFileSave
  21. In the Method Name combo box, select Click and implement the event as follows:
     
    Private Sub mnuFileSave_Click(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                      ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
                                      Handles mnuFileSave.Click
            ' Just in case, calculate the order now
            Calculate()
            ' This number will be used to incrementally 
            ' create the files by their names
            Dim Incremental As Integer
            ' Check the above folder. If it exists, don't create it
            ' If it doesn't exist, then create it
            Dim FolderName As String = "C:\College Park Auto Repair"
            Dim FolderInformation As DirectoryInfo = _
                Directory.CreateDirectory(FolderName)
    
            ' Get the list of files, if any, from the above folder
            Dim CustomersOrders() As FileInfo = _
                FolderInformation.GetFiles()
    
            ' If there is no file in the directory, 
            ' then get ready to create the first file
            If CustomersOrders.Length = 0 Then
                ' Get ready to display it in the Save dialog box
                dlgSave.FileName = Incremental.ToString() & ".rpr"
            Else ' If there was at least one file in the directory
    
                ' Get a reference to the last file
                Dim LastCustomerOrder As FileInfo = _
                    CustomersOrders(CustomersOrders.Length - 1)
                ' Get the name of the last file without its extension
                Dim FilenameWithoutExtension As String = _
                    Path.GetFileNameWithoutExtension(LastCustomerOrder.FullName)
                ' Increment the name of the file by 1
                Incremental = CInt(FilenameWithoutExtension) + 1
                ' Get ready to display it in the Save dialog box
                dlgSave.FileName = Incremental.ToString() & ".rpr"
            End If
    
            ' For convenience, display the Save dialog box in the directory
            ' created above
            dlgSave.InitialDirectory = FolderInformation.FullName
    
            ' Find out if the user clicked OK after displaying the Save dialog box
            If dlgSave.ShowDialog() = Windows.Forms.DialogResult.OK Then
    
                ' Create a new file using the name of the Save dialog box
                Dim fleCPAR As FileStream = New FileStream(dlgSave.FileName, _
                               FileMode.Create, FileAccess.Write, FileShare.Write)
                Dim bnrCPAR As BinaryWriter = New BinaryWriter(fleCPAR)
    
                Try
                    ' Write each value in the file
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtCustomerName.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtAddress.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtCity.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtState.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtZIPCode.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtMake.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtModel.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtCarYear.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtProblem.Text)
    
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtPartName1.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtUnitPrice1.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtQuantity1.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtSubTotal1.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtPartName2.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtUnitPrice2.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtQuantity2.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtSubTotal2.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtPartName3.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtUnitPrice3.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtQuantity3.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtSubTotal3.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtPartName4.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtUnitPrice4.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtQuantity4.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtSubTotal4.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtPartName5.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtUnitPrice5.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtQuantity5.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtSubTotal5.Text)
    
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobDescription1.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobPrice1.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobDescription2.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobPrice2.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobDescription3.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobPrice3.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobDescription4.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobPrice4.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobDescription5.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtJobPrice5.Text)
    
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtTotalParts.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtTotalLabor.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtTaxRate.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtTaxAmount.Text)
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtTotalOrder.Text)
    
                    bnrCPAR.Write(txtRecommendations.Text)
    
                    mnuFileNew_Click(sender, e)
                Finally
                    bnrCPAR.Close()
                    fleCPAR.Close()
                End Try
            End If
    End Sub
  22. Execute the application to test it
  23. Create a new record. Here is an example:
     
    College Park Auto Repair
  24. On the main menu of the form, click File -> Save Current Order...
  25. Accept the suggested name of the file and click Save
  26. Create another order, calculate it and save it
  27. Try opening a previously saved order
  28. Close the form and return to your programming environment

Introduction to the Print Dialog Box

One of the ways users print consists of sending the document to the printer. To directly send a document to the printer, you need to make sure that the control, whose value needs to be printed, supports printing. To accommodate the users of your application, you can provide a menu item or a button they would click. An example of such a button would be Print . To print, the user can click this button. With this type of printing, when the user decides to print, the whole document would be printed "as is", in color if the document is colored and if the printer supports colors. If there is more than one printer, the computer would use what is known as the default printer.

If you want users to be able to configure or customize the printing process, Microsoft Windows provides a common dialog box called Print. Here is an example:

The Print Dialog Box

The Print dialog box allows a user to select a printer if more than one is available. The user can decide either to print the whole document, to print a range of pages, or to print a portion of the document that was previously selected. The user can also decide on the number of copies to print from the document, the range specified, or the selected portion. Furthermore, the user can access the particular characteristics of the selected printer and specify how the printer should perform the job. For example, if the selected printer can print in color and the document is in color but the user wants to print in black and white, he or she can specify this using the Properties button.

Providing a Printer

To provide the users with the ability to customize printing through the Print dialog box, you can add a PrintDialog object PrintDialog from the Dialogs section of the Toolbox to your form. The PrintDialog control is implemented through the PrintDialog class of the System.Windows.Forms namespace. To programmatically create a PrintDialog object, you can declare a variable of type PrinterDialog. Here is an example:

Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.Windows.Forms

Module Exercise

    Public Class Starter
        Inherits Form

        Friend WithEvents btnPrint As Button

        Dim components As System.ComponentModel.Container

        Public Sub New()
            InitializeComponent()
        End Sub

        Public Sub InitializeComponent()
            btnPrint = New Button()
            btnPrint.Location = New Point(12, 12)
            btnPrint.Text = "&Print..."

            Controls.Add(btnPrint)
        End Sub

        Private Sub PrintClicked(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                 ByVal e As EventArgs) _
                                 Handles btnPrint.Click
            Dim dlgPrint As PrintDialog = New PrintDialog
        End Sub
    End Class

    Function Main() As Integer

        Dim frmStart As Starter = New Starter

        Application.Run(frmStart)

        Return 0
    End Function

End Module

To present the Print dialog box to the user, you can call its ShowDialog() method.

Practical LearningPractical Learning: Providing a Print Dialog Box

  1. From the Printing section of the Toolbox, click the PrintDialog button PrintDialog and click the form
  2. While the print control is still selected, in the Properties window, change its Name to dlgPrint 

The Printing Process

 

The Document to Print

In order to print, the Print dialog box must be given a document to print. This means that you must first prepare a document prior to printing. To support this, the .NET Framework provides the PrintDocument class that is defined in the System.Drawing.Printing namespace. This class is represented in the Toolbox by the PrintDocument button . Based on this, to prepare a document for printing, you can either add a PrintDocument object to your project or declare a variable of type PrintDocument. Here is an example:

Imports System.Drawing
Imports System.Windows.Forms
Imports System.Drawing.Printing

Module Exercise

    Public Class Starter
        Inherits Form

        Friend WithEvents btnPrint As Button

        Dim components As System.ComponentModel.Container

        Public Sub New()
            InitializeComponent()
        End Sub

        Public Sub InitializeComponent()
            btnPrint = New Button()
            btnPrint.Location = New Point(12, 12)
            btnPrint.Text = "&Print..."

            Controls.Add(btnPrint)
        End Sub

        Private Sub PrintClicked(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                 ByVal e As EventArgs) _
                                 Handles btnPrint.Click
            Dim dlgPrint As PrintDialog = New PrintDialog
            Dim docPrint As PrintDocument = New PrintDocument
        End Sub
    End Class

    Function Main() As Integer

        Dim frmStart As Starter = New Starter

        Application.Run(frmStart)

        Return 0
    End Function

End Module

After creating the document to print through a PrintDocument object, you can associate it with a PrintDialog. To support this, the PrintDialog class is equipped with the Document property. To specify the object that would carry the printing, you can assign the PrintDocument object to the PrintDialog.Document property. Here is an example:

Private Sub PrintClicked(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                 ByVal e As EventArgs) _
                                 Handles btnPrint.Click
            Dim dlgPrint As PrintDialog = New PrintDialog
            Dim docPrint As PrintDocument = New PrintDocument

            dlgPrint.Document = docPrint
            dlgPrint.ShowDialog()
End Sub

A document to print can be made of only one or many pages. Each page has a number of characteristics. The characteristics of a page are controlled by the PrintDocument.PageSettings property which itself is based on the PageSettings class. The PageSettings class is defined in the System.Drawing.Printing namespace. This class holds the dimensions of the page, the values of the margins applied on the page, the tray that would supply the paper (since some printers have many trays), the printer resolution, whether the page would be printed in color or black and white, whether the page would be printed in Portrait or Landscape orientation, etc. If you don't want to specify these characteristics, you can set the PrintDocument.PageSettings property to DefaultPageSettings.

If you know the name of the document to be printed, you can assign it to the PrintDocument.DocumentName property. Here is an example:

Private Sub PrintClicked(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                 ByVal e As EventArgs) _
                                 Handles btnPrint.Click
            Dim dlgPrint As PrintDialog = New PrintDialog
            Dim docPrint As PrintDocument = New PrintDocument

            docPrint.DocumentName = "Example.htm"
            dlgPrint.Document = docPrint

            dlgPrint.ShowDialog()
End Sub

To actually print the document, you can call the PrintDocument.Print() method. Its syntax is:

Public Sub Print

Practical LearningPractical Learning: Providing the Document to Print

  1. From the Printing section of the Toolbox, click the PrintDocument button PrintDocument and click the form
  2. While the print document control is still selected, in the Properties window, change its name to docPrint
  3. Under the form, click dlgPrint
  4. In the Properties window, click Document and select docPrint
  5. Right-click the form and click View Code

Events Related to Printing

When the PrintDocument.Print() method is called, the printing process would start by firing the BeginPrint event but this event occurs before the first page is printed. The BeginPrint event is of type PrintEventArgs which does not hold any particular information, especially for the BeginPrint event. This event allows you to take some early actions, if necessary, before the printer receives the job.

Once the printer is ready, the application would then need to know what needs to be printed on the paper. At this time, the PrintPage event is fired. The PrintPage event is of type PrintPageEventArgs. The PrintPageEventArgs class allows you to fully customize the page of the document to be printed. For example, it is equipped with a Graphics property that allows you to "draw" anything you want on the paper. The PrintPageEventArgs class also allows you to get the location and dimensions of the area to be printed. This is represented by the PageBounds property, which produces a Rectangle object.

Once the PrintDocument object is ready, you must pass it to the Print dialog box. To do that, assign the name of the PrintDocument variable to the PrintDialog.Document property.

Practical LearningPractical Learning: Printing a Document

  1. In the Class Name combo box, select docPrint
  2. In the Method Name combo box, select PrintPage and implement the event as follows:
     
    Private Sub docPrint_PrintPage(ByVal sender As Object, _
                        ByVal e As System.Drawing.Printing.PrintPageEventArgs) _
                        Handles docPrint.PrintPage
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 2), _
                                        60, 90, 680, 90)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), _
                                60, 93, 680, 93)
    
            Dim strDisplay As String = "College Park Auto Repair"
            Dim fntString As Font = New Font("Times New Roman", _
                                28, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(strDisplay, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 160, 100)
    
            strDisplay = "Customer Car Repair Order"
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 18, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(strDisplay, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 220, 150)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 60, 184, 680, 184)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 2), 60, 187, 680, 187)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 12, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Order Identification", fntString, _
                    Brushes.Black, 80, 200)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 250, 640, 250)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Customer Name:", fntString, _
                    Brushes.Black, 100, 260)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtCustomerName.Text, fntString, _
                    Brushes.Black, 260, 260)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 280, 640, 280)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Address:", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 290)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtAddress.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 260, 290)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 310, 640, 310)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            Dim Address As String = txtCity.Text.ToString() & ", " & _
                                    txtState.Text & " " & txtZIPCode.Text
            e.Graphics.DrawString(Address, fntString, Brushes.Black, 260, 320)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 340, 640, 340)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Car:", fntString, Brushes.Black, 100, 350)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            Dim Car As String = txtMake.Text & ", " & _
                        txtModel.Text & ", " & txtCarYear.Text
            e.Graphics.DrawString(Car, fntString, Brushes.Black, 260, 350)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 370, 640, 370)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Problem Description:", _
                        fntString, Brushes.Black, 100, 380)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtProblem.Text, fntString, Brushes.Black, _
                                  New RectangleF(260, 380, 420, 380))
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 400, 640, 400)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 12, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Parts Used", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 80, 430)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 2), 80, 450, 680, 450)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Parts Name", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 460)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Unit Price", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 420, 460)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Qty", fntString, Brushes.Black, 520, 460)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Sub-Total", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 562, 460)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 480, 640, 480)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            Dim fmtString As StringFormat = New StringFormat()
            fmtString.Alignment = StringAlignment.Far
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtPartName1.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 490)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtUnitPrice1.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 480, 490, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtQuantity1.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 540, 490, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtSubTotal1.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 630, 490, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 510, 640, 510)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtPartName2.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 520)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtUnitPrice2.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 480, 520, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtQuantity2.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 540, 520, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtSubTotal2.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 630, 520, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 540, 640, 540)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtPartName3.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 550)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtUnitPrice3.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 480, 550, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtQuantity3.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 540, 550, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtSubTotal3.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 630, 550, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 570, 640, 570)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtPartName4.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 580)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtUnitPrice4.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 480, 580, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtQuantity4.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 540, 580, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtSubTotal4.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 630, 580, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 600, 640, 600)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtPartName5.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 610)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtUnitPrice5.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 480, 610, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtQuantity5.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 540, 610, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtSubTotal5.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 630, 610, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 630, 640, 630)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 12, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Jobs Performed", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 80, 650)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 2), 80, 670, 680, 670)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Job Name", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 680)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Price", fntString, Brushes.Black, 562, 680)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 700, 640, 700)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobDescription1.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 710)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobPrice1.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 600, 710, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 730, 640, 730)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobDescription2.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 740)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobPrice2.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 600, 740, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 760, 640, 760)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobDescription3.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 770)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobPrice3.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 600, 770, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 790, 640, 790)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobDescription4.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 800)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobPrice4.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 600, 800, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 820, 640, 820)
    
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobDescription5.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 830)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtJobPrice5.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 600, 830, fmtString)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 1), 100, 850, 640, 850)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 12, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Order Summary", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 80, 870)
            e.Graphics.DrawLine(New Pen(Color.Black, 2), 80, 890, 680, 890)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Total Parts:", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 500, 900)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtTotalParts.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 640, 900, fmtString)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Total Labor:", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 500, 920)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtTotalLabor.Text, fntString, _
                    Brushes.Black, 640, 920, fmtString)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Tax Rate:", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 500, 940)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtTaxRate.Text, fntString, _
                    Brushes.Black, 640, 940, fmtString)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Tax Amount:", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 500, 960)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtTaxAmount.Text, fntString, _
                    Brushes.Black, 640, 960, fmtString)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Repair Total:", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 500, 980)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtTotalOrder.Text, fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 640, 980, fmtString)
    
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Bold)
            e.Graphics.DrawString("Recommendations:", fntString, _
    				Brushes.Black, 100, 900)
            fntString = New Font("Times New Roman", 10, FontStyle.Regular)
            e.Graphics.DrawString(txtRecommendations.Text, _
    				fntString, Brushes.Black, _
                                New RectangleF(100, 920, 350, 280))
    End Sub
  3. In the Class Name combo box, select mnuFilePrint
  4. In the Method Name combo box, select Click and implement the event as follows:
     
    Private Sub mnuFilePrint_Click(ByVal sender As Object, _
                                       ByVal e As System.EventArgs) _
                                       Handles mnuFilePrint.Click
            If dlgPrint.ShowDialog() = Windows.Forms.DialogResult.OK Then
                docPrint.Print()
            End If
    End Sub
  5. Execute the application and open one of the previously saved orders
  6. On the main menu of the form, click File -> Print and click OK
  7. After using it, close the form and return to your programming environment

The Printer Settings

In the above example, we saw a somewhat simplistic way of making the Print dialog box available to the user. This dialog box offers many options defined as the Printer Settings. To support the various options of a Print dialog box, the PrintDialog class is equipped with a property called PrinterSettings, which itself is defined from the PrinterSettings class, which holds all possible characteristics of a printer.

The first option presented to the user is the name of the printer to be used. Because there can be many printers available to the user, the printers are presented as a combo box:

Print

The available printers may also be presented as a list view:

Print

The Name combo box in the Printer section or the Select Printer list view allows the user to select the printer that will handle the job. If you are writing a universal application and cannot predict what printer(s) the user would have, you would not be concerned with this characteristic. If you are writing an application for a special company or you are creating a particular application and you know for sure what printer should be used to print the current document, then you can specify the printer to use. To do this, assign the (exact) name of the printer to the PrinterSettings.PrinterName property. On the other hand, if for some reason you want to know what printer the user selected to print the document, you can get the value of this PrinterName property.

Under the Name combo box, the labels provide the status of the selected printer (whether it is ready or not), the type of printer (such as its manufacturer), its location (such as where in the building the printer is located; the person who installed the printer or may have provided this printer), and an optional comment (this information is created by the person who installed the printer or it can be changed in the printer's properties).

After selecting the printer, the user can access the properties of that particular printer. Different printers support different options. To configure the printed paper based on the selected printer, the user can click either Properties or Preferences. This opens the Document Properties or the Printing Preferences dialog box. The content of this dialog box (highly) depends on the printer that was selected but some characteristics are shared among printers.

On the lower-right side of the Printer section or of the Select Printer section, there is a check box labeled Print To File. When this check box is checked, the document is transformed into a file rather than being printed. In this case, if the user clicks OK or Print, a dialog box would come up, asking the user to specify the path and a name for the new file that will be created. The appearance of that dialog box depends. Here is an example:

Print to File

If you want the Print To File check box to be checked, set the PrinterSettings.PrintFoFile Boolean property to true. Its default value is false, which lets the user decide whether to check it or not.

After selecting the printer and deciding whether to physically print or to only create a printed file, the user can click OK.

If the document is made of only one page, it would be printed. If the document contains more than one page, the user may want to print only one page, a range of pages, or all pages. The user can also select a section in the document and print only that section. This decision is made using the Page Range section. This section provides four radio buttons. The first radio button labeled All is selected by default and allows the user to print the whole document. By default, the second radio button is disabled. If the user had selected a section of the document to print, then the second radio button, labeled Selection would be enabled:

Print

This allows the user to still specify whether to print the whole document or only the section that was selected. If the document contains more than one page, the user can navigate to a particular page and decide to print only that page using the Current Page radio button. Again, if the document contains more than one page, the user can specify a range of pages to print. All these options are usually left up to the user. On the other hand, if you want to specify the range of pages to print, you can use the PrinterSettings.FromPage and the ToPage properties. If you want to specify the limits of ranges allowed to the user, use the MinimumPage and the MaximumPage properties.

On the right side of the Page Range section, a spin button allows the user to specify the number of copies to make when printing. If you want to specify this number by default, assign the desired value to the Copies property. If the user (or you) set this number to a value higher than 1, then the printed papers can be collated or not. This is specified using the Collate check box. If you want to programmatically collate the pages or not, change the Boolean value of the Collate property.  

 

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