System Administration Guide
Chapter 4, Managing printers and print jobs

Creating and using printer forms

Creating and using printer forms

A preprinted ``printer form'' is a blank paper form that you load into your printer. An application typically generates a file that, when printed on the blank form, fills out the form. The print service includes facilities to create and administer forms. 

To create a new printer form: 

  1. Create a form description file that specifies the format of the form.
    For example, create a file /tmp/check.desc and include all or any subset of the following information (substitute your information for the values in bold):
       Page length: 66
       Page width:  80
       Number of pages: 2
       Line pitch: 10
       Character pitch: 16
       Character set choice: any
       Ribbon color: blue
       Comment: 
              Check form
       Alignment pattern:
       

    XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    The print service uses the alignment pattern to line up the forms before printing begins and prompts you to perform an alignment before printing.

    Depending on your printer, specify page length in lines, inches (i), or centimeters (c). Specify page width in columns, inches (i), or centimeters (c). In the example above, page length is specified as 66 lines. If the printer recognizes inches, specify the page length as 11i.

  2. In the Printer Manager, select Forms from the System menu. 

  3. Click on New.

    Enter the name of the new form in the ``Form Name'' field and the name of the form description file in the ``Filename'' field.

    In our example, the filename is /tmp/check_desc, and the name of the form is check. Choose a name that describes the form, because you use this name when you mount the form.

    Clicking on OK in the New Form window creates the directory (called check) for the form in /usr/spool/lp/admins/lp/forms and the files necessary for the spooling subsystem to recognize the form. One of the files that is created in the form directory, describe, contains a copy of the form description file.


    NOTE: If you make changes to the form description file, you must modify the form.

    

  4. To specify which users are allowed or denied access to the form, click on the Users button in the System Forms window: 

  5. Specify which printers have access to the form by selecting the printer from the list, then selecting Advanced from the Settings menu, Forms, then Allow.

  6. Mount the form. See ``Mounting and unmounting forms''.
The form is now ready to use.

To specify the form with lp(C) from the command line, enter: 

lp -f form_name file_name -d printer_name

When you specify a form to lp, the print system checks the printer for a mounted form. If no form is mounted, the job waits in the queue until you mount the appropriate form.

If you mount a form on a printer and then print a file that does not require the form to that printer, you must unmount the form. See ``Mounting and unmounting forms''. 

To examine an existing form, select Forms from the System menu. Then, select the form to examine and click on Examine. 

To modify an existing form, select Forms from the System menu. Then, select the form to modify and click on Modify. Enter the name of the modified form description file in the ``Filename'' field. This associates the new form description file with the form name. 

To remove a form from the system, select Forms from the System menu. Then, select the form to delete and click on Delete. 

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