No printer selection when printing checks

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
dougj-p40
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:55 pm

No printer selection when printing checks

Postby dougj-p40 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:58 pm

I'm a new STS. Today, a bishop and financial clerk were trying to print checks and the only print option was to save to a file. The default printer in windows was correctly set to HP laserjet. I didn't find a printer selection setting/option in MLS itself.

I closed the print checks window and tried printing a home teaching report. That did give the option to select a printer. However, the current option was to save to a cutepdf file. I changed that by selecting the hp laserjet. The report printed fine. The financial clerk then tried to print checks again and was given the option to print to the laserjet.

From my brief, one-time experience, it seems that the print checks routine uses ONLY the last method selected elsewhere in MLS and does not provide a method to change that printer selection.

Any additional insights or feedback is more than welcome.

jdlessley
Community Moderators
Posts: 6526
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:30 pm
Location: USA, TX

Postby jdlessley » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:46 pm

MLS's selection of the default printer is dependent on the printer selected in the last print job. It does not set the default to the Windows default printer. It is possible that print to file was the last printer selection used. Why the other printers did not display when printing checks may be a bug.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:28 am

dougj wrote:From my brief, one-time experience, it seems that the print checks routine uses ONLY the last method selected elsewhere in MLS and does not provide a method to change that printer selection.


In addition to jdlessley's helpful comment, I would note that the process of printing checks does indeed allow you to change the printer selection, but only at the very beginning of the process. After the first check is printed, you are asked to confirm the printing of each subsequent check, but you have no option to change the printer for those checks.

The way MLS always remembers the last printer used can trip you up if you don't pay sufficient attention. The biggest trap is after using the PDF printer. It's just something you have to get used to. Sometimes it's helpful, as when you are generating a variety of PDFs, but other times it causes problems.

dougj-p40
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:55 pm

Postby dougj-p40 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:32 am

Thanks. So ultimately, if someone prints to pdf, then we have to print a dummy report and select the real printer before we can print checks - even if we don't need or use the dummy report. That's just wasteful of time, toner and paper. I'll submit an enhancement request.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:46 am

dougj wrote:Thanks. So ultimately, if someone prints to pdf, then we have to print a dummy report and select the real printer before we can print checks - even if we don't need or use the dummy report. That's just wasteful of time, toner and paper. I'll submit an enhancement request.


I think you misunderstood me. You can indeed change the selected printer as you begin the process of printing checks. It's only after you have printed the first check that you no longer have the option to change the printer for that series of checks. There is no need to print a dummy report.

dougj-p40
New Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:55 pm

Postby dougj-p40 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:36 pm

Yes, I understand fine. However, your suggested method is contrary to the standard method of selecting printers in the windows operating system. The standard is to select a printer AFTER the actual print option is selected and IMMEDIATELY BEFORE the actual printing begins.

Users do not expect to have to choose a printer at the beginning of a windows process. That's like saying that if I want to print a custom report, the first step is to select a printer - then, create the report. Sorry, but it's not standard or expected.

jdlessley
Community Moderators
Posts: 6526
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:30 pm
Location: USA, TX

Postby jdlessley » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:21 pm

dougj, if you would like to submit a suggestion for change you can do so at the LDSTech Wiki article MLS: Feedback and Suggestions.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:58 pm

dougj wrote:Yes, I understand fine. However, your suggested method is contrary to the standard method of selecting printers in the windows operating system. The standard is to select a printer AFTER the actual print option is selected and IMMEDIATELY BEFORE the actual printing begins.

Users do not expect to have to choose a printer at the beginning of a windows process. That's like saying that if I want to print a custom report, the first step is to select a printer - then, create the report. Sorry, but it's not standard or expected.


It doesn't sound like you're seeing what I have seen the dozens of times I have printed checks in MLS. Indeed, in MLS, you are allowed "to select a printer AFTER the actual print option is selected and IMMEDIATELY BEFORE the actual printing begins." So if that is your interpretation of the standard, then MLS is fully compliant.

Here's exactly what happens:

  1. Select the checks to be printed
  2. Click Print Checks
  3. Verify the check number
  4. Click the Print button for the first check
  5. Now that you have actually requested a Print operation, you are presented with a standard Print dialog (that is indeed "AFTER the actual print option is selected" and nothing has printed yet).
  6. You may select a printer at that point
  7. Click OK
  8. The check prints (so you did have the option to select the printer "IMMEDIATELY BEFORE the actual printing begins.")
  9. Then you are presented with a question: Did the check print correctly?
  10. If you say yes, you print the rest of the series of checks without being prompted to select the printer each time (which is a good thing, because the extra prompting would be very tedious, and you have already printed one check successfully).
  11. If you say no, you are still looking at the first check, and your only options are to Print it again (after presumably loading the check stock properly) or Close the printing process.
This is the one place that I would suggest that an improvement could be made. Yes, you were given an opportunity to select the printer in step 5 above, which was entirely appropriate. But if you didn't pay attention or accidentally selected the wrong printer in step 5, your only option is to Close the dialog for printing checks, and go back to step 1.

If you just said that the check didn't print correctly, one of the possible reasons for a misprint is that the wrong printer was selected, so it would be nice to be able to fix it right then. But it's not very hard to fix it as MLS works right now -- click Close, then Select All, then Print Checks, and you're right back where you need to be to print the checks.

Your description of what you say is happening doesn't match the actual MLS process I detailed above. If you are seeing something other than that, please provide the details so we can try to figure out why you are having a different experience. If you do want to make a suggestion for a change, it's important to understand just what you expect to be different.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:05 am

Alan_Brown wrote:I think you misunderstood me. You can indeed change the selected printer as you begin the process of printing checks. It's only after you have printed the first check that you no longer have the option to change the printer for that series of checks. There is no need to print a dummy report.


You do need to do that after using the CutePDF or any other non-standard printer if you want to avoid booby-trapping MLS for the next print job. That next print job may be executed by you as a user, or it may be done by the next user. The setting even persists between MLS sessions.

Yes, the user has an opportunity to select a different printer at the outset of a print job if the user is aware of this non-standard booby trap. But changing the MLS default setting persistently according to the last printer used is not standard Windows behavior.

One can blame the hapless user for not knowing that MLS does not default to the default Windows printer, so the user just clicks past the printer setting dialog expecting to use the default printer. But it is really poor application design.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:06 am

boomerbubba wrote:You do need to do that after using the CutePDF or any other non-standard printer if you want to avoid booby-trapping MLS for the next print job. That next print job may be executed by you as a user, or it may be done by the next user. The setting even persists between MLS sessions.


It's completely standard behavior for the last selected printer to persist within an application session for subsequent print jobs. Microsoft Word, for example, does that, and it was written by the folks who literally wrote the book on Windows UI standards. The only non-standard part of this is that MLS persists the print setting between MLS sessions, and I agree that this is non-standard and should be changed.

But we digress. The claim in this thread is that in one place in MLS -- printing checks -- there is no opportunity at all to select a different printer. I don't see how that particular claim is correct; I've never seen it, and am unable to duplicate the reported behavior.


Return to “MLS Support, Help, and Feedback”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest