Advanced printing techniques

Creating complex reports in PowerBuilder requires the use of additional functions but is relatively easy. You can use PowerScript functions to define fonts for a job, specify fonts and line spacing, place objects on a page, and specify exactly where you want the text or object to be placed.

Defining and setting fonts

The examples so far have used the default font for the printer. However, you can define as many as eight fonts for each print job and then switch among them during the job.

In addition, you can redefine the fonts as often as you want during the print job. This allows you to use as many fonts as you have available on your printer during a print job. Since there is a slight performance penalty for redefining fonts, you should define the fonts after the PrintOpen call and leave them unchanged for the duration of the print job.

To define a font, set an integer variable to the value returned by a call to the PrintDefineFont function and then use the PrintSetFont function to change the font in the job.


Assume that JobNum is the integer print job number and that the current printer has a font named Helv. The following statements define Helv18BU as the Helv font, 18 point bold and underlined. The definition is stored as font 2 for JobNum. The company name is printed in font 2:

IntJob, Helv18BU
JobNum = PrintOpen()
Helv18BU = PrintDefineFont(JobNum,2,"Helv",250,700, &
Print(JobNum,"Appeon, Inc.")

For more information about PrintDefineFont and PrintSetFont, see the section called “PrintDefineFont” in PowerScript Reference and the section called “PrintSetFont” in PowerScript Reference.

Setting line spacing

PowerBuilder takes care of line spacing automatically when you use the Print function. For example, after you print in an 18-point font and start a new line, PowerBuilder adds 1.2 times the character height to the Y coordinate of the print cursor.

The spacing factor 1.2 is not fixed. You can use the PrintSetSpacing function to control the amount of space between lines.


This statement results in tight single-line spacing. (Depending on the font and the printer, the bottoms of the lowest characters may touch the tops of the tallest characters):


This statement causes one-and-a-half-line spacing:


This statement causes double spacing:


Printing drawing objects

You can use the following drawing objects in a print job.

  • Lines

  • Rectangles

  • Round rectangles

  • Ovals

  • Pictures

When you place drawing objects in a print job, place the objects first and then add the text. For example, you should draw a rectangle inside the print area and then add lines and text inside the rectangle. Although the objects appear as outlines, they are actually filled (contain white space); if you place an object over text or another object, it hides the text or object.

Be careful: PowerBuilder does not check to make sure that you have placed all the text and objects within the print area. PowerBuilder simply does not print anything that is outside the print area.


These statements draw a 1-inch by 3-inch rectangle and then print the company address in the rectangle. The rectangle is at the top of the page and centered:

JobNum = PrintOpen()
Print(JobNum,2525,"25 Mountain Road")
Print(JobNum,2525,"Milton, MA 02186")