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Home Plan Pro Printing Issues

Note: This affects only old Dos versions of Home Plan Pro.
Home Plan Pro uses it's own printer drivers. These drivers have been providing high quality printing since 1992.

Home Plan Pro printing issues are addressed in the following catagories:

Selecting a Printer Driver Printer Specifics Printing tips

Selecting a Printer Driver The default Home Plan Pro printer driver is the Laser driver. This driver will work on virtually any laser printer to be found, and many desk jet printers.
(The currently selected printer driver is displayed when the Ctrl Prnt tool bar button is pressed, or the Alt P key combination is used.)

To select a different printer driver, use the Option Menu and then the Printer Selection menu.

Printer Driver Submenus The Printer Selection menu is divided into submenus:
  • HP Laser Jet / Desk Jet
  • Dot Matrix
  • Bubble Jet
  • The fourth item selects the printer port

Available Printer Drivers
HP Laser Jet / Desk Jet
Desk Jet 500
Virtually all laser printers and most desk jets can use the laser driver.
A Desk Jet 500 driver is also provided for a few desk jets that need it.
Most Desk Jets can use either driver. All printer drivers print in black and white.
9 pin Dot Matrix
24 pin Dot Matrix
IBM Proptinter 24 Pin
All dot matrix printers, except for a few very old ones that don't support graphics at all, are covered by one of these drivers.
If one of these drivers prints garbage on your printer, try another.
If the plan prints, but is out of scale in one direction, switch from the 9 pin to the 24 pin, or the other way around.
Bubble Jet in Epson LQ mode
Bubble Jet in IBM Mode
Most Bubble jet printers support the Epson LQ mode. Many use "dip" switches to change to the IBM Proprinter Mode.
If one of these drivers prints garbage on your printer, try the other.

Note: These two drivers are identical to the corresponding dot matrix drivers. They are in a separate sub menu for organizational purposes.
All these printers use the same protocol as the Epson LQ and IMB Proprinter dot matrix printers.

Selecting a Printer Port Each time you click on The Change Printer Port menu item, a new port is displayed.
When you select Save Printer Settings and Exit, the current port will be used.
The available ports are: Lpt1, Lpt2, Com1, Com2,

98% of the time the default LPT1 port is the correct setting.
if you are using one of the com ports, Home Plan Pro does not configure it for you.

Saving your Settings The selected menu items are enclosed in chevrons (<< >>).
Click on Save Printer Savings and Exit to save the settings.

Printer Specifics Most printers will work with Home Plan Pro, and provide excellent print quality.
Here's a few known problems:
Printer Memory Printer memory is related only to Laser Printers. All other types of printers use only the computer's memory.
Laser printers need at least 1 megabyte of printer memory to handle graphic printing.

Almost all laser printers are sold with at least 1 megabyte, but there are a few that come with 500k. These will not be able to print graphics on the scale needed for Home Plan Pro.

Windows Only Printers A few new printer models are now being sold, that require a Windows printer driver to print. They will not print for Home Plan Pro, or any other program that doesn't use a Windows Printer driver.

Reports indicate that the Epson Stylus 400 is such a printer (there are conflicting reports about the Epson Stylus 600). We also have reports that the HP Deskjet 722 is similiarly affected.

These printers will not even print a directory listing from the Dos prompt, and should not be considered for printing with Home Plan pro.

Some provide Windows drivers that allow printing from Dos sessions when configured properly. The manufacturers are aware of this issue and have information on how to deal with it. The HP820 and 1000 are reported examples. See HP document Bpd03539.txt

We welcome your reports on these or any other printer.

Printing Tips
Home Plan Pro v 3.6 Several problems that have developed as a result of operating system and hardware changes have been addressed in version 3.6.

You can download a version 3.6 evaluation copy at this site.
To get a registered copy, send your serial number. We can email the program, or send it in the mail.
(Use the link at the bottom of this page)

Printing from Windows Most Home Plan Pro users are running the program from Windows.
Home Plan Pro uses its own printer drivers.
It sends the data directly to the printer designated printer port.
Home Plan Pro assumes a printer connected to the port, and doesn't use Windows printer drivers, or network spoolers.

If you have a problem printing with Home Plan Pro while in Windows, you should Start up in MSDos mode (Start/Run/Shutdown/Restart in MSDos Mode), and run HomePro.exe from the Dos prompt. This will determine if it is a Windows setting causing the problem.

Shelling out to Dos from Windows, is not the same as the above.

Windows Print Spooling There are two spooling settings that users tell us have made a difference in printing or diagnosing problems. Both are accessed by right clicking on the printer in the Windows/Settings/Printers screen.
Then click on the Details Ttab and the Spool Settings button.
  • Print Directly to Printer disables the print spooler
  • Spool Data Format Can be set to RAW, if it is currently EMF.
Corrupted Margins.cfg file Home Plan Pro creates a file called Margins.cfg the first time you set a printing margin in the Printer Options menu.

That file has been found to be corrupted on a few occasions, resulting in the program halting abruptly when starting to print, or a garbled Ctrl Prnt screen.

You can safely delete that file. The margins will just revert to the default.

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