A Printername by Any Other Name

The Perpetual Newbie - Log Entry #4.1

This article first appeared on http://www.undu.com

I like to keep my users informed. A particular piece of information that tends to avoid trouble down the road is to have a clear label on screen as to which is the active printer. This helps avoid sending laser reports to dot matrix printers and vice-versa. And knowing where the intended destination lies allows me to change the &Print button to a &Fax button as the occasion demands it. A little thing, but it reassures the user you are in control.

Unfortunately, I used a third-party DCU to get the printer name for several years. I know, I know. You aren't supposed to use any third-party tool that you don't have source for, but it worked beautifully. Until my most recent upgrade. That's when I discovered the DCU-provider was no longer supporting or updating the tool. Oops!!!

I went through the TPrinter help section. Still couldn't come up with a solution. So, off to the internet I went, using www.deja.com to search for "Delphi printername." As has been pointed out to me, I would probably have been better off at http://www.tamaracka.com/search.htm. Despite the misguided start, I did encounter several emails, including one by Barry McClure of Grebar Systems, the providers of PrintDAT!, a very nice grid printer tool that I have been using happily. In the exchange was my solution,

presented here as a function or two:

  uses Printers;

  {Gets FULL Printername including port designation}

  function gmGetPrinterName:string;


    if Printer.PrinterIndex = -1

      then result := 'No Default Printer Selected'

      else result := Printer.Printers[Printer.PrinterIndex];


  {Returns the Printername without port designations}

  function gmGetJustPrinterName:string;


    s = ' on '; // include a space before and after 'on' for the pos search


    if Printer.PrinterIndex = -1

      then result := 'No Default Printer Selected'

      else begin

        result := Printer.Printers[Printer.PrinterIndex];

        if pos(s,result) > 0

          then result := copy(result,1,pos(s,result)-1); // shaves off port



Gary Mugford

Idea Mechanic, Bramalea ON Canada

[email protected]


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