C# – .NET code to send ZPL to Zebra printers

.netc++zebra-printerszplzpl-ii

Is there a way to send ZPL (Zebra Programming Language) to a printer in .NET?

I have the code to do this in Delphi, but it is not pretty and I would rather not try to recreate it in .NET as it is.

Best Solution

This way you will be able to send ZPL to a printer no matter how it is connected (LPT, USB, Network Share...)

Create the RawPrinterHelper class (from the Microsoft article on How to send raw data to a printer by using Visual C# .NET):

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Drawing.Printing;
using System.IO;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

public class RawPrinterHelper
{
    // Structure and API declarions:
    [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, CharSet=CharSet.Ansi)]
    public class DOCINFOA
    {
        [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] public string pDocName;
        [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] public string pOutputFile;
        [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] public string pDataType;
    }
    [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="OpenPrinterA", SetLastError=true, CharSet=CharSet.Ansi, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
    public static extern bool OpenPrinter([MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStr)] string szPrinter, out IntPtr hPrinter, IntPtr pd);

    [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="ClosePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
    public static extern bool ClosePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

    [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="StartDocPrinterA", SetLastError=true, CharSet=CharSet.Ansi, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
    public static extern bool StartDocPrinter( IntPtr hPrinter, Int32 level,  [In, MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPStruct)] DOCINFOA di);

    [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="EndDocPrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
    public static extern bool EndDocPrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

    [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="StartPagePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
    public static extern bool StartPagePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

    [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="EndPagePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
    public static extern bool EndPagePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter);

    [DllImport("winspool.Drv", EntryPoint="WritePrinter", SetLastError=true, ExactSpelling=true, CallingConvention=CallingConvention.StdCall)]
    public static extern bool WritePrinter(IntPtr hPrinter, IntPtr pBytes, Int32 dwCount, out Int32 dwWritten );

    // SendBytesToPrinter()
    // When the function is given a printer name and an unmanaged array
    // of bytes, the function sends those bytes to the print queue.
    // Returns true on success, false on failure.
    public static bool SendBytesToPrinter( string szPrinterName, IntPtr pBytes, Int32 dwCount)
    {
        Int32    dwError = 0, dwWritten = 0;
        IntPtr    hPrinter = new IntPtr(0);
        DOCINFOA    di = new DOCINFOA();
        bool    bSuccess = false; // Assume failure unless you specifically succeed.

        di.pDocName = "My C#.NET RAW Document";
        di.pDataType = "RAW";

        // Open the printer.
        if( OpenPrinter( szPrinterName.Normalize(), out hPrinter, IntPtr.Zero ) )
        {
            // Start a document.
            if( StartDocPrinter(hPrinter, 1, di) )
            {
                // Start a page.
                if( StartPagePrinter(hPrinter) )
                {
                    // Write your bytes.
                    bSuccess = WritePrinter(hPrinter, pBytes, dwCount, out dwWritten);
                    EndPagePrinter(hPrinter);
                }
                EndDocPrinter(hPrinter);
            }
            ClosePrinter(hPrinter);
        }
        // If you did not succeed, GetLastError may give more information
        // about why not.
        if( bSuccess == false )
        {
                dwError = Marshal.GetLastWin32Error();
        }
        return bSuccess;
    }

    public static bool SendFileToPrinter( string szPrinterName, string szFileName )
    {
        // Open the file.
        FileStream fs = new FileStream(szFileName, FileMode.Open);
        // Create a BinaryReader on the file.
        BinaryReader br = new BinaryReader(fs);
        // Dim an array of bytes big enough to hold the file's contents.
        Byte []bytes = new Byte[fs.Length];
        bool bSuccess = false;
        // Your unmanaged pointer.
        IntPtr pUnmanagedBytes = new IntPtr(0);
        int nLength;

        nLength = Convert.ToInt32(fs.Length);
        // Read the contents of the file into the array.
        bytes = br.ReadBytes( nLength );
        // Allocate some unmanaged memory for those bytes.
        pUnmanagedBytes = Marshal.AllocCoTaskMem(nLength);
        // Copy the managed byte array into the unmanaged array.
        Marshal.Copy(bytes, 0, pUnmanagedBytes, nLength);
        // Send the unmanaged bytes to the printer.
        bSuccess = SendBytesToPrinter(szPrinterName, pUnmanagedBytes, nLength);
        // Free the unmanaged memory that you allocated earlier.
        Marshal.FreeCoTaskMem(pUnmanagedBytes);
        return bSuccess;
    }
    public static bool SendStringToPrinter( string szPrinterName, string szString )
    {
        IntPtr pBytes;
        Int32 dwCount;
        // How many characters are in the string?
        dwCount = szString.Length;
        // Assume that the printer is expecting ANSI text, and then convert
        // the string to ANSI text.
        pBytes = Marshal.StringToCoTaskMemAnsi(szString);
        // Send the converted ANSI string to the printer.
        SendBytesToPrinter(szPrinterName, pBytes, dwCount);
        Marshal.FreeCoTaskMem(pBytes);
        return true;
    }
}

Call the print method:

private void BtnPrint_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
    string s = "^XA^LH30,30\n^FO20,10^ADN,90,50^AD^FDHello World^FS\n^XZ";

    PrintDialog pd  = new PrintDialog();
    pd.PrinterSettings = new PrinterSettings();
    if(DialogResult.OK == pd.ShowDialog(this))
    {
        RawPrinterHelper.SendStringToPrinter(pd.PrinterSettings.PrinterName, s);
    }
}

There are 2 gotchas I've come across that happen when you're sending txt files with ZPL codes to the printer:

  1. The file has to end with a new line character
  2. Encoding has to be set to Encoding.Default when reading ANSI txt files with special characters

    public static bool SendTextFileToPrinter(string szFileName, string printerName)
    {
        var sb = new StringBuilder();
    
        using (var sr = new StreamReader(szFileName, Encoding.Default))
        {
            while (!sr.EndOfStream)
            {
                sb.AppendLine(sr.ReadLine());
            }
        }
    
        return RawPrinterHelper.SendStringToPrinter(printerName, sb.ToString());
    }