In this article, you will learn:

  • How to print all your data when an app is completed
  • How to design a step that is properly formatted for printing

As your company begins automating paper processes and digitizing forms on your shop floor, you still may need to print the results of different operations in order to share data properly.

If you want to print data from a Tulip app in real-time (or save to a local PDF), there are three things that you need to do:

  1. Design a step that will look good when it is printed
  2. Add a button with a "Print" trigger
  3. Customize print settings so that the size of the step fills up as much of the page as possible.

This guide will cover all three steps. In this example, all layouts will be optimized for "Landscape" mode rather than "Portrait" mode, since most apps are displayed in landscape mode.

Designing A Step

You may be using a "Master Layout" in your app with many solid colors. Although this works well for communicating information to an operator, you probably don't want to waste printer ink on colorful steps.

Instead, you will want to remove all "Master Layout" elements from the "Print" step, and focus on text instead.

Here's an example of a step that is optimized for printing:

This step includes 7 pieces of data from the app, as well as 5 test results. The "Print" and "Menu" buttons in the top left and bottom right have a white background so that they do not require colored ink.

It utilizes the following features within Tulip:

Adding A Print Button

A print button requires one trigger action. It is often combined with an app completion, but this cannot happen in the same trigger. You must create a separate button to trigger the app completion. 

So, here is an example of a trigger that allows an operator to print a step and go to the next step, where they can complete the app:

  • "Print Using System Dialog"
  • "Go To Step" "Next"

This will open the computer's default print options.

Customizing Print Settings

Operators use the Tulip Player on screens of all sizes. So, you will need to do two things on each computer that is running the Tulip Player and requires a step to be printed or saved:

  1. Change the page layout to "Landscape"
  2. Adjust the scale to fill as much of the page as possible.

You can save these settings locally as a "preset" so that operators can easily select it in the future:

In order to adjust the scale, you should use the "Preview" option in the print dialog to see which scale percentage fills most of the screen.

This will vary based on the size of the Tulip Player that is running on the screen, and the size of the screen itself.

Saving the App Data in A PDF

The print dialog is also the best way to save app data on a local computer in a PDF. Rather than pressing "Print" in the system dialog, select "Save as PDF" to save the step and live data in a local file.

Further Reading

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