CR 2008 doesn’t like Zebra Label Printers?

Saturday 30 August 2008 @ 2:36 pm

I worked with a customer yesterday who had a Zebra TLP 3842 printer to print individual labels. They recently upgraded from CR 9 to CR12 (2008) and with that upgrade they lost the ability to print labels correctly. After many attempts to isolate the problem we got down to this.

1) The preview in CR12 is correct, but the label contents print rotated 90 degrees. It seemed like an orientation problem but no changes to orientation settings had any effect. It is as if the printer is not hearing some of the instructions from CR12.

2) We experimented with all options in printer setup and in Crystal. No matter what settings we used we couldn’t prevent the rotation. This happened on two different PCs in the office (the only ones tried) and the printer driver seems to be the latest one available.

2) A brand new very simply report created in v9 (on the same PC) prints correctly. But that same report, when run in CR12 (on the same PC) prints rotated. MS Word also prints to this printer correctly.

3) If the v9 report is saved in CR12 it now prints rotated when run in v9. This seems to indicate that something stored in the RPT is confusing the printer.

So I am stumped. I am puzzled as to why it would work in v9, work in preview of CR2008 but then print wrong. If you run into a similar problem or if you use the same label printer successfully with CR12 I would like to hear from you. If you currently use this printer you might want to use the 30-day free trial to confirm that you can print your labels before you upgrade.

Added 3/29/2009:

There are 2 workarounds mentioned below in the comments.   One is exporting to PDF or printing to a PDF driver, first, then printing the PDF.  The other has involves overriding the dimensions.   I have more on this issue in a later post.

(Added 10/15/2009)

SAP Claims to have fixed this issue in SP2.

(Added 6/25/2011)

I have heard that Bartender Software provides free printer drivers for many zebra printers.  These do not seem to have the problems described here.  So that is another potential solution.

5 Responses to 'CR 2008 doesn’t like Zebra Label Printers?'

  1. robleg88 - September 29th, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    I found this , It looks like your problem.
    Hope this helps.
    (the issue at the bottom of the page)
    I put the text portion but there is also a screen shot.


    You set a report to display in landscape but the report shows in Report Viewer in the portrait layout. Or, you change the size of the report, but the size changes are not reflected.

    First, if you are using Crystal Reports 2008 to create your reports, you will have to uncheck the check box that says “dissociate formatting page size and printer paper size” in the page setup dialog, and then resave your report. You can find this dialog after opening your report in Crystal Reports 2008. Go to the file menu, and then select the page setup dialog. This is an issues known and reported by Business Objects. They may fix this in future service packs.

  2. Ken Hamady - October 11th, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, but we had tried that checkmark on and off and still had the same problem.

  3. Matthias - December 16th, 2008 at 12:02 am

    I found that when entering your label size and the width is greater than your height, CR 2008 will automatically change the orientation from Portrait to Landscape. I think that’s what causes the rotation.

    I successfully implemented this workaround:

    We have label sizes of W=10cm,H=7.25cm. By entering the size of W=10cm,H=10cm into CR2008, the paper orientation stays at Portrait.

    The label is now printed correctly.

    The incorrect height spec does not seem to matter, because page feeds in between labels will cause the printer to start at the top of a new label regardless of what it thinks the label height is.

    Hope this works for you.

  4. Ken Hamady - March 29th, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Another consultant came up with a clever workaround. He printed/exported the labels to a PDF first. Then he printed the PDF to the ZEBRA printer. Since the preview was never the problem in this issue, the PDF came out correct. And since printing a PDF bypasses the CR printer driver interface, the bug that turns the label didn’t show up. So thanks to Michael Groff at Technology Solutions in Lancaster, PA.

  5. Ken Hamady - October 10th, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    SAP claims to have this fixed in SP2. See the link update at the end of the article.

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