FGL printer setup

(Last updated on: September 20, 2018)

After you have installed the printer driver, you need to set up your FGL printer.

This document covers the following printers:

  • Bocas in FGL mode.
  • Practical Automation ETX, micro ETX, PTX, LTX in text mode.
  • Datamax S class using DTPL.

This document does not cover:

  • Installation and setting up the printers (covered in each printer’s manual).
  • Installation of the printer’s icon (covered in Windows documentation).
  • Plug in the printer, turn it on, and print a test ticket using the buttons on the front panel. If this does not work, the printer is defective.
  • Connect a printer cable from the printer to your computer (printer cables do not come with these printers). Then, go to a DOS prompt and change to the working subdirectory (probably C:\Tix5). Type the following command and press enter:
  • TYPE PRINT.TXT > LPT1 (or whatever printer port you may be using). You will get a ticket that says “Hello world” on it. If the printer does not pass this test, you can go no further. The causes might be:
    • Defective printer, printer port, or printer cable
    • No stock in the printer
    • Printer not connected to the proper port
    • Printer icon not mapped correctly
    • If you are using a serial port, it may not be set up correctly (use the MODE command).
  • Install the printer icon. Click on the Add printer icon and add the printer. Use the paper size US Standard fanfold, continuous form, no page break. Follow the instructions for your version of Windows.
  • Click here for the printer codes.This selects the FGL languagettach the printer to the form. Click on File | Ticket setup

These are the FGL codes. This is where you modify how your ticket appears.

Click here to attach the printer to the ticket.

This is what makes the ticket printing default to the proper printer.

Click on File | Page setup | Print setup here

You do not need to touch anything else

Select the text printer that you installed.

The printer type must be the text printer

This is the proper type of paper writing service. Modify the ticket format to your liking
You will need to adjust the settings in the ‘RC’ codes. Start with the position of the print. When you build up some conficence, try rotating the text and drawing boxes and lines.

Some notes:

  • The handiest tool for troubleshooting is your laser printer. Print a couple tickets to your laser printer and you will see exactly what the printer is receiving.
  • The RC stands for row and column. The numbers are the measurements. The units are ‘dots.’ Therefore, if you have a 200 dpi printer, a code of <RC100,300) means start printing ½ inch from the top and 1½ inches from the left side.
  • All the codes you need are in the printer’s manual. There are also samples of what the text looks like.
  • If you want to omit some of the data, leave that code blank. Nothing will be printed.
  • If you are getting partial tickets, you need to set the paper size to continuous form, no page break.
  • If you are getting “RC” codes printed on the ticket, you have the printer set up wrong. You have probably installed the Windows driver and are now sending RC codes to it. The solution is to delete the printer icon and re-install it as a text printer.
  • In order to change the font, enter the font number as <F6> This is combined with the RC codes to look something like <RC100,300><F3> Remember, once you turn a font on, it stays on until you turn it off (usually in the next command).
  • Print a ticket to a regular printer – laser, inkjet, or dot matrix. You will see the codes in the order that they get sent to the printer.
  • Windows XP occasionally has problems with the Generic Text driver. The solution is to use the Datamax pass-through driver. This is a print driver that does nothing. In other words, Windows thinks that it is talking to a print driver and sends everything it is told to. The pass-through driver takes the data and sends it directly to the printer – without modifying it. The Windows text driver is supposed to work this way, but occasionally does not. You can get the pass-through driver from our web site at: ftp://centerstage.com/Utilities/Drivers/Datamax/Passthru.exe

Historical note: FGL stands for “Friendly Ghost Language.” Boca was the first company manufacture a printer for show business using a thermal transfer process. It was so quiet, they called it a “Ghostwriter.” The language was naturally called, the Friendly Ghost Language.

Additional fields

This section is for printers using the character based languages. These are used in 2 situations: older printers, and professional box offices (where speed is very important).

You can imbed fields in with the additional commands for your ticket printer. These fields must be between curly braces. No spaces are allowed. These fields can be anything in the open databases such as:

<RC20,400>{customer.Phone} Boca or PA

A20,400,1,2,1,1,N,”{customer.Phone}” Eltron

4911A1200300090{customer.Phone} Datamax

If you are going to use a date field, enter it as:

<RC20,400>{dtoc(mainsale->Today_Date)} Boca or PA

A20,400,1,2,1,1,N,”{dtoc(Today_Date)}” Eltron

4911A1200300090{dtoc(Today_Date)} Datamax

Or, you can use what is passed to the ticket printing module. Internally, this is an array called aTicket. Note: the aTicket array is not available for labels or receipts. Here is how to call the elements:

<RC20,400>{aTicket[10]} Boca or PA

A20,400,1,2,1,1,N,”{aTicket[10]}” Eltron

4911A1200300090{aTicket[10]} Datamax

This will put the field for the seat row on your ticket.

Here’s an example of the sale number displayed as a 3 of 9 bar code on a Datamax E class:


Here are numbers for the other elements of aTicket:

1 = SHOW 10 = ROW

Troubleshooting FGL Printers

If you are having trouble printing with an FGL printer, try the following:

Use Windows Notepad to create a text file, Print.txt. In it, put 2 lines:

<RC150,300>Hello world <p>

Save the file. At a command prompt, go to the subdirectory where you saved the file.

Give the following command: TYPE PRINT.TXT > LPT1

This will send the text file directly to the printer. You will get a ticket with the words, “Hello world” on it. This command has to work. If it does not pass the test, some possible problems are: You may not have paper in your printer in the proper position. The cable may not be a good cable. The cable may not be solidly plugged in at both ends. You may have a bad printer port. If you are using a serial port for the printer, you will need a null modem (or null modem cable).

If the printer does pass this test, you now know the problem lies in the ability of Windows to communicate with your printer and not with communication between your computer and the printer.

  • Then, click on Start | Settings | Printers. Make sure the generic text driver is going to the correct printer port.
  • Make sure the printer cable is connected to the correct printer port. This is often overlooked – especially on a network.
  • Next, plug your report printer into that port. Print a test ticket to that port (using Print.txt). Then, print a Windows test page. You will get readable responses. If you do not get a response here, Windows is not talking to the printer port.
  • Now, you are ready to go into Wintix. Check your Ticket setup menu. Click on File | Ticket setup. Make sure FGL language is selected.
  • Make sure any commands sent to a thermal printer are in capital letters. Commands are anything within the “<” and “>” symbols.
  • Print a test ticket, from Wintix, to your report printer. You will get a list of “RC” codes followed by the data. If it does not, you probably have the wrong driver. You need a text print driver. If you already are using the Microsoft test driver, you should try the Datamax pass-through driver.
  • If the report printer works, plug in the ticket printer. Try the same test ticket. It will work.


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