ThreeWave Listing Printers In VBA

This page describes how to list available printers in VBA.
ShortFadeBar

Listing Printers

You can use VBA to create a list of printers connected to the PC. You can use this list to allow the user to select a printer from your application. The code on this page gets its list of printers from the system registry, specifically the key

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Devices
    

The code here is a function named GetPrinterFullNames that reads the registry and returns a String() array, where each element in the array is the name of a printer device connected to the PC. You can then loop through the list with code like:

    Sub AAA()
        Dim Printers() As String
        Dim N As Long
        Dim S As String
        Printers = GetPrinterFullNames()
        For N = LBound(Printers) To UBound(Printers)
            S = S & Printers(N) & vbNewLine
        Next N
        MsgBox S, vbOKOnly, "Printers"
    End Sub
   

You can change the ActivePrinter property of the Application object to set a new default printer. For example,

    Application.ActivePrinter = Printers(3)
    

Note that changing the ActivePrinter in VBA sets the active printer for Excel. It does not change the default printer in Windows.

download You can download the bas file with all the example code on this page.
download You can download a working XLS workbook that displays everything discussed on this page.

The GetPrinterFullNames Code

The full code is shown below:

    
Option Explicit
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
' modListPrinters
' By Chip Pearson, chip@cpearson.com  www.cpearson.com
' Created 22-Sept-2012
' This provides a function named GetPrinterFullNames that
' returns a String array, each element of which is the name
' of a printer installed on the machine.
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Private Const HKEY_CURRENT_USER As Long = &H80000001
Private Const HKCU = HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Private Const KEY_QUERY_VALUE = &H1&
Private Const ERROR_NO_MORE_ITEMS = 259&
Private Const ERROR_MORE_DATA = 234

Private Declare Function RegOpenKeyEx Lib "advapi32" _
    Alias "RegOpenKeyExA" ( _
    ByVal HKey As Long, _
    ByVal lpSubKey As String, _
    ByVal ulOptions As Long, _
    ByVal samDesired As Long, _
    phkResult As Long) As Long

Private Declare Function RegEnumValue Lib "advapi32.dll" _
    Alias "RegEnumValueA" ( _
    ByVal HKey As Long, _
    ByVal dwIndex As Long, _
    ByVal lpValueName As String, _
    lpcbValueName As Long, _
    ByVal lpReserved As Long, _
    lpType As Long, _
    lpData As Byte, _
    lpcbData As Long) As Long

Private Declare Function RegCloseKey Lib "advapi32.dll" ( _
    ByVal HKey As Long) As Long

Public Function GetPrinterFullNames() As String()
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
' GetPrinterFullNames
' By Chip Pearson, chip@cpearson.com, www.cpearson.com
' Returns an array of printer names, where each printer name
' is the device name followed by the port name. The value can
' be used to assign a printer to the ActivePrinter property of
' the Application object. Note that setting the ActivePrinter
' changes the default printer for Excel but does not change
' the Windows default printer.
'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Dim Printers() As String ' array of names to be returned
Dim PNdx As Long    ' index into Printers()
Dim HKey As Long    ' registry key handle
Dim Res As Long     ' result of API calls
Dim Ndx As Long     ' index for RegEnumValue
Dim ValueName As String ' name of each value in the printer key
Dim ValueNameLen As Long    ' length of ValueName
Dim DataType As Long        ' registry value data type
Dim ValueValue() As Byte    ' byte array of registry value value
Dim ValueValueS As String   ' ValueValue converted to String
Dim CommaPos As Long        ' position of comma character in ValueValue
Dim ColonPos As Long        ' position of colon character in ValueValue
Dim M As Long               ' string index

' registry key in HCKU listing printers
Const PRINTER_KEY = "Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Devices"

PNdx = 0
Ndx = 0
' assume printer name is less than 256 characters
ValueName = String$(256, Chr(0))
ValueNameLen = 255
' assume the port name is less than 1000 characters
ReDim ValueValue(0 To 999)
' assume there are less than 1000 printers installed
ReDim Printers(1 To 1000)

' open the key whose values enumerate installed printers
Res = RegOpenKeyEx(HKCU, PRINTER_KEY, 0&, _
    KEY_QUERY_VALUE, HKey)
' start enumeration loop of printers
Res = RegEnumValue(HKey, Ndx, ValueName, _
    ValueNameLen, 0&, DataType, ValueValue(0), 1000)
' loop until all values have been enumerated
Do Until Res = ERROR_NO_MORE_ITEMS
    M = InStr(1, ValueName, Chr(0))
    If M > 1 Then
        ' clean up the ValueName
        ValueName = Left(ValueName, M - 1)
    End If
    ' find position of a comma and colon in the port name
    CommaPos = InStr(1, ValueValue, ",")
    ColonPos = InStr(1, ValueValue, ":")
    ' ValueValue byte array to ValueValueS string
    On Error Resume Next
    ValueValueS = Mid(ValueValue, CommaPos + 1, ColonPos - CommaPos)
    On Error GoTo 0
    ' next slot in Printers
    PNdx = PNdx + 1
    Printers(PNdx) = ValueName & " on " & ValueValueS
    ' reset some variables
    ValueName = String(255, Chr(0))
    ValueNameLen = 255
    ReDim ValueValue(0 To 999)
    ValueValueS = vbNullString
    ' tell RegEnumValue to get the next registry value
    Ndx = Ndx + 1
    ' get the next printer
    Res = RegEnumValue(HKey, Ndx, ValueName, ValueNameLen, _
        0&, DataType, ValueValue(0), 1000)
    ' test for error
    If (Res <> 0) And (Res <> ERROR_MORE_DATA) Then
        Exit Do
    End If
Loop
' shrink Printers down to used size
ReDim Preserve Printers(1 To PNdx)
Res = RegCloseKey(HKey)
' Return the result array
GetPrinterFullNames = Printers
End Function
download You can download the bas file with all the example code on this page.
download You can download a working XLS workbook that displays everything discussed on this page.
ShortFadeBar
LastUpdate This page last updated: 21-Sept-2012.