User Printing SAP BASIS

All the output lists and almost every other screen in the SAP system include a printing function. The most common way to access the printing function is either by clicking on the Print button on the standard toolbar or application toolbar or by selecting System | List | Print from any SAP window. Up to release 4.6 of SAP R/3 and SAP Basis-based solutions, printing in the SAP systems was normally a two-step process that should not confuse users: first they select the print function, which displays the print screen. This screen must be filled out, and then it will send the list to the output controller and to the printer.

Since release 4.7 of R/3 and the Web Application-based solutions, the printing functions have been simplified, although previous specific functions can still be accessed and modified according to user's printing needs. The system will display the Print Screen List dialog box. In this abbreviated screen, users only have to fill out the basic information required by the SAP spooling system: output device (name of the printer), number of copies, and number of pages. By default the system will send the print information immediately to the printer selected. If you want to define additional attributes for the print request, click on the Properties button of the Print Screen List dialog box.

Print Screen List dialog box

Print Screen List dialog box

Some applications require users to enter some printing information on a special screen and will not show the print screen.

Print Attributes

The example of the print or spool request attributes. As indicated by the help in the same screen, you can double-click on a line to change its value, or choose default values.

Specifying spool request attributes

Specifying spool request attributes

Some of the available attributes for a spool request are as follows:

  • Name. This field identifies the print request in the SAP output controller. This field is automatically set by the system, but users can change it if they wish, by selecting the Spool Request folder and double-clicking on the Name. The system will present an input field where you can define your own spool name.
  • Title. Users can enter here a short description of the print request, so they can easily identify it. This is also located under the Spool Request folder.
  • Authorization. This field can contain an authorization code previously defined by the system administrator. It is used to protect users looking at printed data that can be sensitive or confidential.
  • Time of printing. This attribute is found under the General Attributes folder. If you need your job to be printed immediately, you have to select this option arid in the Time of Print list box, select Print Immediately. When this option is selected, the system sends the output immediately to the printer. This is a key option because users often forget to select it, and nothing comes out of the printer. If this attribute is not selected, the print job is sent to the output controller, where you can later print it. Users can have this option selected by default by modifying their own user parameters. To do this, go to System | User Profile | Own Data, select the Defaults tabstrip, and click on the check mark next to Output Immediately in the Spool Control section. However, deselecting this option can be useful when you want to print just a few pages from a long listing because you can specify pages to print from the output controller but not from the print-screen.
  • Delete immediately after printing. Select this attribute to tell the SAP system to remove the print request after it has been successfully printed. This attribute is located under the Output Options folder.
  • SAP cover sheet. You can use this field to print a cover sheet at the beginning of the print job.
  • Format. This attribute indicates the format used for printing the report or list. The format is automatically set by the system, and users usually should leave this option unchanged, except in special circumstances.

If you want any of the attributes to show on the initial screen, select the check box Show select print parameters on initial screen found when modifying or specifying any of the attributes. Once you have specified all the required parameters or only the output device, click on the Continue icon. Clicking on it creates the output request. If the Print Immediately option was sent, the job is sent directly to the printer.

Monitoring the Status of Your Print Requests

By selecting System | Services | Output Control from any SAP screen, the system displays the Spool Request selection screen, where users can select and check the status of their print jobs. On this screen, enter the criteria for the print request you want to search and click the Execute button. The system will display the Spool Request screen. The most important information on this screen is output status, where users can check whether the job has been printed or if any problems have arisen. Possible values of the output status field are as follows:

  • (Dash). The print request has been created but has not been sent to the printer yet. This is the normal case when the Print Immediately check box was not selected. You can send the print request to the printer by selecting the request and clicking on the Print icon on the application toolbar.
  • Compl. The print job has completed successfully and should be at the printer.
  • Wait, Problem, or another colored message. There is a problem with completing the print request. To see the problem details, select the print request by checking the box next to it and press the Output Request button. On the next screen, select the line again and press the Output Request Log button.

Common problems relating to the print functions include Printer is offline and Local PC where the printer is attached is not turned on. The output controller also allows users to perform additional functions besides looking at the status of their requests and printing held jobs. For example, they can remove jobs from the system by clicking on the Delete button or can display the job output on the screen by selecting the Display button.


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