Setting up a ticket printer for use with Spektrix can be a little more complicated than installing a standard office printer, but don’t worry. We’ll talk you through the installation of the two most common makes of ticket printer - BOCA and Stimare - both of which are very widely used.
Even if you’ve successfully installed a printer before, we’d strongly recommend following this article very closely, in case there have been any changes to the process since you last completed it. Mistakes made during installation can be very difficult to rectify later, so it’s best to get it right first time!
Setting up your printer will cover three main stages:
- Installing the printer on your PC: it’s important that your computer ‘recognises’ the printer in order to communicate with it properly.
- Configuring the printer to work with your ticket stock: both BOCA and Stimare printers allow the use of varying stock sizes, but they’ll need to be set up to work with the specific size you’ll be using
- Linking the printer to Spektrix
Before you start, it’s very important that you don’t plug in your printer just yet! You’ll first need to download and install the printer’s driver - a component that the computer uses to be able to communicate with your printer properly.
NOTE: you may need to have Administrator privileges on the PC, as without these you may not be able to install new drivers or software. If you’re unsure, please check with whoever is responsible for your venue’s IT.
Both BOCA and Stimare produce their own installation guides. Rather than reproducing them here, we’d encourage you to download these directly from their sites, as they will be kept up to date by each manufacturer:
- Stimare Printer Manuals and Installation Guides
- Select the Quick Setup Guide.pdf for your printer model. Step 1 of the document will take you through the driver installation process. There will be a link in the document to download the required drivers - if this isn’t working, you should be able to find them here.
- BOCA Printer Installation Guides
- Select the manual for your printer model. This will download a pdf document with a table of contents. Click the Box Office Appendix - WINDOWS DRIVER INSTALLATION GUIDE entry, then follow the steps to complete the driver installation process
- If you're not sure which model of BOCA you have, try this page on BOCA's website for details of all of the currently-available models. If your model isn't listed there, or you need further advice, we advise you contact your internal IT team or the printer manufacturer for help before proceeding.
You’ll now need to set the dimensions of the ticket stock that you’re using, which you can do from the Devices and Printers section of Control Panel:
- Click the Windows symbol in the bottom left-hand corner of your desktop screen
- Type Devices and then select the Devices and Printers option from the results that appear
- An icon for your newly installed printer should be in this list; highlight the printer and select Printer Server Properties from the top menu bar:
- Tick the Create a new form box in the Forms tab:
- As in the above screenshot, give your new form a name, for example Spektrix Ticket, then measure your ticket stock and set the Width and Height accordingly before clicking OK to save the new form.
NOTE: in Print Server Properties, the Height setting refers to the long edge of the ticket. This is different to Spektrix – in the Document Design editor found in the Admin Interface under Document Designs, the long edge is the Width.
- Right click the printer icon again and select Printing Preferences, click the Advanced button and select your newly-created form size from the Paper Size drop-down menu, then click OK
If the new form does not appear in the drop-down list of options, it is most likely because the dimensions have been entered incorrectly. Try swapping the Height/Width figures and checking again.
- The Printing Preferences window should still be open - click OK to close this.
- Right-click the printer icon again and select Printer Properties:
- Click on the Advanced tab, then select Printing Defaults followed by the Advanced... button:
- Select your newly created form size from the Paper Size drop-down menu, then click OK
- You can now click OK to close any remaining pop-up windows
For this step, you’ll need to have the Box Office App installed on the PC - look for the following icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen to see if it’s already installed:
If it’s not immediately visible, try clicking the small white arrow to see any hidden icons.
If you don’t currently have Box Office App installed, please refer to this article.
Once you’ve ensured that you have a registered and connected the Box Office App on the PC, you’ll need to add the printer to it.
- Right-click on the Box Office App icon in the system tray and click Open
- You'll see a Printers screen, with a list of available printers on the left hand side:
- To add a printer to the Box Office App, just select the one you want on the left hand side, then click the > button to add it to the right hand side. This opens up a further screen where you can add or edit information about that specific printer:
- Add a Spektrix printer name so that you can identify the printer when you come to select it in Spektrix – give it a clear, recognisable name that you’ll be able to easily spot in a list. In this example the printer has been named Box Office BOCA 1
NOTE: if you leave it blank here, the System printer name does not pull through into Spektrix.
Print Using FGL
FGL is a print language mainly used by BOCA printers, although it can be emulated by some models of Stimare printer. When you create your ticket designs in Spektrix, you can choose between three printing modes:
- FGL Basic
- FGL Extended
Using either of the FGL options means you will only be able to use a small number of predetermined fonts. The Extended mode has the most to choose from of the two, but if you are using an older model of BOCA you may find that this mode isn’t supported.
When using FGL with BOCA printers, they may print more quickly, and you will have more control over when the printer physically cuts tickets as they are being printed.
With the Generic print mode you may see slightly slower printing, but will have a much wider range of fonts and formatting choices.
You can double-check your ticket designs in the Admin Interface under Document Designs > Tickets - simply click the Edit button next to one of your current designs, and then click the Document Properties button:
If the Printing Mode is set to either FGL Basic or FGL Extended you will need to tick the Print Using FGL check box in the Box Office App for the printer you are installing. If the Printing Mode is set to Generic, leave this box un-ticked.
Once you have added a printer, it’s worth running a test print to check that everything is working. First of all you need to restart the Box Office App (either restart your PC or reset the Box Office App itself – see here for more information on how to do this). Once that’s done just click the Test printer button from within the Box Office App.
If you have any further questions about how to install a ticket printer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team.