While it’s possible to print tickets on an individual order basis, most organisations will want to print large numbers of tickets in bulk. Batch printing allows you to select tickets across multiple orders and Instances and print everything in one go. In this article we’re going to take a look at how you can set your organisation’s preferences for batch printing, and then how to select and print the relevant orders.
You don’t have to set anything specific up to be able to batch print, but there are a couple of settings which you can tweak if you want to tailor how the feature works. These settings allow you to choose how many Orders should print in each batch, and set whether tickets print in A-Z order or reverse.
You can find both of these options in the Settings Interface under Configuration > System Setup > Printing (you will need to have the Settings Administrator role on your user account in order to be able to access this, and the full functionality is only available in the new interface).
Default number in a batch
Batches can potentially include hundreds or even thousands of tickets, and even the biggest ticket printer can’t always hold enough tickets to print all of some batches. To help make sure batches are of manageable sizes, you can set the default number of Orders to be included in each batch.
If a batch would contain more Orders than the default number you’ve set, the system will automatically default to the limit you’ve set. At this point you can either edit the number of Orders or print the number of Orders set as default. Any remaining unprinted Orders will still be available to print once the first batch has completed.
You can choose whether you want the tickets in each batch to print in A-Z order (arranged by the surname of each Order) or, alternatively, in reverse Z-A order. The most common choice is A-Z, but it can be useful to print Z-A if you are printing into a rack or tray so that once the batch has finished, it will automatically be in alphabetical order, and you don’t need to go through and re-sort.
The overall batch will always be ordered either A-Z or Z-A by surname, depending on which you choose, but if you split the tickets into multiple batches (as per the previous setting) then the system will break up the total batch into chunks and maintain the overall order.
For example, if you split the batch into two smaller batches, then the first batch might include orders with surnames starting with A to L, while the second batch would then include surnames starting with M to Z.
NOTE: the exact split will depend on the number of Orders in the batch, and won’t necessarily be an even split by letter.
When you want to do a batch print, head over to the Tickets menu in the Sales Interface; from here you can set all of the criteria for what you want to print and choose which Instances you want to print for.
The first section on the Ticket Printing screen is Printing Criteria, which allows you to set various options for which tickets you want to include in your batch.
- Include Items Already Printed: selecting this check box will cause tickets which match the remainder of the criteria to be included, whether they have previously been marked as printed or not.
- You might want to select this if you’re reprinting tickets which were accidentally marked as printed, for example.
- Include all other tickets from the same Order as the search results: tick this if you want to include tickets which don’t match the rest of the criteria, but are part of the same Order as tickets which do match the criteria.
- Include Merchandise Items: tick this to print out vouchers for any merchandise items included in Orders which meet the criteria set, so long as the merchandise has a printable voucher set up in the system.
- The Order must include tickets to feature in the search.
- If this option doesn't display on your system, please contact the Spektrix Support team who will be able to activate it for you.
- Include cover slips: select this if you would like to print a cover slip for every order, or leave it un-ticked to avoid including cover slips.
- Delivery Method: these options allow you to choose whether you want to include tickets for collection, for postage, or both.
- Include CoBO Tickets: tick this to include tickets which have have CoBO selected as their delivery method.
- Include Postal Tickets: tick this to include tickets which have Post selected as their delivery method.
NOTE: If you have any Fixed Series subscriptions set up on your system, you will see an additional couple of options on this screen, allowing you to determine whether you want to include just single-Instance tickets, Fixed Series tickets, or both.
Once you’ve chosen your criteria, you need to select which Instances to include in the batch. If you want to print ALL unprinted tickets regardless of Instances, then just click the Search button (as long as you’ve selected at least one Delivery Method). Otherwise you have two options for choosing Instances - Basic and Advanced.
Take care when you’re selecting which tickets to print, as depending on your search criteria, it’s possible to select and print a very large number of tickets!
The simplest way of doing this is to click the Add button, which generates a popup message explaining what to do next and then takes you to the Events screen.
From there, you can navigate to the Instance you want to print, as you would do normally, and then select Add to printing criteria from the Actions menu.
This takes you back to the Tickets screen, where you’ll see the Instance you selected under Event Instances.
You can add in as many Instances as you want; just go back to the Events screen and follow the same process with each Instance.
If you want to include a wide range of Instances in your batch, you can instead use the Advanced search functionality, which offers up a criteria picker similar to those you’ll see elsewhere in the system.
You can use any of the options included here to build up a more complex set of search criteria, allowing you to narrow down your search and save time over manually adding in each Instance. Here are a few possible examples:
- Start Date: use this to pull in every Instance of every Event taking place over a given period of time.
- Venue: use this to include all Instances taking place at a specific venue.
- Ticket Designs: if you use different ticket stock for events taking place at different venues or run by different promoters, use this to print out everything for each set of ticket stock separately.
Remember that you can combine multiple criteria into one larger set using And rules to narrow down your search even further, or Or rules to widen your search.
Check your Orders
Once you’ve got your search results, it’s worth reviewing the results before printing just to make sure the batch looks right. It’s easy to accidentally end up with more tickets to print than you expected, so it’s a good idea to check the size of the batch first.
At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see how many pages of tickets have been included - each page contains 12 tickets, so you can easily work out how many tickets are going to be in the batch. If the number looks higher than you expected, go back and check your search criteria to make sure you’re happy before you go ahead and press Print.
Remember that Orders will show up in either A-Z or Z-A order depending on which option you’ve set in Settings > Configuration > System Setup > Printing.
Once you’re happy with the contents of your batch, click the Print button to print all of the tickets. You’ll see a popup asking you to confirm that you’re happy with the number of Orders being printed, based on the default number you’ve set in Settings > Configuration > System Setup > Printing.
If the total number of Orders in your batch is greater than the default you’ve set, as in the example above, the system will suggest that you only print the default number. You can change that if you want to; otherwise, click Confirm to print the selected number of Orders. Any remaining Orders won’t be printed, but will be available for you to print once the first batch is done.
Once you click Confirm, the tickets will be sent to the printer (click here for more information on ticket printers and Spektrix) and should start printing in the order you’ve set. You’ll also see another popup asking you to confirm when the tickets have been printed.
It’s really important to wait until you’ve checked that all of the tickets have been printed before you click Yes on this popup. The system has no way of knowing whether the tickets printed successfully, so it’s dependent on you checking before you confirm on the popup.
If there are any issues with printing, such as a paper jam or the printer running out of ticket stock, you’ll want to click No here so that you can reprint the entire batch. Otherwise, once you click Yes on this popup, the system will mark all of the tickets in the batch as having been printed - at that point there’s no way of seeing in the system which tickets have successfully printed and which still need printing.
NOTE: if you find yourself with a batch which didn’t print properly but has been marked as printed, then you can - if you know which Orders are affected - go back into each Order and manually un-mark the tickets as being printed. If you don't know which Orders are affected, please get in touch with the Spektrix Support team. Alternatively, if you’ve had to click No because some tickets didn’t print, you can go into the Orders which did print and manually mark the tickets as printed.
Assuming you’ve checked that the tickets have all successfully printed, click Yes to mark all of the tickets as printed.
If there are still more tickets waiting to be printed, the list at the bottom of the screen will have updated to reflect the remaining Orders yet to be printed. You can keep doing batch prints until all of the tickets have been printed.
If you have any further questions about batch printing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team to discuss them further.