Tips & Tricks : Smartform Development for Pre-Printed Paper
Over the time, Form printing solutions in SAP got the needed maturity and became very developer friendly compared to the old solutions like SAP Script. One of solutions, Smartforms provides an effortless design option in building the forms with colors, tabular structure, bar code printing etc.
But still there comes the situation, where even after having these nice tools, developers face problem in development due to very nature of the requirement. One very typical example of such problem is “Development of the Form solution for a Pre-Printed Stationary/Paper”. Here, developer just has to print the actual values as all the tabular structures or the various texts, Logo are already available on the pre-printed stationary. Here, developer’s problems get multiplied if development is happening at a remote location like offshore center where specific printer / stationary is not available. Such situations are very common in projects.
In this case, normally Development team receives the requirement in the soft copy which generally has a scanned copy of the pre-printed stationary. All the tabular structures, texts and Logo will be already available on the Stationary and a developer will need to develop a form which should take care of existing prints on the paper along with actual data printing. Developer starts with his own understanding of the paper size and alignments and lot of time is wasted till final testing, as every time for testing one need to take the print on actual stationary to check the alignments.
In such scenarios, the valuable testing time can be saved if the development is happening in the Smartform. There is very simple solution to resolve the issue to a great extend… though sign off has to be earned by taking the print on actual Stationary . Lets see how one can save testing time to a great extend. –
In the normal development, developer will create a smartform solution with his presumption and a sample output of the development will look something like below screenshot
With this out-put, its hardly possible to say whether development is on right track or not… till one actually print it on the actual paper. In a remote development team case, its add some more issues to this problem and unnecessarily eat up the valuable development time.
To a certain extend this can be reduced. What one need to do is to make a .bmp file of scanned copy of the Pre-Printed stationary and load that image in SAP using Transaction SE78. Then by adjusting the resolution, assign this uploaded image as a Background Image in Smartform Page definition as shown below.
While attaching the image as a background image remember one important thing — we need to set the Output Mode as “Print Preview”. This way, you will be able to see the data along with the Background image only in Print Preview. But it will not print the background image as a output. With these settings, one will get the sample output in Print preview option as below
I hope this helps you in your future developments.