VISUAL NEWSLETTER JAN 2006

 


LIBRA WINDOWS INTERFACES

 

With the advent of new programs and techniques that allow easier interfaces, Libra can now do things that were previously only within the realm of more sophisticated Windows Based software. Using complementary programs we can now:

 

1)    Print Barcode Labels

2)    Convert Libra Data into Excel

3)    Create Text & PDF Documents

4)    Automatically e-mail documents

5)    Cut & Paste Data from Libra to Word

6)    Print to USB Printers on Windows XP

 

If any of these are major requirements for your company it may be advisable to investigate integrating them with Libra before you look at replacing your accounting software. We will describe each of the above common features in brief in the article to follow:

 

Bar Coding is a common technology used in both Manufacturing and Inventory Tracking Applications. It involves two separate technologies. One is used to print barcode labels. The other is used to read barcode labels. Reading barcode labels is usually software independent. A reader simply converts barcodes into letters and numbers, which are fed into the computer via the keyboard interface. Printing is a little more complicated, requiring a specific program to design and print labels. The best of these programs offers an inbox function that will print labels on request as submitted by an outside source such as a Libra program.

 

For years now we have developed routines to export native Libra Data for use in Excel Spreadsheets. This data is usually ASCII text, which may or may not have field delimiters. This data can easily be imported into Excel using the File Import Wizard that kicks in automatically when you open a text file. Libra Spool Files can be used in this manner.

 

In some cases Text Data extracted from Libra can be used for other purposes. This data can be sent to banks for direct deposit. Reports can be e-mailed to another individual without the necessity of a printed copies and couriers. Invoices and Purchase Orders can be created in text format and automatically e-mailed to customers and suppliers with the aid of a small e-mail accessory program.

 

If you prefer to send files in Adobe Acrobat format, which blocks the end user from changing the document, a simple conversion routine can be integrated at the same time.

 

Many users do not know that you can copy and paste data from Libra screens to Microsoft Word for example. This can be done in both Text Mode and Graphics Mode. To Copy Text run Libra in Full Screen Mode and press <Print Screen> when the desired data is on the screen. Then press <ALT><TAB> to switch to Windows, open Word and set the Font to Courier 8 point. Right Click the mouse and select Paste to copy the Libra Screen into Word. To copy Libra Screens as a Graphic, press <ALT><Enter> to convert Libra into a Window. Click within the window, then press

<ALT><Print Screen>, go to Word and Paste. Keep in mind that Text can be changed while Graphic images cannot.

 

USB printers have become the norm and can cause users problems printing from older programs. If you are still using Windows 95 or 98 you may be out of luck in this case. Windows 2000 & XP allow users to create locally shared printers and Libra can be configured to print to the Windows share name, bypassing direct USB printing. With few exceptions Libra can print to any USB printer that supports PCL 4, 5 or 6 printer language. This covers almost all HP printers and many of the best competitive printers.