Chaining Buttons In Tray Selector

At Tray Selector we are sometimes asked if it is possible to print 3 copies of a document to different trays in a single click. It is simple to setup a button to click 2 copies to different trays using the extra copies button shown below:-

Printing two copies to different printers

So that’s easy enough but what if we want a third copy sent to say Tray 2 to get a copy of our document on say pink paper which is in Tray 2?

In this case we’d normally have to use two buttons. The first button setup, as above, to print on say Headed (Tray 1) for the first page and then Plain to Tray 3 followed by an extra copy of all pages to PDF.  Then we’d need to setup a new button to print out on the pink paper from Tray 2 as shown below.

Printing to pink paper

The problem is that a user would need to first click the “HP Laserjet” button to get their copy on headed and plain and a copy to PDF. After that then click the “Pink” button to get their pink paper copy from Tray 2. But that’s 2 clicks and at Tray Selector we like to be able to do this in a single click!

Button Chaining

From version 1.3.5 (Dot Net) and 1.6.9 (Standard) we’ve introduced a new concept called “button chaining” that allows users to do this. Button chaining allows a user to automatically fire off the clicking of another button once all the operations of the first button have finished. To do this we add a text entry in the “macros” dialog for the first button as shown below.

Adding entry for button chaining

The text “tsclickbutton,2” tells Tray Selector that once all the printing is finished for the “HL Laserjet” button then call button 2 e.g. the “Pink” button and this produces the 3rd pink copy as required.

Note you can only put this command into the “Macros to run after printing” box on the macros dialog for on the main settings dialog box for your button not on the macros dialog obtained from the extra copies dialog box. You also can’t put it in the “Macros to run before printing..” section.

Finally just to neaten things up you might want to un-check the “Show on ribbon” checkbox for the pink button so that users now just see a single button to print out the three copies.

What if I accidentally setup some buttons to cause a cycle in my buttons will they just keep clicking and burning up paper on my printer(s)? No. We’ve thought of that and we’ve put a limit so that no more than 12 buttons can be chained in a row so worst case you shouldn’t do too much damage.

Tim Kempster is a founder member of Tray Selector. He has worked in Computer Science and IT for over 20 years. Tim has a PhD in computer science from the University of Edinburgh.