Set Up Printers

Printing documents and reports from Business Central is an important task for business users. You'll typically want to send print jobs directly to one of your organisation's printers—no matter which Business Central client or app you're using. Because Business Central online is a cloud service, it can't directly reach local printers connected to users' devices, but you can connect it to cloud-enabled printers.

To support your print needs, Business Central offers the following features:

Feature Description Web client Mobile app App for Teams
Universal Print Universal Print is a printer management solution available as a cloud service from Microsoft. With this feature, you can set up your printers in Universal Print, then register them for use in Business Central. This feature requires a Universal Print subscription and the Universal Print Integration extension works online. works online. works online
Email Print This feature lets you set up email-enabled printers. Business Central then sends print jobs to a printer using the printer's email address. This feature requires email-enabled printers, and the Send to Email Printer extension. works online. works online works online
Browser printing Print jobs are handled by the print functionality of the user's browser. If a cloud printer isn't installed and set up, or if an installed printer fails, then printing will default to the printing options for the browser. The Printer field on the report request page will display (Handled by the browser). works online

Note

Business Central supports other custom printer extensions that add even more print features. So if you have any custom printer extensions installed, your application may include print features not described in this article.

Set up Universal Print

Universal Print is a Microsoft 365 subscription-based service that runs entirely on Microsoft Azure. It gives you centralised printer management through the Universal Print portal. Business Central makes printers set up in Universal Print available to client users through the Universal Print Integration extension.

Universal Print setup.

The complete setup requires you work in both Microsoft Azure, using the Azure portal, and in Business Central.

Supported printers

Business Central supports the same printers as Universal Print, which can be either Universal Print–compatible or non-compatible printers. Non-compatible printers can't communicate with Universal Print directly, so they require extra connector software, which is provided by Universal Print. Some older printers may not be supported.

Prerequisites

For Business Central

  • Business Central 2021 release wave 1 or later.

  • Universal Print Integration extension is installed.

    This extension is published and installed by default as part of Business Central online and on-premises. You can verify whether it's installed on the Extension Management page. Learn more at Installing and Uninstalling Extensions in Business Central.

  • Business Central on-premises:

    • Azure Active Directory (AD) or NavUserPassword authentication is configured.

      Note

      Universal Print extension doesn't support service-to-service (S2S) authentication. It requires a signed-in user to send print jobs to the Universal Print service through Graph API.

    • An application for Business Central is registered in your Azure AD tenant and Business Central.

      Like other Azure services that work with Business Central, Universal Print requires an app registration for Business Central in Azure AD. The app registration provides authentication and authorisation services between Business Central and Universal Print.

      Your deployment may already use an app registration for other Azure services, like Power BI. If so, then use the existing app registration for Universal Print as well, instead of adding a new one. The only thing you'll need to do, in this case, is modify the app registration to include the relevant print permissions for Microsoft Graph API.

      To register an app and set the proper permissions, follow the steps described in Register an application in Azure Active Directory.

For Universal Print

  • A Universal Print subscription/licence for your organisation.

    Learn more at Licence Universal Print.

  • You have the Printer Management and Global Administrator roles in Azure.

    To manage Universal Print, your account must have Printer Management and Global Administrator roles in Azure AD. These roles are only needed for managing Universal Print. They aren't required by those using the printers from Business Central.

Set up Universal Print and add printers in Microsoft Azure

Before you can start managing Universal Print printers in Business Central, there are several tasks you'll need to go through to get Universal Print up and running in Azure with the printers you want to use.

For detailed instructions on how to get set up, see Get started: Set up Universal Print in the Universal Print documentation. Here's an overview of the steps you'll need to complete. Most of these steps are done in the Azure portal.

  1. Assign Universal Print licences to yourself and other users.

    How you assign the licence depends on whether you're integrating with Business Central online or on-premises.

  2. Install the Universal Print connector for registering printers that can't communicate with Universal Print directly.

    Most in-market printers can't communicate with Universal Print directly, so you'll need to install the Universal Print connector. Learn more at Installing the Universal Print Connector.

  3. Register your printers in Universal Print.

    Registering a printer makes Universal Printer aware of the printer.

    • For printers that can communicate directly with Universal Print, follow the steps provided by the printer manufacturer.

    • For other printers, register the printers by using the Universal Print connector.

      Learn more at Printer registration.

  4. Change printer properties (optional)

    After a printer is registered, you can view and modify printer properties, such as default preferences.

    Learn more at Managing Printer Settings using the Universal Print Portal.

  5. Share the printers.

    Any printer you want to use in Business Central will need to be shared in Universal Print.

    Learn more at Share a Printer.

  6. Give users permission to the shared printers.

    Learn more at Printer Permissions.

  7. Enable document conversion.

    Universal Print renders content for print in XPS format. Some legacy in-market printers don't support XPS content rendering—in many cases, only PDF format. Printing to these printers will fail unless Universal Print is set up to convert documents to the printer-supported format.

    Learn more at Document Conversion Overview.

Now, you're ready to add the printers to Business Central, set up default printers for reports, and print.

Add Universal Print printers to Business Central

After printers are set up and shared in Universal Print, you're ready to add them to Business Central for use. There are two ways to add Universal Print printers. You can add the printers all at once or individually, one at a time.

When adding printers individually, let's you set up the same Universal Print printer in Business Central more than once. Then, for each added printer, you can change the print settings, like paper tray, size, and orientation. This way, you can set up printers for different reports and documents with special output requirements.

  1. Choose the Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature. icon, enter Printer Management, then select the related link.

  2. Select Universal Print, then choose one of the following options:

    • Add all Universal Print printers to add all printers not already added. You can use this option even if there are already printers added.

    • Add a Universal Print printer to add a specific printer.

  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.

    • If you chose Add all Universal Print printers, then the Add Universal Print Printers setup starts.

    • If you chose to Add a Universal Print printer, then the Universal Printer Settings page appears. Fill in the Name field, then select ... next to the Print Share in Universal Print field to select the Universal Print printer. Fill in the remaining fields as needed. Hover over a field to read a short description..

    These actions verify your Azure AD setup (for on-premises), check your Universal Print licence, and then finally add the printers.

    Note

    For on-premises, if this is the first time connecting to Universal Print, the AZURE ACTIVE DIRECTORY SERVICE PERMISSIONS page appears and you'll be prompted to give consent to Azure Services. You only have to do give consent once.

After a printer has been added, you can view and change its settings from the Printer Management page. Just select the printer, then choose Edit printer settings.

Set up Email Print

Prerequisites

  • Business Central 2020 release wave 1 or later

  • Send to Email Printer extension is installed

    This extension is installed by default. Learn more about installing extensions, see

  • Email functionality is set up.

    Learn more at Set Up Email.

Add an email printer

The Printer Management page shows you the printers currently set up. The page also enables you to access the Settings page for each printer to edit an existing setup or set up a new printer.

  1. Choose the Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature. icon, enter Printer Management, then select the related link.

  2. Select Email Print, then choose Add an email printer.

  3. On the Email Printer Settings page, fill in the fields as necessary. Hover over a field to read a short description.

    Note

    You must manually select the appropriate paper size for a printer as no local printer or user settings can be stored.

    Beware that the Email Printer extension is set to A4 paper size by default, which isn't suited in North America, for example.

Privacy Notice

If you use the Email Printer extension, all or some print jobs are sent to the email address configured for the printer. We strongly recommend that a unique email ID is tied to a printer device using only the official services provided by the hardware manufacturer, such as HP ePrint, KonicaMinolta EveryonePrint, or Epson Email Print.

Take all necessary privacy precautions, including ensuring that the email printing solution has properly configured permissions, privacy settings, and retention policies. It is your responsibility to provide a correct, verified, and operational email address. Learn more at Microsoft Privacy Statement.

Set up default printers

There are a couple of ways to set up printers to be used by default for print jobs. A default printer is useful if you work with different reports that require different printers because of their placement in the company or their output capabilities.

Set a printer as a default printer for all print jobs

Through the Printer Management page you set up a printer as a default printer for all print jobs. You can specify the printer as default for you only or for all users.

  1. Choose the Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature. icon, enter Printer Management, then select the related link.

    Tip

    You can also open the Printer Management page from the Printer Selections page by choosing Printer Management.

  2. On the Printer Management page, select a printer from the list, choose Manage, then choose Set as my default printer or Set as default printer for all users.

Note

Setting a default printer from the Printer Management adds an entry in the Printer Selections.

Set a default printer for specific reports

The Printer Selections page lets you specify the printer a report will use by default. Default printers are set on a user-account basis. You can set a default printer for just yourself, another user, or all users.

Important

For Business Central on-premises, the Printer Selections page can only be used for cloud printers defined by printer extensions, like Email Print and Universal Print printers. It can't be used for local printers.

  1. Choose the Lightbulb that opens the Tell Me feature. icon, enter Printer Selections, then select the related link. Alternatively, select a printer on the Printer Management page, then choose the Printer Selections action.
  2. Choose the New action to add a printer selection for a specific report.
  3. Fill in the fields as necessary.

The specified report is now set up to print to the selected printer by default.

Note

When you print the report in question, you can select a different using the Print field on the report request page.

Note

If you do not set a report up for a specific printer on the Printer Selections page, then it is printed to the default printer of the company, as defined on the Printer Management page.

You or the administrator can also use the Printer Selections page to define other variations of printing for users and reports. The following table describes the combination of values to specify different printing setups for a report.

To Set the following values
Print a report to a specific printer for all users Specify values in the Report ID and Printer Name fields and leave the User ID field blank.
Print all reports to a specific printer for a specific user Specify values in the User ID and Printer Name fields and leave the Report ID field blank. This entry does the same as the Set as my default printer action on the Print Management page.
Set the default printer for all reports for all users Specify a value in the Printer Name field and leave the User ID and Report ID fields blank. This entry does the same as the Set as default printer for all users action on the Print Management page.
Print a specific report to the user's default printer Specify a value in the Report ID field and leave the Printer Name and User ID fields blank.
Print a specific report to a specific printer for a specific user Specify values in all three fields.

Note

More specific printer selections take precedence over more general printer selections. For example, a printer selection that has values in the User ID, Report ID, and Printer Name fields takes precedence over a printer selection that has blank entries in the User ID or Report ID fields.

Choosing the printer when running a report

Instead of using the default printer when running a report, you can override this setting from the request page. Simply choose the printer you want to use for this report generation in the Printer dropdown menu.

Sizing print jobs

Cloud printing is designed for documents of a reasonable size. Most cloud services, including PrintNode and HP ePrint, have a limit of 10 MB per job. If you need to print larger reports, you may have to split them in multiple printouts.

See also

Printing a Report
Work with Business Central
Run Batch Jobs
Send Documents by Email

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