Patrons are mentioning that they can't print their ticket
If a patron mentions that they can't print their ticket, first ask if they are able to open the ticket - can they view it on their screen when they click a link to the ticket? If they CAN view the ticket, then the PDF file is opening successfully on their machine. If the ticket did display correctly, they will send the file to their printer. If then it doesn't print, then there is an issue with their printer or print software or settings that they need to correct. They may need to contact their printer manufacturer.
If the PDF file does not open on their computer screen, then there is likely something not correct in their PDF software (such as Adobe Free Reader). They may need to restart their computer, or download a new version of the software or take some similar step.
If others are reporting the same issue and you are able to replicate the problem yourself, it could be that something in the ticket itself is causing a problem. The first thing to check are images. If you have a show image for ticket that is not a jpg file, or if an image is very very large it could cause the pdf file to not work, or to be very very slow in rendering. Check your show image for ticket loaded on the show they purchased - try saving it from the shows and performances screen by right clicking and "save as" to see the file type of the image. If it is other than a jpg file, you need to load in a different file that is a jpg. Only jpg image types will work on the ticket design.
Your box office tickets are not printing from your ticket printer
Our system generates tickets in pdf file format. This is a fairly universal format understood by almost all computers, since most have software built in to open and display this type of file. If your ticket is coming up on screen when you click the print ticket/receipt links, then the system is creating the ticket correctly. From there, you send the file to print.
Your printer runs a piece of software called a driver that handles the file and interprets it for your printer to actually print it out. The driver may have different older or newer versions, that may or may not be designed to interpret a pdf file. Most modern printers and drivers can print a pdf file without any trouble. If you send a ticket or receipt to print and your printer does not print it out, it could be that the driver or printer are not compatible with pdf files. We recommend you save a sample ticket file and contact your printer manufacturer to discuss if you need a different driver or if the printer is incapable. You can send them the pdf file as an example to help them troubleshoot it with you.
Boca Ticket Printer Issues
Recently, I've had two clients with printer problems, the solutions of which may be helpful for future occurrences.
1) The ticket was printing just a portion of the data and placing it near the top of the ticket. To solve that, we went to the printer preferences for the Boca, clicked Advanced, and set the paper size to Concert Ticket. Problem solved.
2) The printer waited many seconds before printing the first ticket, then generated an error, would print a couple more, but with garbage, then pause again. Thanks to Michael Hall at Boca for solving this one. Here is his note regarding installing a USB hub between the computer and the printer:
"These newest USB ports in the newest PCs are dumping huge amounts of garbage data from the USB bus out to the printer regardless of device number. The printer eventually gets the data it is expecting and the ticket prints. It is/was so slow because it is having to wait due to all the extra data being transmitted. The USB hub (smart device) filters out all the extra traffic and only delivers the relevant data to the printer. This is what the PC normally does all by itself. I’m not sure if this a hardware problem or an operating system issue. Hopefully there will be an upgrade in the future and eliminate the need for the USB hub altogether."
Other common issues with thermal ticket printers
1) If the ticket is printing what appears to be about 1/2 way out of place, make sure your ticket stock is going into the printer the right direction. The black marks on the back of the tickets tell the printer where each ticket begins and must be entered the right direction.
2) If you insert ticket stock and your printer starts feeding ticket after ticket and printing garbage text, it's possible some other printer driver on your computer has a print job stuck in it, and is using the same port on your computer. So it's feeding that job to your printer. Find the other printer driver in your printers settings and delete the job, or you may need to delete the printer from the printers settings entirely to clear it.
3) If your ticket printer is printing poor quality, it may be time to replace the thermal print head. These are not needed to be replaced often, maybe every year or two. First try cleaning out the machine. Use compressed air to remove paper dust from the inside, and check with the manufacturer on doing additional cleaning of the parts and surfaces.