in Sage March 12, 2018
Hello everyone and welcome to another of TMS's Sage Insight guides, our series of user guides aimed at helping you make the most of your Sage Products. One of Sage 200's most interesting features is that it allows each user to configure how their documents are produced. There are three separate output modes that all produce documents in different ways but choosing which one can be tricky. In this guide, we will show you how to change your output in Sage 200 and discuss the differences between each output mode.
Changing the Output Mode in Sage 200
Printer, Preview, Spooler: A Closer Look at Output Modes
Output Mode 1: Printer
As discussed in the video above the Printer output mode causes all documents that are produced by that user to be sent directly to the printer. There is no preview of the document prior to its printing and so can be viewed to be a little riskier than the other output modes on this list. Furthermore, users who use Printer output will not be able to export their documents for further data manipulation within Excel or be able to send it digitally via email. Therefore we only recommend that users who want to produce a lot of documents at a quick rate, such as on a shop floor or a similar retail environment, to use Printer output mode.
Output Mode 2: Preview
For users who want to check their documents before they are printed/ sent then Sage's second output mode, Preview, could be for you. This output mode generates a preview pane to illustrate how the document would look digitally, giving the user the ability to check the document prior to printing it off. The preview pane does more than just allow the user to check their documents however as from it they can print the document, export it to excel or save it as a pdf offering up a wider control and flexibility to the user about what they do with the produced document. Not a bad trade for the sacrifice of Printer output modes speed.
Preview does have its limitations however in that each preview is only temporary. If you close the document without deciding what to do with it then the user will have to generate the report again. As such, each report/ batch of reports can only be checked at the time they are generated creating a possible bottleneck that could have been avoided if the user had configured their system to use a different output mode.
Output Mode 3: Spooler
If you're looking to check multiple reports at a time that suits you without the threat of losing them then Sage's third output mode, Spooler, is for you. Spooler puts all documents that are generated within Sage 200 and places them automatically into the Spooler folder quickly and seamlessly. Once the documents are accessed from the spooler then it has similar abilities as the Preview output mode in that it allows the document to be saved, exported or printed. If the user decides not to do anything with it and closes the document preview then it will stay in the spooler until it is cleared. Even reports that have been printed can be stored in the spooler until cleared. A further benefit that could be crucial to a company is that User's Spoolers can be configured in the System Administrator to allow others to access, print and export documents from each other's spooler's.
Like each of the Output modes, there are clear disadvantages to using the Spooler over the other two output modes. The first is that it takes the longest to produce an actual paper report due to the additional steps that are involved. A second reason is that the Spooler will not store documents indefinitely. Once the folder has reached its limited then it will start deleting documents to make room for new ones irrespective of whether they have been printed or not. Therefore if you do choose to use Spooler mode we recommend that the clearing of the files should be part of a general housekeeping routine.
So there you have it! 3 ways to produce documents within Sage 200 and the differences between the three. We at TMS suggest that for most users that Spooler or Preview output modes should be sufficient for your reporting demands. We hope you have found this article useful in enhancing your Sage expertise. If you want to enhance your Sage experience further why not take a look at some of our other Sage Insight Articles or take a look at booking onto one of specialist Training Courses. For all other enquiries about our Sage services feel free to contact us.