chr(12) Form Feed in Notepad (Windows)

John Yeung gallium.arsenide at
Sat Jan 16 21:06:09 CET 2010

On Jan 15, 7:40 pm, "W. eWatson" <wolftra... at> wrote:
> I am writing a txt file. It's up to the user to print
> it using Notepad or some other tool.

In another response, Tim Chase suggested creating an RTF file instead
of plain text.  I think this is your best bet if your goal is to get
page breaks with the least amount of additional effort.

The package he's probably referring to is PyRTF.  I took a quick look
at it and in my opinion it's overkill for your purposes.  Since RTF is
actually just a markup language, and the only features of it that you
absolutely need are (1) a way to ensure a fixed-width font is used and
(2) a way to insert page breaks, it's probably quickest and simplest
to just throw the markup into the document yourself (well, with
Python) and naming the result with the .rtf suffix instead of .txt.

So, how do you find out what markup to use?  Open WordPad, select the
font you want, type a bit of text, save the file as RTF (this should
be the default), and open up the file in Notepad.  At the top will be
a bunch of setup codes, including the font selection.  Make your
Python program put that whole spiel (including a trailing space or
newline, to separate your text from the last RTF tag) at the top of
your output.  There will be one unmatched curly brace, which you
should close at the end of the document.  On my computer, it looks
like this:

\fprq1\fcharset0 Courier New;}}
{\*\generator Msftedit;}\viewkind4\uc1\pard\f0\fs20

That takes care of the font (and other stuff, but you are interested
in the font).  The only other things you need to do are put
r'\par' (the end-paragraph tag) at the end of each line and r'\page'
at the end of each page.  Again, remember to make sure these tags
don't collide with your actual text.  (I'd use '\\par\n' in place of
'\n' and '\\page\n' in place of chr(12).)  Finally, make sure to end
with a closing curly brace as previously mentioned.

The RTF solution is probably more robust than embedding chr(12) and
telling the user to use WordPad, especially since I saw someone report
on another forum that chr(12) doesn't always work even in WordPad (it
might be dependent on the version of WordPad, or the printer, or

I am too lazy to have actually read any documentation on RTF, but it's
freely available on the Web should you need to reference it.


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