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PCL5/PCL5E/PCL6 - differences

dsaro00 (Programmer)
10 May 05 11:54
Hi,

Does any one know what the differences are between PCL5, PCL5E and PCL6? Are there any differences in the commands supported?

Do you know what version is supported by HP4250/HP9050 models?

Where can I find the manuals for PCL5E and PCL6? I already have the PCL5 technical reference manual.

Thanks & Regards
dsaro00
jlasman (TechnicalUser)
10 May 05 13:24
PCL6 is NOT a superset of PCL5, and is NOT similar in any way. While PCL5 is interpreted as the data arrives at the printer, PCL6 is first "compiled" by the printer driver before being sent to the printer.

I'm not sure if there are any publicly available PCL6 docs, and the PCL5 tech ref is all you need for that.

I would assume that the 4250/9050 models support BOTH, but of course, if you are printing from windows the appropriate driver would have to be in play.

Stay tuned for the "official" explanation from Dan'sDad!

Jim Asman

DansDadUK (Programmer)
10 May 05 17:44
I don't think I can add much to Jim's precis, only repeat it in different terms.

PCL5/PCL5e (the latter being an extended version) is an escape-based language, using an ASCII representation, but is relatively unstructured (although quite powerful); so you can edit a PCL5 print stream relatively easily.

PCL6 (aka PCL XL) is a completely different language, uses a binary representation, and is much more structured; for these reasons, it is much more difficult to edit a PCL6 print stream. PCL XL has a closer relationshipt to the GDI used within Windows than does PCL5; most PCL6 drivers now offer more features than their PCL5 equivalents.

HP (for reasons known only to themselves) do not publish a PCL6 equivalent to the PCL5 Technical Reference manual; there is little PCL6 documentation available publically.

As far as I am aware the HP LJ4250 supports PCL5e, PCL6 and PostScript languages, and (if more than a certain amount of memory (128Mb?) is installed, also supports Direct-PDF printing. I assume the same is true of the LJ9050.
DansDadUK (Programmer)
11 May 05 14:44
The following link gives an official HP view of the reasons for, and differences between, PCL5e, PCL6 and PostScript drivers:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=bpl06947
DansDadUK (Programmer)
31 May 05 17:39
I've found live links to some PCL6 documentation:

http://www.hpdevelopersolutions.com/downloads/64/358/xl_ref20r22.pdf for protocol class/revision 2.0 document revision 2.2

http://www.hpdevelopersolutions.com/downloads/64/358/xl_ref21.pdf for protocol class/revision 2.1 supplement

There must be a similar document for protocol class/revision 3.0 supplement, but I haven't found that yet.
assets (TechnicalUser)
24 Jul 05 21:26
The 4250 uses the same driver as the 4350 and I had MAJOR problems. The 4200/4300 also have problems the only way around the problem with the 4200/4300 was to use the PS driver , this solved the problem. as above PCL6 is compleatly different.  We had to write VB coding to select the correct paper trays.  With the "tn" it goes to tray 3 even if tray 2 is picked.

Never give up never give in.

There are no short cuts to anything worth doing   

belttech (MIS)
4 Aug 05 13:15
Hello!

We are having problems. When convert a file to PCL it usual decreases in size. We save these files on the printer and call them with esc codes. This way we dont' have to send the same file down 50 million times from the mainframe. Something happened the last time, and the file is in PCLXL and it triples in size.  We can't find anything different about the original, and if we convert it using a normal print to file driver, it works fine. When we use a Lexmark Optra L driver it triples.  The Optra driver is required, because of the flash features.

Any help?

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