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Understanding PCL better.

Understanding PCL better.

Understanding PCL better.

Dear users,

I am trying to figure out PCL better.

Our printer sharp mx-850 contains the front and back of our documents. I would like to change to font to match the other company's documents.

What I know is we use:


Only thing I know from the other company is they use 'Lucida Sans Unicode' which I think is ‘1765’.
After printing with 1765 it still looks different is there anyway to figure out an exact copy?

Also what I don't understand is the '(19'

l 21 H ~ Source Tray
&l1S ~ Duplex Long-edge binding

One last question, is there a way if all the layout is added inside the printer and the logos and text are in place etc.. Then receive it back as an digital copy for example in pdf format. Right now to get it back digital is to first print it then scan it. :(

Already thank you for the help greetings.

RE: Understanding PCL better.

There are a number of things wrong with your PCL sample which render it invalid:

  • The PJL statement must be preceded by a Universal Exit Language escape sequence to put the printer into PJL mode (the 'Enter Language' command then puts the device into PCL mode).
  • The 'E' preceding the first '&' is supposed to be an Escape character; this is the character with decimal code 27, or hexadecimal 1B; because it is a (non-graphic) control-code character, it is usually represented by <Esc>, or <esc>, or similar, in documentation.
  • Other escape characters are required at the start of subsequent escape sequences.
  • The '19' is wrong; it should be '19U', which is the identifier for the Windows Latin 1 symbol set.
After making corrections as per above, the sample is interpreted as:

CODE -->

<Esc>%-12345X     Universal Exit Language (UEL)
<Esc>&l21H        Paper Source: id 21 is Printer Dependent
<Esc>&l1S         Simplex/Duplex: Duplex Long-Edge Bind
<Esc>(19U         Primary Font: Symbol Set (19U = Windows Latin 1 (CP 1252))
<Esc>(s1p         Primary Font: Spacing: Proportional
       12v        Primary Font: Height (12 points)
       0s         Primary Font: Style (Upright, solid)
       0b         Primary Font: Stroke Weight: Medium
       4168T      Primary Font: Typeface (4168 = Antique Olive) 

Note that the Antique Olive typeface (with identifier 4168) is probably available (i.e. printer-resident) on most modern PCL5 printers, but Lucinda Sans Unicode is not one of the standard fonts - so to make it available implies either a vendor/model-specific extension, or use of a soft font downloaded to the printer (either with every job, or (more permanently) to a hard-disk on the device).

As regards your final question about retrieving layouts, etc: in general, printers do not have the intelligence/memory/processing power to store anything like this, so 'retrieving' it is irrelevant.

The following link provides a brief history of the PCL language, and links to the PCL Technical Reference manual, and also to other PCL5 & PJL manuals:


Be aware that some of the manuals (in PDF format) are multi-megabyte downloads.

You may also find some of the tools in the PCL Paraphernalia application (available via http://www.pclparaphernalia.eu ) useful in improving your knowledge.

RE: Understanding PCL better.

Dear DansDadUK,

Wow thank you for the detailed explanation!
I cutted out some private 'get information out documents' links including the UEL, sorry for that.

CODE --> 1

@PJL JOB NAME="Private"

As I understand it right, I need to permanently soft font downloaded to the printer.
I will search this form and the handbook how to do this.

I will let you know the results.


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