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Using a pcl to set up a overlay on HP-UX

Using a pcl to set up a overlay on HP-UX

Using a pcl to set up a overlay on HP-UX

I am new to the pcl world and trying to figure out a solution to a situation.  We have a system that will print checks and after the checks are printed, the required signitures are stamped on the checks by hand.  I would like to automatically include the signitures onto the checks using an image.  

I have been looking at solutions all day and realized that I need to do the following.

1. Create the signiture image as a "form" and save it as a pcl.  I have done this using word and printing the document to a file.
2.  Create a macro, for the pcl??, and load it into the printer as an overlay
3. Call the macro along with the text needed for the checks and print out the check.

The problem is that I do not know how to do step 2 & 3.

How do I create/load the macro for the pcl into the printer and then how do I use this macro with other output to create the check.

Any help is greatly appreciated,


RE: Using a pcl to set up a overlay on HP-UX

There was a whole thread on "embedding images in PCL" while back. You might have a look there.

If you can do it, you want to extract only the PCL raster data out of the print file.

You need <esc>*t***R which is the resolution

Then look for <esc>*r1A  indicates begin raster data

the raster data shoud be in the middle

The look for  <ecs>*rB   end raster data

You want every in between and both of those codes

Start with a define macro code

<esc>&f###y0X    the ### is the macro ID # you assign
<esc>*r1A...............<esc>*rB        raster data
<esc>&f1X         end macro definition
<esc>&f###y10X    Make macro permanent  ### is your macro ID

Linefeeds are only there for clarity

If you jut "print" the macro, it will bcome resident in the printer, waiting to be run.

In your application <esc>&f###y4X   enable macro for overlay

You would want to add PCL positioning code to the beginning of the macro to position the signature on the check.

Sometimes printer drivers produce obtuse PCL output and it is hard to find all the bits you need. My MKPCL program takes a .BMP and creates the PCL macro directly.

If you need some help, give me a call at the office.

(604)738-6112 pacific time

Jim Asman

RE: Using a pcl to set up a overlay on HP-UX

Hi Jim, that is an excellent explanation for overlay.  

I have written a beginners guide/tutorial to PCL for printer technicians that includes a page on overlay.  After reading Jim’s explanation I doubt you’ll need it, however if you are new to PCL the guide as a whole may be useful.


Please note that I work for Canon, this guide is based on Canon networked B&W printers from 22 to 105 cpm.  Your printer may work slightly differently but I tried to point that out in the guide where things may be different.

There is no advertising on the site nor am I selling anything on the site.  It is strictly a support site and not officially connected with Canon.

Hope it helps,

RE: Using a pcl to set up a overlay on HP-UX

To generate a macro using any Windows program:

If you generate PCL directly from a Windows HP LaserJet Series II (PCL4) printer driver the PCL usually breaks-up the original image objects nito many smaller PCL raster objects places with relative positioning commands.  This makes these temporary printstreams difficult or impossible to edit into a macro.

If you print to file, then convert the PCL into TIFF with PCLTool program (www.pcltools.com), then convert the TIFF back into a PCL overlay macro using TIFF2PCL (included)... you get a PCL macro file that is one contiguous raster object of your overlay.

This is not the ideal way to create a macro.  I think Transform from G7PS.COM is the best form designer on the market and it generates the best PCL macros using it's own filter... not a Windows printer driver (like JetForm used to).

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