Introduction

Unless otherwise stated, the tools work with PCL5 (hereafter referred to as PCL) and PCL6 (hereafter referred to as PCL XL) printers.

With versions of the application up to and including version 2.5.0.0, the printer must be connected via TCP/IP; the tools do not work with devices which are connected via Parallel or USB ports.

The print job generated by a tool can instead be directed to a nominated file, which can then be examined, analysed, or manually copied to a printer connected via a Parallel or USB port.

From version 2.6.0.0, most (although not all) tools in the application will also work with printers using these other connection types, via the port associated with a Windows printer instance; the Windows printer driver is not used when these printers are targeted.

Tools

The available tools are briefly described below; links are provided to sample dialogues and/or sample outputs.

See the Help file (available from the Downloads page) for much more detailed descriptions of each tool in the application.

Font Sample This tool will generate a print job (PCL or PCL XL) which will print a 'font grid' showing characters from a selected symbol set, using a selected font (which may be a printer-resident font or a downloadable soft font).
  When considering downloadable soft fonts, a side effect is that the font characteristic data (PCL or PCL XL as appropriate) will be extracted from the selected font file and displayed within the dialogue.
 
Form Sample This tool will generate a print job (PCL or PCL XL) which will print a specified number of pages of (preset) variable data, using the contents of one or two nominated files as PCL macros or PCL XL user-defined streams (as appropriate) to be added to the front and/or rear faces of each sheet.
 
Image Bitmap This tool will generate a print job (PCL or PCL XL) which will print a bitmap image contained in a selected bitmap file.
  Note that the tool is not intended to be a full-blown image converter; as such, it only supports common formats (Windows v3 bitmap files of type BM, which are uncompressed, and which contain 'bottom-up' images, of 1-, 4- or 24-bits-per-pixel).
 
Make Overlay This tool parses a specified PCL or PCL XL print file, and uses this to generate a PCL macro or PCL XL user defined stream (as appropriate).
  Note that this tool does not interact directly with a printer - it generates an overlay file; the generated file can be tested using the Form Sample tool.
 
Misc Samples This tool provides simple examples of PCL or PCL XL usage of:
  • colour
  • logical operations
  • logical page definition
  • patterns
  • text modification
  • Unicode characters
 
Print Area This tool will generate a print job (PCL or PCL XL) which will print a page indicating the printable area available for the selected page size and orientation.
 
Print Languages This tool displays lists of the language elements (escape sequences, commands, tags, etc.) associated with the common Page Description Languages (PDLs) and Job Control languages used on modern PCL printers.
  Details are provided for PCL, PCL XL, HP-GL/2, PJL and PML.
  Note that this tool does not interact with a printer - it merely displays details from built-in tables.
 
PRN File Analyse This tool provides an analysis of the contents of a nominated print file.
It recognises and deciphers PCL, PCL XL, HP-GL/2, PJL and PML.
  Note that this tool does not interact with a printer - it analyses a nominated file.
 
PRN File Print This tool sends the contents of a nominated print file to the target printer.
  The contents of the file must be compatible with the capabilities of the printer: for example, there is no point in sending a PCL print file to a printer which does not understand PCL.
 
Soft Font Generate This tool will generate a PCLETTO (PCL  Encapsulated TrueType Outline) soft font (PCL or PCL XL), bound to a specified symbol set, from a donor TrueType font.
  Note that this tool does not interact directly with a printer - it generates a soft font file; the generated file can be tested using the Font Sample tool.
 
Status Readback This tool sends a request for information to the target printer, then reads and displays the response.
  There are two main types of information: PCL or PJL status requests; each type is divided into sub-types.
 
Symbol Set Generate This tool provides a means to define a PCL symbol set; the definition is stored in a file which can subsequently be downloaded to a target printer, or (via the Soft Font Generate tool) used in the construction of a soft font bound to this symbol set.
 
Tray Map This tool will generate a print job (PCL or PCL XL) which contains one or more pages, each selecting a paper tray using a combination of one or more of paper size, paper type, and tray identifier.