PCL Implementor's Guide (Archived in 1995)


LEGAL NOTICE

© Copyright 1995 HP Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.


Question: Is your office software refusing to print on a home printer?

Most office printers use a different PCL than home printers. As millions took their office computers home with them, the Developers Portal has had reports of some enterprise software that would not print on home printers. If you have had this problem send an email to the HP Developers Portal.


PCL Implementor's Guide (1995) - PDF archive by chapter

When the PCL Integrator's Guide was written in 1995, Microsoft Word was on version 6. The entire guide may have been too large for a single file, so the chapters were saved individually. Here is the Table of Contents, showing the chapter topics, with links to PDFs of the Word 6 file.

If you are troubleshooting commands and escape sequences, head for the index and matrix at the bottom of the Table of Contents.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1:  PCL Goals and Guidelines (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction......................................................................................................... 1-1
  • The PCL Committee........................................................................................... 1-2
  • The PCL Implementor's Guide........................................................................... 1-3
  • The Proposal Process........................................................................................ 1-3
  • Language Objectives......................................................................................... 1-5
  • Historical Perspective........................................................................................ 1-6
  • Language Design Guidelines............................................................................. 1-7
  • References........................................................................................................ 1-9

 

Chapter 2:  Job Setup (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction......................................................................................................... 2-1
  • Defaults............................................................................................................... 2-2
  • Setup without a Job Control Language............................................................... 2-4
  • Printer Job Language (PJL)................................................................................ 2-5
  • Job Setup for PJL Printers.................................................................................. 2-7
  • Peripheral Management Language (PML)......................................................... 2-8

 

Chapter 3:  The PCL Page (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction........................................................................................................ 3-1
  • Margins.............................................................................................................. 3-4
  • Orientation......................................................................................................... 3-7
  • The Current Active Position (CAP).................................................................... 3-8
  • Units of Movement............................................................................................ 3-9
  • Resolution......................................................................................................... 3-10
     

Chapter 4:  Escape Command Syntax (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction to PCL Commands........................................................................... 4-1
  • Two-Character Sequences.................................................................................. 4-2
  • Parameterized Sequences.................................................................................. 4-2
  • Rules for PCL Commands................................................................................... 4-7
  • Combining Commands........................................................................................ 4-8
  • Backus-Naur Form (BNF).................................................................................... 4-9
  • Converting a Floating Point Number.................................................................. 4-10
     

Chapter 5:  Text Processing (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction........................................................................................................ .5-2
  • Control Codes and Special Codes..................................................................... 5-4
  • Symbol Sets....................................................................................................... 5-8
  • Printing Hidden Characters............................................................................... 5-11
  • Text Enhancements........................................................................................... 5-12
  • Escapement Encapsulated Text........................................................................ 5-14
  • Text Parsing Method.......................................................................................... 5-17
     

Chapter 6: Printer Control (Archive PDF)

  • PCL Job Control................................................................................................ 6-2
  • Printer Diagnostics............................................................................................ 6-12
  • Device Specific Control..................................................................................... 6-13
  • Internal HP Sequences..................................................................................... 6-16
     

Chapter 7:  Page Control (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction......................................................................................................... 7-2
  • Media Size.......................................................................................................... 7-2
  • Media Source...................................................................................................... 7-8
  • Orientation.......................................................................................................... 7-9
  • CMI and LMI (formerly HMI and VMI)................................................................ 7-14
  • Text Path............................................................................................................ 7-16
  • Margins and Text Area....................................................................................... 7-18
     

Chapter 8:  CAP Movement (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction......................................................................................................... 8-1
  • Horizontal Positioning Commands...................................................................... 8-7
  • Vertical Positioning Commands.......................................................................... 8-9
  • Saving CAP......................................................................................................... 8-11
     

Chapter 9:  Font Selection (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction to Fonts............................................................................................ 9-2
  • Primary and Secondary Fonts............................................................................. 9-7
  • Selection by Attribute........................................................................................... 9-8
  • Font Selection by ID........................................................................................... 9-43
     

Chapter 10:  Downloading Fonts (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction to Soft Fonts................................................................................... 10-1
  • The Font ID....................................................................................................... 10-3
  • The Font Definition............................................................................................ 10-4
  • Managing Fonts............................................................................................... 10-38

Chapter 11:  Downloading Characters (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 11-1
  • The Character Code............................................................................................ 11-3
  • The Character Definition..................................................................................... 11-4

Chapter 12:  Unbound Fonts & Downloaded Symbol Sets (Archived PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 12-1
  • Unbound Font Operations................................................................................... 12-2
  • Downloading Symbol Sets.................................................................................. 12-5
  • Managing User-Defined Symbol Sets................................................................ 12-11

Chapter 13:  Raster Graphics (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 13-1
  • Raster Mode....................................................................................................... 13-4
  • Raster Data Transfer......................................................................................... 13-10
  • Raster Compression.......................................................................................... 13-12
  • Raster Scaling.................................................................................................. 13-22

Chapter 14:  Color (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 14-2
  • Simple Color Mode......................................................................................... 14-13
  • PCL Imaging Mode......................................................................................... 14-15
  • Palette Operations............................................................................................ 14-28
  • Foreground Color............................................................................................ 14-41
  • Halftone Algorithms........................................................................................ 14-42
  • User-Defined Dithers....................................................................................... 14-44
  • Color Lookup Tables....................................................................................... 14-47
  • Gamma Correction.......................................................................................... 14-49
  • Viewing Illuminant.......................................................................................... 14-50
  • Page Media Color Commands.......................................................................... 14-51
     

Chapter 15:  Configure Raster Data (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 15-1
     

Chapter 16:  The Color Print Model (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 16-2
  • Logical Operations............................................................................................. 16-4
  • The Default Print Model................................................................................... 16-9
  • Transparency Modes....................................................................................... 16-10
  • Pixel Placement............................................................................................... 16-14
  • Patterns........................................................................................................... 16-15
  • User-Defined Patterns..................................................................................... 16-18
  • Rectangular Area Fills (Rules)......................................................................... 16-22
  • Arbitrary Masking............................................................................................. 16-25
     

Chapter 17:  Vector Graphics (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 17-1
  • Entering HP-GL/2.............................................................................................. 17-2
  • Exiting HP-GL/2................................................................................................ 17-5
  • Resetting to Defaults........................................................................................ 17-6
  • Picture Presentation Commands...................................................................... 17-9
  • HP-GL/2 Modifications in the PCL Context...................................................... 17-16

Chapter 18:  Macros (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 18-1
  • Creating Macros................................................................................................ 18-2
  • Invoking Macros............................................................................................... 18-2
  • Managing Macros.............................................................................................. 18-3
  • The Modified Print Environment........................................................................ 18-3
  • The Overlay Print Environment.......................................................................... 18-5
  • Rules Governing Macros.................................................................................... 18-6
  • Macro Commands............................................................................................. 18-7

Chapter 19:  Status Readback (Archive PDF)

  • Introduction....................................................................................................... 19-1
  • Entity Status Commands.................................................................................... 19-4
  • Memory Status Commands............................................................................... 19-10
  • Response Synchronization................................................................................ 19-12

Chapter 20:  Obsolete Codes (Archive PDF)

  • Procedure for Obsoleting Functionality................................................................ 20-2
  • Movement Segment............................................................................................ 20-3
  • Rendering Segment............................................................................................ 20-8
  • Font Segment..................................................................................................... 20-22
  • Page Presentation Segment............................................................................... 20-26
  • Device Control and Diagnostics Segment........................................................... 20-26

Appendix A:  Unimplemented Commands (Archive PDF)

  • Alphanumeric IDs (Esc&n#W)............................................................................. A-2
  • Alphanumeric IDs for Media Types...................................................................... A-4
  • Cluster Printing (Esc&c#W)................................................................................. A-6
  • Media Source for Multi-Tray Input Devices (Esc&l#H)......................................... A-7
  • Media Destination (Esc&l#G).............................................................................. A-9

Appendix B:  Product Support Matrix (Archive PDF)

Glossary (Archive PDF)

Index

  • By subject (Archive PDF)
  • By command (Archive PDF)
  • By escape sequence (Archive PDF)