Printer Primer

Welcome to the Printer Primer

First, a bit of basic printer terminology

  • Single-Function Peripheral (SFP) - Fancy term for a device that just prints.
  • Multi-Function Peripheral (MFP) - Fancy term for a device that prints, scans to network destinations, and copies. MFPs tend to have more horsepower and larger displays than SFPs.
  • Digital Sender (DS) - Fancy term for a device that only scans to network destinations.DSs tend to have more horsepower and larger displays, like MFPs.
  • Device - A generic term referring to an SFP, MFP, or DS.
  • Solution - The collection of  server components, cloud components, apps, hardware accessories, and/or other software that work together to extend the functionality of the device.
  • Managed Device – A device sold only through HP Managed Print Specialist resellers and designed to be maintained by these partners under multi-year contracts. Managed devices have "Managed" in the model name.
  • Transactional Device – A device sold by any authorized reseller and can be maintained by partners under multi-year contracts, or self-managed by the customer. Transactional devices do not have "Managed" in the model name.
  • Enterprise Device - A device designed for enterprise (>1000 employees) or SMB customers (10-1000 employees) that require the most advanced security and solutions capabilities. Enterprise devices have "Enterprise" in the model name.
  • Professional Device - A device designed for SMB customers (10-1000 employees), with only the most basic solutions capabilities. Professional devices have "Professional" or "Pro" in the model name.
  • Firmware - The embedded software (BIOS, OS, Framework, and built-in Application code) that runs the device.
  • Firmware Update/Upgrade - The act of installing new firmware on a device.
  • Control Panel (a.k.a. Front Panel) - The combination of the display and user input hardware (buttons, keyboard) on the device.
  • Embedded Web Server (EWS) - As with most networked devices these days, our devices have built-in web servers used to configure the device over the network using a standard desktop web browser.
  • Remote Control Panel - A virtualized control panel provided in the EWS.
  • Page Description Language (PDL) - Generic term for all of the printable file/stream formats that printers know how to print (PCL, PS, PDF, etc.).
  • Rendering - The act of converting a non-printable document (word, excel, etc.) into a PDL, typically performed by a printer driver.
  • Print Job - A PDL file and its digital transformation as it is converted by a printing device into dots on sheets of paper.
  • Scan Job - The digital representation of a set of scanned pages as they are converted by a scanning device from dots on sheets of paper into digital file(s).
  • Scan Metadata - Any data about a scan job, including data input by the user on the Control Panel, output in the form of a special file used to automate a document process.

Sure, you've used printers before. But have you ever configured one?

Here are some resources to get you started: