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Breakdown of HP PCL5 Font Strings

Troubleshooting


Problem

This document provides information about the HP PCL5 font control strings by laser printers that support the HP PCL5, HP PCL5e, HP PCL5c, or HP PCL6 printer languages.

Resolving The Problem

This document provides information about the HP PCL5 font control strings by laser printers which support the HP PCL5, HP PCL5e, HP PCL5c or HP PCL6 printer languages (for example, HP LaserJet 4, 5, 6, 4000 and 8000 printers, IBM Infoprint 1000 series printers, Lexmark Optra printers, and others). This information is intended to be used when creating a modified Workstation Customizing Object (WSCST) to get Host Print Transform (HPT) to print in a different font.

This document assumes you understand the workstation customizing procedure. These are the changes to the retrieved source of the system host print transform manufacturer type and model *WSCST object. For more information on modifying a Workstation Customizing Object object, refer to the following Rochester Support Center knowledgebase document:

N1010140: Instructions for Modifying a Workstation Customizing Object (WSCST)

Notes:

1.The point size controls do not have an effect on the fixed pitch fonts.
2.The primary pitch controls do not have an effect on non-fixed pitch (or typographic) fonts.
3.The LinePrinter font is a special fixed pitch font that requires both the primary pitch and the point size to be specified and requires a Symbol Set command to be sent prior to the font command. Also, the LinePrinter font only supports 16.67 pitch and 8.5 point, so it always contains X'31362E363768382E3576'. However, the LinePrinter 16.67 font can be spaced out to other Characters Per Inch (CPI) values using the Horizontal Motion Index (HMI) command. For more information, refer to the following section entitled PCL5 Font String for a LinePrinter 16.67 CPI Font to be Printed at 13.3 CPI.
4.Not all combinations of font control strings give anticipated results. It is best to print out the PCL resident font listing on the printer. This gives the supported control strings for that printer. Select the typeface family and note the variable area in the font listing. Areas of most flexibility are the primary pitch variations for fixed pitch fonts or point size for variable spacing fonts.
5.It might be necessary to include Primary symbol set controls preceding the font string. For example, the HP printers use the ISO6:ASCII symbol set for most fonts. Print out the PCL font listing on the printer. If you see the <esc>(0U preceding the string, this is the symbol set. The <esc> translates to X'1B', the '(' translates to X'28', the '0' translates to X'30', and the 'U' translates to X'55'. Therefore, <esc>(0U translates to X'1B283055'.

This document was last updated on 4 April 2014.


Explanation of Fixed Pitch Fonts

A fixed pitch font is one where all of the characters have the same width. Many printers, including dot matrix and line printers, will support printing fonts at particular pitches or Characters Per Inch (CPI) values, such as 10 CPI, 12, CPI, 15 CPI, 16.67 CPI, 17.1 CPI, or 20 CPI. However, most HP PCL5 compatible laser printers support scalable fonts that can be scaled to fit whatever pitch is specified.

For example, an HP LaserJet printer has a maximum print line of 8.0 inches in portrait, so only 80 characters will fit at 10 CPI. If you need to print an 85 character spooled file in portrait on an HP LaserJet printer you could specify to print a scalable Courier font at 10.63 CPI, which would be slightly smaller than printing at 10 CPI. That would be able to print all 85 characters because 85 divided by 8 = 10.625, which rounds up to 10.63.

Notes Concerning Fixed Pitch Fonts:
oWhen using fixed pitch fonts, every character has the same width. For example, 10 pitch or 10 CPI means that 10 characters will fit within an inch. Therefore, each character is 1/10 of an inch wide.
oThe space character is same width as every other character, so there is no problem using spaces to position columns of data.
oWhen selecting a fixed pitch font using an HP PCL5 font string, the printer hardware must have the selected font or typeface built-in and it must support either scalable fonts or the specific pitch or Characters Per Inch (CPI) that is being specified. If not, the PCL5 font string specified can produce unpredictable results.
oPrinters that use the HP PCL3 or HP PCL3 GUI printer languages, such as certain HP DeskJet or HP OfficeJet printer models, may only support 10 CPI, 12 CPI and 16.67 CPI fonts.

Explanation of Non-Fixed Pitch (or Typographic) Fonts

A non-fixed pitch, or typographic, font is one where each of the characters have their own width. For instance, a lower-case "i" is much narrower in a typographic font than an uppercase "W". In fixed pitch fonts, all characters have the same width, including the letters "i" and "W." Fixed pitch fonts are specified using the pitch or Characters Per Inch (CPI) value which indicates the font width. The characters are not all the same width in Typographic fonts, so they are specified using the point size, which indicates the font height.

Notes Concerning Typographic Fonts:
1.When using non-fixed pitch (typographic) fonts, the character widths vary depending on the character. For example, a lower-case "i" is a very narrow character and an uppercase "W" is a very wide character. The space character is typically a very narrow character as well, so using it to position columns of data can cause alignment problems.
2.Non-fixed pitch (typographic) fonts use an implied CPI value, based on the width of the space character, to align fields when using DDS. Using non-fixed pitch (typographic) fonts with columns of fields can also cause alignment problems.
3.Because non-fixed pitch (typographic) fonts have characters of variable widths, care should be taken with the use of underlining and overstriking. Highlighting or underlining text by printing a line with the Space After (SPACEA) value of 0 and then printing another line containing underline characters or "repeated" text might not work correctly. The HIGHLIGHT and UNDERLINE DDS Keywords are recommended when using typographic fonts.
4.When selecting a non-fixed pitch or typographic font using an HP PCL5 font string, the printer hardware must have the selected font or typeface built-in and it must support full scalability of the font point size being specified. If not, the PCL5 font string specified can produce unpredictable results.
    • - HP PCL5 Font Strings for Fixed Pitch Fonts

      CategoryDescriptionControl (hex)ASCII (dec)
      PrefixPrefix to setting font1B2873<esc>(s
      Spacing VariationsFixed spacing30700p
      Primary Pitch Variations10.0 CPI31302E306810.0h
      12.0 CPI31322E306812.0h
      13.3 CPI31332E336813.3h
      15.0 CPI31352E306815.0h
      16.0 CPI31362E306816.0h
      16.67 CPI31362E36376816.67h
      17.1 CPI31372E316817.1h
      20.0 CPI32302E306820.0h
      Primary Style VariationsSolid Upright30730s
      Italic31731s
      Condensed34734s
      Condensed Italic35735s
      Compressed, or Extra Condensed38738s
      Expanded32347324s
      Outline33327332s
      Inline36347364s
      Shadowed31323873128s
      Outline Shadowed31363073160s
      Stroke Weight VariationsUltra Thin2D3762-7b
      Extra Thin2D3662-6b
      Thin2D3562-5b
      Extra Light2D3462-4b
      Light2D3362-3b
      Demi Light2D3262-2b
      Semi Light2D3162-1b
      Medium, Book30620b
      Semi Bold31621b
      Demi Bold32622b
      Bold33623b
      Extra Bold34624b
      Black35625b
      Extra Black36626b
      Ultra Black37627b
      Typeface Family VariationsLinePrinter30540T
      Courier34303939544099T
      CourierPS32343537395424579T
      Letter Gothic34313032544102T
      Prestige34313031544101T

      Example for a Courier 13.3 CPI Font

      1Start with the prefix for a PCL font control (X'1B2873') and the Spacing Variation of Fixed spacing (X'3070'), which results in:

      DATA ='1B28733070'X.
      2Convert the desired Characters Per Inch (CPI) value (13.3) to the ASCII equivalent, in hexadecimal. Each digit can be converted to ASCII by adding X'30', and an ASCII period (".") is X'2E', so the ASCII equivalent of "13.3" is X'31332E33'. Appending this to the DATA string, along with an ASCII "h" (X'68'), results in:

      DATA ='1B2873307031332E3368'X.
      3Append the Primary Style Variation of Solid Upright (X'3073') to the end of the DATA string, which results in:

      DATA ='1B2873307031332E33683073'X.
      4Append the Stroke Weight Variation of Medium (X'3062') to the end of the DATA string, which results in:

      DATA ='1B2873307031332E336830733062'X.

      Note: To print in a darker font, try appending the Stroke Weight Variation of Semi Bold (X'3162') before trying Bold (X'3362'). Otherwise, there will be no distinction between normal and bolded (emphasized) text.
      5Lastly, append the Typeface Family Variation of Courier (X'3430393954') to the end of the DATA string. The final result is:

      DATA ='1B2873307031332E3368307330623430393954'X.


      PCL5 Font String for a Letter Gothic 13.3 CPI Font

      If the same steps are followed, but then append the Typeface Family Variation of Letter Gothic (X'3431303254') to the end of the DATA string instead, the final result is:

      DATA ='1B2873307031332E3368307330623431303254'X.


      PCL5 Font String for a LinePrinter 16.67 CPI Font to be Printed at 13.3 CPI

      When selecting the LinePrinter font, the Symbol Set must first be selected using the Symbol Set PCL command, such as 1B28313255, which selects the PC-850 symbol set. Also, the LinePrinter font can only print at 16.67 CPI, however a Horizontal Motion Index (HMI) command can be added to have the printer space out the font out to 9 decipoints (9/120 of an inch) or 13.3 CPI, even though each character will be the same size as when printing at a true 16.67 CPI. The combination of the Symbol Set command, Font command, and Horizontal Motion Index (HMI) command is:

      DATA ='1B28313255'X
            '1B2873307031362E363668382E3576307330623054'X
            '1B266B3948'X.

      Note: The Horizontal Motion Index (HMI) command specifies the width of the columns in 1/120 of an inch. The above control specifies an HMI value of 9 (9/120 = 1/13.3 inch per character, or 13.3 characters per inch). For 15 CPI, specify an HMI value of 8 (8/120 = 1/15 inch per character, or 15 characters per inch), for example:

      DATA ='1B28313255'X
            '1B2873307031362E363668382E3576307330623054'X
            '1B266B3848'X.

      For 20 CPI, specify an HMI value of 6 (6/120 = 1/20 inch per character, or 20 characters per inch), for example:

      DATA ='1B28313255'X
            '1B2873307031362E363668382E3576307330623054'X
            '1B266B3648'X.


      • - HP PCL5 Font Strings for Non-Fixed Pitch (or Typographic) Fonts

        CategoryDescriptionControl (hex)ASCII (dec)
        PrefixPrefix to setting font1B2873<esc>(s
        Spacing VariationsVariable spacing31701p
        Point Size Variations6 point36766v
        8 point38768v
        9 point39769v
        10 point31307610v
        12 point31327612v
        Primary Style VariationsSolid Upright30730s
        Italic31731s
        Condensed34734s
        Condensed Italic35735s
        Compressed, or Extra Condensed38738s
        Expanded32347324s
        Outline33327332s
        Inline36347364s
        Shadowed31323873128s
        Outline Shadowed31363073160s
        Stroke Weight VariationsUltra Thin2D3762-7b
        Extra Thin2D3662-6b
        Thin2D3562-5b
        Extra Light2D3462-4b
        Light2D3362-3b
        Demi Light2D3262-2b
        Semi Light2D3162-1b
        Medium, Book30620b
        Semi Bold31621b
        Demi Bold32622b
        Bold33623b
        Extra Bold34624b
        Black35625b
        Extra Black36626b
        Ultra Black37627b
        Typeface Family VariationsCG Times34313031544101T
        Univers34313438544148T
        Antique Olive34313638544168T
        Garamond34313937544197T
        Albertus34333632544362T
        Arial31363630325416602T
        Times New Roman31363930315416901T
        Helvetica32343538305424580T

          • - List of Default Font IDs Based on Font Range (sorted by Font Range)

            ] The Font Group Entry (FNTGRPE) tag requires specifying a minimum font ID (MINFID) and maximum font ID (MAXFID) parameters. These parameters are used to specify the font range that will be affected by the FNTGRPE tag. The following is a list of the default font IDs, based on the font range. This is taken from the following document: N1010119: List of Default Font IDs Based on Font Range

            Font Range Font Pitch* Default Font ID Font Name
            1 - 65 10 11 Courier 10
            66 - 153 12 87 Courier 12
            154 - 200 PSM* 160 Essay
            201 - 210 13.3 204 Matrix Gothic 13.3
            211 - 239 15 222 Gothic 15
            240 - 246 5 245 Courier
            247 - 257 16.7 252 Courier 17
            258 - 259 18 252 Courier 17
            274 - 279 16.7 252 Courier 17
            280 - 284 20 281 Gothic Text 20
            300 - 400 16.7 400 Courier 17
            Notes:
            1. The font pitch is also referred to as the Characters per Inch or CPI.
            2. The term PSM refers to Proportionally Spaced Mode fonts. For proportionally spaced fonts, characters vary in width depending on the character being printed (for example, i is a narrow character, and W is a wide character). The font is based on 12 Characters Per Inch (CPI) or 5/60ths of an inch. More specifically, each character can be one of 5 different widths: 3/60, 4/60, 5/60, 6/60, or 7/60 of an inch. An i is 3/60 of an inch wide, a space is 5/60 of an inch wide, and a W is 7/60 of an inch wide.
            [


          • - Default Font Strings Sent by Host Print Transform (HPT)

            ] The section contains lists of the default font strings used by Host Print Transform (HPT) when using older Manufacturer type and model (MFRTYPMDL) settings that contain CPICOR tags and newer MFRTYPMDL settings where HPT performs its own "best fit" font selection. Each list contains the font string used for 10, 12, 15, 16.7, 18, and 20 Characters Per Inch (CPI) without Computer Output Reduction (COR) processing, as well as 10, 12, and 15 CPI with COR processing. Default Font Strings for Older MFRTYPMDL Settings The default font strings sent by Host Print Transform (HPT) when using older MFRTYPMDL settings that contain CPICOR tags -- such as *HP4, *HP5, *HP5SI, *HP4000, *HP8000 and *HPCOLORLJ:

            SPLF Attributes CPI Font String (in ASCII) Font String (in Hexadecimal)
            10 CPI 10.00 (s0p10.00h012v0s0b003T 1B2873307031302E303068303132763073306230303354
            12 CPI 12.00 (s0p12.00h010v0s0b000T 1B2873307031322E303068303130763073306230303054
            13.3 CPI 13.30 (s0p13.30h009v0s0b005T 1B2873307031332E333068303039763073306230303554
            15 CPI 15.00 (s0p15.00h008v0s0b000T 1B2873307031352E303068303038763073306230303054
            16.7 CPI 16.70 (s0p16.60h008v0s0b006T 1B2873307031362E363068303038763073306230303654
            18 CPI 17.10 (s0p17.10h007v0s0b003T 1B2873307031372E313068303037763073306230303354
            20 CPI 20.00 (s0p20.00h006v0s0b005T 1B2873307032302E303068303036763073306230303554
            10 CPI with COR 17.10 (s0p17.10h007v0s0b000T 1B2873307031372E313068303037763073306230303054
            12 CPI with COR 17.10 (s0p17.10h007v0s0b000T 1B2873307031372E313068303037763073306230303054
            15 CPI with COR 20.00 (s0p20.00h006v0s0b005T 1B2873307032302E303068303036763073306230303554
            Default Font Strings for Newer MFRTYPMDL Settings The default font strings sent by Host Print Transform (HPT) when using newer MFRTYPMDL settings where HPT performs its own "best fit" font selection -- such as *LEXOPTRAT, *INFOPRINT1140, *RICOH2045 and *WORKIO_BL:
            SPLF Attributes CPI Font String (in ASCII) Font String (in Hexadecimal)
            10 CPI 10.00 (s0p10.00h012v0s0b003T 1B2873307031302E303068303132763073306230303354
            12 CPI 12.00 (s0p12.00h010v0s0b000T 1B2873307031322E303068303130763073306230303054
            13.3 CPI 13.30 (s0p13.30h009v0s0b005T 1B2873307031332E333068303039763073306230303554
            15 CPI 15.00 (s0p15.00h008v0s0b000T 1B2873307031352E303068303038763073306230303054
            16.7 CPI 16.70 (s0p16.60h008v0s0b006T 1B2873307031362E363068303038763073306230303654
            18 CPI 17.10 (s0p17.10h007v0s0b003T 1B2873307031372E313068303037763073306230303354
            20 CPI 20.00 (s0p20.00h006v0s0b005T 1B2873307032302E303068303036763073306230303554
            10 CPI with COR 13.30 (s0p13.30h009v0s0b005T 1B2873307031332E333068303039763073306230303554
            12 CPI with COR 16.60 (s0p16.60h008v0s0b006T 1B2873307031362E363068303038763073306230303654
            15 CPI with COR 20.00 (s0p20.00h006v0s0b005T 1B2873307032302E303068303036763073306230303554
            [

          [{"Type":"MASTER","Line of Business":{"code":"LOB08","label":"Cognitive Systems"},"Business Unit":{"code":"BU058","label":"IBM Infrastructure w\/TPS"},"Product":{"code":"SWG60","label":"IBM i"},"Platform":[{"code":"PF012","label":"IBM i"}],"Version":"6.1.0"}]

          Historical Number

          8693040

        Document Information

        Modified date:
        18 December 2019

        UID

        nas8N1010138