What is the Printer Language for Deskjet printer?

Posted on 2003-02-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Hi :)

I'm thinking of making a small controller board to read data  
and then print the data out in line graph form.
I want to use the HP Deskjet and the model has not decided yet.

I guess that there should be a printer language
that I can use to control the Deskjet printer.
What is it?
Where can I get the detail of such langauge?
Which model would you recommend?
Any suggestions on the printer control?

Question by:thejee
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LVL 45

Expert Comment

ID: 7996385
Why not use a GPIB board and Excel or Lotus123 to produce the line graph on virtually any inkjet printer. You can find out more about GPIB boards at National Instrument's website at:


Hope that helps.

Author Comment

ID: 8006930
patrickab :)
Thanks but the input data does not come through the GPIB
and the controller board should be PC-independent.

Expert Comment

ID: 8015489
The Printer language for the Majority of Deskjets is PCL probably version 5 or 6 by now, and you can purchase a  good PCL reference manual..

Try the following from www.Amazon.com

Laserjet 4: Typography and Graphics: Unlocking the Secrets of Enhanced Pcl 5
by Ross Smith, Charles Stevenson (Contributor)

hope this helps

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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 8015557
Many new inkjet printers are GDI, they have no interpreter, using the CPU to handle rasterizing. I'd think you would want a printer with a PCL or Postscript interpreter to minimize your board development.

Author Comment

ID: 8126455
Thanks pysches and chicagoan
I seem to have  2 choices of langauges; pcl and postscript.
Which language and printer model would you recommend?
and why?

Accepted Solution

pysches earned 150 total points
ID: 8126634
i would suggest PCl.
the reason, is it's a hell of a lot simpler than Postscript.
however if you are looking for load of options for graphics, and large strings to call routines, try postscript.

any model in the 900 series should do what you need, unless your looking for an a3 printer.

LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 8126709
You'll encounter a lot more printers with PCL.

Author Comment

ID: 8171727
Thanks to all comments

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