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How do you change the printer font for a Linux Printer?

Posted on 2008-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have several HP laser printers connected to my system.  We have an accounting application that prints to the printers.  It does not send any control codes to the printer and assumes the printer is configured by default with the correct font / cpi / lpi.  I have finally got it to the correct cpi and lpi but I cannot find a way to change the font.  Can anyone point me in the right direction to accomplish this task.
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Question by:kwh3856
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by:DansDadUK
ID: 22799092
If your application and/or spooler is not sending control sequences to the printer, the implication is that you are changing the default (power-on) PCL print settings on each target printer.

Some LaserJet devices have front panel menus via this this can be accomplished; more modern (IP-connected) ones also allow settings to be changed via either an Embedded Web Server (just point your browser at the printer's IP address) or using a tool such as Web JetAdmin.

You can't do this with the cheap 'host-based' printers (such as CLJ2600, CLJ3600) because they don't understand the traditional Page Description Languages (PDLs) like PCL5, PCL6 and PostScript; they don't even understand plain ASCII.
If you want specific instructions for particular printer model(s), you'll have to indicate what thnose models are, and some-one (not me) may be able to help.

Or am I totally misunderstanding what you are attempting to do?
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Author Comment

by:kwh3856
ID: 22824075
From what I understand about the program now, it does send control codes to the printer.  That is evident by the codes that show up in the top left corner of the page on the first page that is printed.  Evidently, these codes are not getting recognized by the printer.  What I did is manually configure the printer for the correct CPI and LPI which sort of solves my problem.  I was trying to find out how I could install fonts just like you do in Windows for printers.  There is something out there called Xsft but I do not understand how it works.  Do you know anything about Xsft?

Thanks
Kenny
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Accepted Solution

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DansDadUK earned 500 total points
ID: 22830478
I have no knowledge of Xsft at all; I don't even know what it is.

If your accounting application IS sending control codes, but these are being ignored by the printer, you really need to find out why; perhaps something between the application and the printer is 'stripping out' the (non-text) escape characters.

This is because it MAY be sending such codes throughout the print request (i.e. not just at the beginning), and (for example) attempting to select one font/size/spacing at the beginning, and another font/size/spacing in the middle of each page - so setting a default font, etc. on the printer will not suffice.

Is there any way that you can 'capture' what the application is generating into a file (preferably using a dummy account)? If so, attach the file to a reply, and analyis will show what control sequences are being included.

As for the "install fonts just like you do in Windows ..." comment: what is usually installed is a TrueType font, which can be used in most Windows applications to display data.
But when it comes to printing the data, the application (usually in conjunction with an appropriate printer driver) either just sends an appropriate font selection sequence (if the driver thinks that the printer has a resident font which matches the TrueType font), or dynamically constructs and downloads an encapsulated equivalent of the TrueType font in a format relevant to the Page Description Language (PDL) being used (usually one of PCL5, PCL6 or PostScript); this is not a trivial process.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kwh3856
ID: 31509695
DansDad,
Thank you very much for your help.  You have been quite helpful.

Thanks
Kenny - Ethan's Dad:)

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