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Feature in POS printers

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Last Modified: 2020-03-08
Hi, just recently I came across a feature in Epson POS printers that is really useful. What the feature does is allow you to replace a Windows system font with a POS printer device font. So, to be clear this when your program or application uses a font that you see on screen it the printer uses the native font it prints. For our shops, I buy used POS equipment. I would like to know which other systems (IBM Suremark, Star, etc.) have this feature. This way I can use this feature if I can use this feature with other POS System Pinters. Does anybody have experience with this? Thanks

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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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Commented:
It's a convenient but dangerous feature.

Some time down the road it may not be possible to get that same printer or obtain supplies for it.  Then it becomes necessary to generate a new font containing the missing characters and change over the behavior of all systems so that there aren't "some of these and some of those."

On an ongoing maintenance basis it is better to bite the bullet at the start, generate a font containing the characters and symbols desired, load that font into the target systems and use it.  Then, no matter what printer is used, the font and symbols will be correct.

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Commented:
I respectfully disagree because all this feature does is substitute a font. If your project or application does not have the same printer it will print but without the font substitution. I see it saving you. In the past when I used the device font, and later the printer that loads the device font is not available it can throw your application off with wacky layout results of missing fonts. I appreciate the help.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer
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Commented:
This is true so long as the font is a Latin font without non-standard symbols.  If the device font contains or is a non-standard symbol font (e.g., MICR), and those non-standard symbols are used, then the potential for problems exists.
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Commented:
IBM suremark printers will support user-defined fonts, though not all models support it

I personally agree with Dr. Klahn

If the font you're replacing is used for any special purpose (Bar coding, MICR encoding etc) your custom font is going to cause problems

For example if you're tendering a check or WIC check, you're printer isn't using the thermal print head, it's using a printer ribbon. Not all fonts are suitable for use with ribbons, and the result would be a stamp that a reader could not identify

Printer manufacturers choose and use fonts to provide the best resulting output.

If you're going to change fonts (and I think you will) then I would strongly suggest you test the font thoroughly before using it live