gs-pcl3(1) -- Linux man page



pcl3 --- ghostscript device driver for printers understanding PCL 3+  


gs -sDEVICE=pcl3 [gs_option | -dBlackLevels=integer | -dCMYLevels=integer | -sColorModel=model | -sColourModel=model | -dCompressionMethod=method | -dConfigureEveryPage | -dCUPSAccounting | -dCUPSMessages | -dDepletion=depletion | -dDryTime=seconds | -sDuplexCapability=capability | -sIntensityRendering=method | -dLeadingEdge=edge | -dManualFeed | -sMediaConfigurationFile=pathname | -dMediaPosition=position | -sMedium=medium | -dOnlyCRD | -sPageCountFile=pathname | -sPCLInit1=string | -sPCLInit2=string | -sPJLJob=jobname | -sPJLLanguage=language | -sPrintQuality=quality | -dRasterGraphicsQuality=quality | -dSendBlackLast | -dSendNULs=number | -dShingling=shingling | -sSubdevice=subdevice | -dTumble | -dUseCard=value ] ... [file ...]  



Supported Printers

The ghostscript device driver pcl3 (formerly called hpdj) is a ghostscript backend for printers understanding Hewlett-Packard's Printer Command Language, level 3+ ("PCL 3+", also called "PCL 3 Plus"). The driver is intended to support in particular the following printer models:

HP DeskJet
HP DeskJet Plus
HP DeskJet Portable
HP DeskJet 310
HP DeskJet 320
HP DeskJet 340
HP DeskJet 400
HP DeskJet 500
HP DeskJet 500C
HP DeskJet 510
HP DeskJet 520
HP DeskJet 540
HP DeskJet 550C
HP DeskJet 560C
HP DeskJet 600
HP DeskJet 660C
HP DeskJet 670C
HP DeskJet 680C
HP DeskJet 690C
HP DeskJet 850C
HP DeskJet 855C
HP DeskJet 870C
HP DeskJet 890C
HP DeskJet 1120C

The PCL dialect called "PCL Level 3 enhanced" is apparently a not entirely compatible modification of PCL 3+. This driver should basically work with such printers but you must be more careful which options you select and you might not be able to exploit all your printer's capabilities.

The driver does not support printers understanding only Hewlett-Packard's PPA (Printing Performance Architecture) commands. If a printer's documentation does not say anything about its printer command language and you find a statement like "... is designed for Microsoft Windows" or "DOS support through Windows only", the printer is almost certainly a PPA printer and hence is intended exclusively for systems running Microsoft Windows. (These printers are also erroneously known as "GDI printers" because they are intended to be accessed through a manufacturer-supplied driver via Windows' GDI interface.) There exist ways of using a PPA printer with ghostscript, but not through pcl3.

Different printer models usually implement model-specific subsets of all PCL-3+ commands or arguments to commands. You must therefore tell the driver by means of the Subdevice option for which model the generated PCL code is intended. The model-dependent difference in the generated code is not great. Apart from media specifications, resolutions and colour capabilities, one can consider three groups of models which are treated with significant differences:

Group 1
DeskJet, DeskJet Plus, DeskJet 500
Group 2
DeskJet Portable, DeskJets 3xx, 400, 5xx except 500 and 540,
Group 3
DeskJets 540, 6xx, 8xx and 1120C.

The first two groups I call the "old Deskjets", the third group consists of "new DeskJets". If you have a PCL-3 printer not appearing in the list above, the likelihood is still good that it will accept the files generated by pcl3. You can specify one of the supported subdevices in these cases (it is sufficient to try one each from the groups just mentioned), or use the special subdevice names unspecold or unspec which are treated like members of the second and the third group above, respectively, with all subdevice-dependent checks having been turned off.

The list of printer models for which this driver is currently known to work is:

HP 2000C
HP 2500CM
HP DeskJet 697C
HP DeskJet 850C
HP DeskJet 970C
HP DeskJet 1100C
Xerox DocuPrint M750

Details can be found in the file reports.txt in the pcl3 distribution; its latest version is available via pcl3's home page (link to URL . If you wish to report on the hardware compatibility for a particular printer model, please read the file how-to-report.txt.

Omitting models already mentioned, previous (hpdj) versions of this driver were reported to work with the following printers:

HP DeskJet 340
HP DeskJet 400 (tested for Gray only)
HP DeskJet 420
HP DeskJet 500
HP DeskJet 500C (tested for Gray only)
HP DeskJet 520
HP DeskJet 540
HP DeskJet 560C
HP DeskJet 600
HP DeskJet 610C
HP DeskJet 612C         
HP DeskJet 640C         
HP DeskJet 660C/660Cse
HP DeskJet 670C
HP DeskJet 672C
HP DeskJet 680C
HP DeskJet 690C
HP DeskJet 690C+
HP DeskJet 693C
HP DeskJet 694C
HP DeskJet 832C
HP DeskJet 855C
HP DeskJet 870Cse/870Cxi
HP DeskJet 880C
HP DeskJet 890C
HP DeskJet 895Cse/895Cxi
HP DeskJet 932C         
HP DeskJet 1120C
HP OfficeJet 350        
HP OfficeJet 590
HP OfficeJet 600
HP OfficeJet 625
HP OfficeJet G55        
HP OfficeJet T45        
Lexmark 3000 Color Jetprinter
Olivetti JP792 (see the option SendBlackLast)

Most of the people who sent me reports did not state to which extent hpdj worked for their printer model.  

Colour Models

Ignoring photo cartridges which are not supported by pcl3, DeskJet printers can be classified in four categories:

The printer has only a black ink cartridge.
The printer can print with either a black or a cyan/magenta/yellow (CMY) cartridge.
The printer holds a CMY and a black cartridge simultaneously, but the two groups of inks are chemically incompatible and should not be overlayed. (Don't worry: the printer is not going to explode if they do. You merely get poorer results because the black ink will spread further than it should. This is called "ink bleeding".)
The printer holds a CMY and a black cartridge simultaneously and the inks can be mixed. (Newer HP DeskJets use such bleed-proof inks.)

This leads to four (process) colour models for the driver:

Print in black only.
Print with cyan, magenta and yellow. In this mode, "composite black" consisting of all three inks is used to stand in for true black.
Print with all four inks, but never mix black with one of the others.
Print with all four inks.

As a printer with both, a black and a CMY cartridge, can usually also print, e.g., with black only, the printer's "cartridge state" merely identifies one of these models as the maximal one. Depending on the category of the printer, the driver will therefore accept one or more models. The possibilities are:

DeskJet ModelColour Models