Commands That Control The Printer

The following commands relate to the control of the printer. They perform their functions by inserting various printer control strings into the Compare table file:


Issue this command if you want your table to print in landscape mode on a laser printer. You can return to portrait mode in the same table file by giving the command “\landscape off”. Note that you might want to increase the pagewidth with the “\pagewidth” command. For example:

\pw 170      # set up for wide printing

You also might want to set the page length to a shorter page. Landscape printing makes it possible to print up to 15 or 16 columns on the same page.

Issue this command if you already are in landscape mode and want the rest of the pages of the table to be in portrait mode.
\lm <columns>
This command is used to prevent the left margin of tables from being too close to the side of the page. The number that you supply as <columns> will be the number of columns on the left margin. This makes it easier to put the tables into books. Note that spaces are not inserted into the table, but rather a printer code is added at the top of each page that specifies how many columns to skip before printing. This left margin can be changed dynamically within the document.
\lpp <lines>
This command allows you to specify the number of printer lines per page. This command causes an HP LaserJet printer code to be printed at the top of each page of the table to control the number of vertical lines per inch. Standard settings would be “\lpp 72” or “\lpp 77”.
\pc <control string or name>
\pcontrol <control string or name>
This command allows you to send a printer control string directly to the Compare table. Printer control strings are used in the Hewlett Packard printer control language (PCL5) to control the formatting and appearance of printouts. Many of the printer functions that can be accessed from the buttons on the printer can also be used by sending printer control strings. In fact, the Compare commands “\landscape”, “\lpp”, “\lm” work by sending a printer control string in the header line of each page. Printer control strings appear somewhat strange to the unititiated. They always begin with the {ESC} character (ASCII 27). For example, the string for setting the printer to portrait mode is {ESC}&l1O (That’s “el” “one” “capital O”). To type an {ESC} in the SEE editor, while in Edit mode type “\”, then “27”. You can refer to the Laser Jet manual for other printer control strings. Since these strings are not easy to remember, we also have created names for commonly used features.

These are listed below. More information may be found at Note that many of these routines have not been tested; please report trouble.

Command Description
\pc normal Reset Primary Style to Upright (Solid)

Job control commands

\pc unitofmeasure Unit of Measure: # = Number of units per inch
  Simplex/Duplex operation
  NOTE: This is only applicable to duplex capable printers.
\pc duplex or \pc duplexlong Duplex Print: Long-Edge Binding:
\pc duplexshort Duplex Print: Short-Edge Binding
\pc duplexlongoffset # Long-Edge (left) Offset Registration: # of Decipoints (1/720”)
\pc duplexshortoffset # Short-Edge (Top) Offset Registration: # of Decipoints (1/720”)
\pc pagesidenext Page Side Selection: Next Side
\pc pagesidefront Page Side Selection: Front Side
\pc pagesideback Page Side Selection: Back Side

Page control commands

  Paper destination
\pc destinationauto Auto Select
\pc destinationtop Top Output Bin
\pc destinationleft Left Output Bin
  Optional multi-bin mailbox (HP LaserJet 5Si, 5Si MX, and 5Si NX)
\pc destinationleftup Left Bin Face Up
\pc destination1down Bin 1 Face Down
\pc destination2down Bin 2 Face Down
\pc destination3down Bin 3 Face Down
\pc destination4down Bin 4 Face Down
\pc destination5down Bin 5 Face Down
\pc destination6down Bin 6 Face Down
\pc destination7down Bin 7 Face Down
\pc destination8down Bin 8 Face Down
  Paper source, length, and size
  CAUTION: Some products require different Paper Source and Page Size commands than those that are contained in this document. This information may be found in documentation specific to those products.
\pc ejectpage Paper Source: Eject Page
\pc sourcepapercassette Paper Source: Paper Cassette
\pc sourcepapercassette2 Paper Source: Paper Cassette / tray 2
\pc sourcemanualfeedpaper Paper Source: Manual Feed Paper
\pc sourcemanualfeedenvelope Paper Source: Manual Feed Envelope
\pc source1 Paper Source: Tray 1
\pc sourcelowercassette Paper Source: Optional 500/ 2000 Sheet Lower Cassette
\pc source3 Paper Source: MP Tray/ Tray 3
\pc sourceenvelopefeeder Paper Source: Envelope Feeder
\pc pagesizeexecutive Page Size: Executive
\pc pagesizejisexec Page Size: JISEXEC (8.5 X 13 )
\pc pagesizeletter Page Size: Letter
\pc pagesizelegal Page Size: Legal
\pc pagesizetabloid Page Size: Tabloid (11 X 17)
\pc pagesizea4 Page Size: A4
\pc pagesizea3 Page Size: A3
\pc pagesizea5 Page Size: A5
\pc pagesizejisb5 Page Size: JIS B5
\pc pagesizejisb4 Page Size: JIS B4
\pc pagesizejpost Page Size: JPOST
\pc pagesizejpostd Page Size: JPOSTD
\pc pagesizemonarch Page Size: Monarch
\pc pagesizecom10 Page Size: COM 10
\pc pagesizeb5 Page Size: B5
\pc pagesizemaximum Page Size: Custom/ Maximum
\pc pagesizedl Page Size: DL
\pc pagesizec5 Page Size: C5
\pc pagelength # Page Length: # if Lines (5-128)
\pc portrait Orientation: Portrait
\pc landscape Orientation: Landscape
\pc reverseportrait Orientation: Reverse Portrait
\pc reverselandscape Orientation: Reverse Landscape
\pc printdirection Print Direction: Number of Degrees of Rotation counter- clockwise (90 degree increments only)
  Margins and text length
\pc topmargin Top Margin: Number of Lines
\pc textlength Text Length: Number of Lines
\pc leftmargin Left Margin: Number of Columns
\pc rightmargin Right Margin: Number of Columns
\pc clearhorizontalmargins Clear Horizontal Margins
  Perforation skip mode
\pc perforationskipdisable Perforation Skip: Disable
\pc perforationskipenable Perforation Skip: Enable
  Horizontal column spacing
  The Horizontal Motion Index (HMI) command designates the distance between columns in .0083-inch increments. When fixed pitch fonts are selected, all printable characters, including the space and backspace characters, are affected by HMI. When proportional fonts are selected, the HMI affects only the control code space character. The default HMI is equal to the pitch value in the font header. The printer escape sequence to be sent is as follows: Ec&k#H # is equal to a variable that is derived from the following formula: Horizontal Printable Area X 120 = # Desired characters per line. If the desired pitch or number of characters per horizontal inch is known, use the following formula: 120/Desired characters per inch = #
\pc hmi # Horizontal Motion Index (HMI): Number of .0083-inch Increments
  Vertical line spacing
  The Vertical Motion Index (VMI) command designates the distance between rows in .0208-inch increments (the vertical distance that the cursor will move for a line feed operation). This command affects the line feed and half-line feed spacing. The factory default VMI is eight, which corresponds to six lines per inch. VMI can be selected from the printer control panel or by sending a printer escape sequence: Ec&#C . # is equal to a variable that is derived from the following formula: Vertical Printable Area X 48 = # Desired Lines Per Page Note: Use either VMI (most precise method of line spacing) or Lines per inch, as only the last command will execute.
\pc vmi # Vertical Motion Index (VMI): # of .0208-inch Increments
  Line Spacing (Lines per inch)
\pci 1 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 1 line/inch
\pci 2 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 2 lines/inch
\pci 3 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 3 lines/inch
\pci 4 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 4 lines/inch
\pci 6 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 6 lines/inch
\pci 8 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 8 lines/inch
\pci 12 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 12 lines/inch
\pci 16 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 16 lines/inch
\pci 24 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 24 lines/inch
\pci 48 Line Spacing (Lines per inch): 48 lines/inch
  Vertical and horizontal
\pc vposition Vertical Position: # of Rows
\pc superscript Superscript: Up ¼ Row
\pc subscript Subscript: Down ¼ Row
\pc vpositiondots ........: # of Dots
\pc vpositiondecipoints .........: # of Decipoints
\pc hposition Horizontal Position: # of Columns
\pc vpositiondots ........: # of Dots
\pc vpositiondecipoints .........: # of Decipoints
\pc halflinefeed Half Line Feed: N/A
  End-of-line termination
\pc linetermination1 Line Termination: CR=CR;LF=LF; FF=FF
\pc linetermination2 Line Termination: CR=CR+LF;LF=LF FF=FF
\pc linetermination3 Line Termination: CR=CR; LF=CR+LF; FF=CR+FF
\pc linetermination4 Line Termination: CR=CR+LF; LF=CR+LF; FF=CR+FF
  Symbol set selection
  Refer to the PCL-5 Comparison Guide for additional supported symbol sets.
\pc symbolnorwegian Primary Symbol Set: ISO Norwegian
\pc symboluk Primary Symbol Set: ISO 4: United Kingdom
\pc symbolwindowslatin2 Primary Symbol Set: Windows 3.1 Latin 2
\pc symbolfrench Primary Symbol Set: ISO 69: French
\pc symbolgerman Primary Symbol Set: ISO 21: German
\pc symbolitalian Primary Symbol Set: ISO 15: Italian
\pc symbolmicrosoft Primary Symbol Set: Microsoft (R) Publishing
\pc symboldeskp or sym_desktop Primary Symbol Set: DeskTop
\pc symbolpstext Primary Symbol Set: PS Text
\pc symbolmctext Primary Symbol Set: MC Text
\pc symbolventurainternational Primary Symbol Set: Ventura International
\pc symbolventuraus Primary Symbol Set: Ventura US
\pc symbolwingdings Primary Symbol Set: Wingdings
\pc symbolpsmath Primary Symbol Set: PS Math
\pc symbolventuramath Primary Symbol Set: Ventura Math
\pc symbolmath8 Primary Symbol Set: Math-8
\pc symbolsymbol Primary Symbol Set: Symbol
\pc symbollatin1 Primary Symbol Set: ISO 8859-1 (ECMA-94) Latin 1
\pc symbollatin2 Primary Symbol Set: ISO 8859-2: Latin 2
\pc symbollatin5 Primary Symbol Set: ISO 8859-9: Latin 5
\pc symbolswedish Primary Symbol Set: ISO 11: Swedish
\pc symbolspanish Primary Symbol Set: ISO 17: Spanish
\pc symbolwindowslatin5 Primary Symbol Set: Windows 3.1 Latin 5
\pc symbolturkish Primary Symbol Set: PC Turkish
\pc symbolascii Primary Symbol Set: ISO 6: ASCII
\pc symbollegal Primary Symbol Set: Legal
\pc symbolrom8 or sym_roman8 Primary Symbol Set: Roman-8
\pc symbolwindowslatin1 Primary Symbol Set: Windows 3.0 Latin 1
\pc symbol8 or sym_437 Primary Symbol Set: PC-8
\pc symbolpcn or sym_437n Primary Symbol Set: PC-8 D/N
\pc symbolpc850 Primary Symbol Set: PC 850
\pc symbolpi Primary Symbol Set: Pi Font
\pc symbolpc852 Primary Symbol Set: PC-852
\pc symbolwindowslat1 or \pc sym_winlatin1 Primary Symbol Set: Windows 3.1 Latin 1 (ANSI)
\pc fixed Primary Spacing: Fixed
\pc proportional Primary Spacing: Proportional
\pc pitch # Primary Pitch: Number Characters per inch
\pc pitch10 or \pc large Set Pitch Mode: 10.0
\pc pitchcompressed or \pc small Set Pitch Mode: Compressed (16.5-16.7)
\pc pitchelite or \pc med Set Pitch Mode: Elite (12.0)
  Point size
\pc point # Primary Height: # Points
  Additional style values may be obtained from the related documentation provided with HP’s font products. PCL 5 HP LaserJet printers allow complex structures (contours, outlines, shading, etc.) and widths, as well as posture to be specified. Refer to the HP PCL 5 Printer Language Technical Reference Manual.
\pc upright Primary Style: Upright (Solid)
\pc italic Primary Style: Italic
\pc condensed Primary Style: Condensed
\pc compresseditalic Primary Style: Condensed Italic
\pc compressed Primary Style: Compressed (Extra Condensed)
\pc expanded Primary Style: Expanded
\pc outline Primary Style: Outline
\pc inline Primary Style: Inline
\pc shadowed Primary Style: Shadowed
\pc outlineshadowed Primary Style: Outline Shadowed
  Stroke weight
\pc ultrathin Primary Font Stroke Weight: Ultra Thin
\pc extrathin Primary Font Stroke Weight: Extra Thin
\pc thin Primary Font Stroke Weight: Thin
\pc extralight Primary Font Stroke Weight: Extra Light
\pc light Primary Font Stroke Weight: Light
\pc demilight Primary Font Stroke Weight: Demi Light
\pc semilight Primary Font Stroke Weight: Semi Light
\pc medium Primary Font Stroke Weight: Medium (book or text)
\pc semibold Primary Font Stroke Weight: Semi Bold
\pc demibold Primary Font Stroke Weight: Demi Bold
\pc bold Primary Font Stroke Weight: Bold
\pc extrabold Primary Font Stroke Weight: Extra Bold
\pc black Primary Font Stroke Weight: Black
\pc extrablack Primary Font Stroke Weight: Extra Black
\pc ultrablack Primary Font Stroke Weight: Ultra Black
  Primary typeface family
\pc lineprinter Typeface Family: Lineprinter
\pc albertus Typeface Family: Albertus
\pc antiqueolive Typeface Family: Antique Olive
\pc clarendon Typeface Family: Clarendon
\pc coronet Typeface Family: Coronet
\pc courier Typeface Family: Courier
\pc garamondantiqua Typeface Family: Garamond Antiqua
\pc lettergothic Typeface Family: Letter Gothic
\pc marigold Typeface Family: Marigold
\pc cgomega Typeface Family: CG Omega
\pc cgtimes Typeface Family: CG Times
\pc univers Typeface Family: Univers
\pc arial Typeface Family: Arial (R)
\pc timesnewroman Typeface Family: Times New Roman
\pc symbol Typeface Family: Symbol
\pc wingdings Typeface Family: Wingdings
\pc times  
\pc timesbold  
\pc timesitalic  
\pc timesbolditalic  
\pc courier  
\pc courierbold  
\pc courieritalic  
\pc courierbolditalic  
\pc arialbold  
\pc arialitalic  
\pc arialbolditalic  
\pc garamond  
\pc underlinefixed Underline: Enable Fixed
\pc underlinefloating Underline: Enable Floating
\pc underlinedisable Underline: Disable

Note that any printer control string that works on your printer can be inserted into the file with this command.

Compare achieves features such as “\lpp” (lines per page), “\landscape” (landscape mode), and “\lm” (left margin) by insertting HP LaserJet printer codes in the top of the table file. Sometimes, such as when printing to a 9-pin printer, you want to force these codes off. Use the “\noformat” command to do this.
Issue this command when using the \gdata command to inhibit printing of comment lines in a file.

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