What is PCL 6?

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What is PCL 6?
PCL 6 is the latest PCL or Printer Command Language from HP or Hewlett-Packard. PCL refers to a printer protocol originally designed by HP back in 1984 for its inkjet printers. This printer protocol has evolved to become the industry standard and from its first release as PCL 1, it has now improved with more features and functionalities in PCL 6.

PCL 1 was the first level released in 1984 and featured basic printing for text and graphics. This level allowed for a maximum of 150 dpi (dots per inch) image resolutions. PCL 2 was released with more features including electronic data processing and transaction capabilities. With the introduction of HP’s LaserJet printers, PCL 3 was also released with added support for bitmap images and increased image resolution to 300 dpi. PCL 4 came along with the release of LaserJet II back in 1985 and it featured macros and allowed for handling bigger graphics. PCL 5 came with LaserJet III in 1990 with the Intellifont font scaling feature. Various sublevels are released in between PCL 1 and PCL 5 with more features and functionality for HP printers. By 1995, PCL 6 was released along with the introduction of LaserJet 4000 series of printers.

PCL 6 consists of three parts or components. One such component is PCL 6 Enhanced which allows for printing optimization from graphical user interfaces. Another component is called PCL 6 Standard which provides compatibility with older HP LaserJet printers. Font Synthesis is the third component which allows for font scaling and management and storage of fonts and forms. With PCL 6’s more advanced features, printing speed is increased even when involving complex images and graphics. PCL 6 also results to more efficiency in terms of improving data streaming to unclog network traffic. And when compared with previous levels, PCL 6 provides a much-improved image quality.

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