Overview Of Printer Job Language (PJL)

Printer job language (PJL) commands provide job level control, unlike PCL and HP-GL/2 (which control the placement of dots on the printed page). The concept is an HP created logical extension of the capabilities of PCL and the older JCL (Job Control Language) from mainframe and mini-computer days. One of the main features PJL offers is the ability to switch printer languages (personalities, if you will) between jobs. Applications supporting PJL can print one job using PCL and then print the next job using PostScript (or any other support printer language), without any operator intervention. PJL can also command bi-directional communications with the printer, and subsequent decisions from the result of the communication. PJL can request information from the printer such as printer model, configuration, printer status, and job status. PJL also can be used to change the printer's control panel settings (change default settings without actually using the control panel) and modify the message displayed on the control panel. PJL was primarily designed for use by application developers and technical support personnel but has found effective use by large corporate IT departments. Since PJL can call other batches to terminate itself, it can also re-start itself if needed.

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