Tag Archives: PCL5

Printer driver differences – KB10391653


Below is explained the differences between PCL5, PCL5e, PCL6, and PS (Post Script) printer drivers. Please try and use PCL5 or PCL5e first unless instructed otherwise.

PCL5/PCL5e (the latter being an extended version) is an escape-based language, using an ASCII representation, but is relatively unstructured (although quite powerful); so you can edit a PCL5 print stream relatively easily.  PCL5 and PCL5e are less restrictive and more accepted across multiple windows platforms.

PCL6 (aka PCL XL) is a completely different language, uses a binary representation, and is much more structured; for these reasons, it is much more difficult to edit a PCL6 print stream. PCL XL has a closer relationship to the GDI used within Windows than does PCL5; most PCL6 drivers now offer more features than their PCL5 equivalents.  However, PCL6 is not compatible with every version of Windows including the differences between 32bit and 64bit versions.

PostScript (PS) is a computer language for creating vector graphics. It is a dynamically typed, concatenative programming language. Simply put, it prints large format jobs as well as rich text. Generally not used for standard sized documents.

So by general rule you should install PCL5 or PCL5e first unless there is a specific need for PCL6 or PS (Post Script).  Example: Post Script should be used when dealing with a large printer (paper size 18 inches at its smallest side or larger) including plotter printers.

TWAIN Drivers are specific to scanning only.

TWAIN is a widely-used program that lets you scan an image (using a scanner ) directly into the application (such as PhotoShop) where you want to work with the image. Without TWAIN, you would have to close an application that was open, open a special application to receive the image, and then move the image to the application where you wanted to work with it. The TWAIN driver runs between an application and the scanner hardware. TWAIN usually comes as part of the software package you get when you buy a scanner. It’s also integrated into PhotoShop and similar image manipulation programs.

Adding a correct printer driver to a Print Server KB1039371


Description:  Adding a correct printer driver to a Print Server.

Common customer description: “I’m unable to add a printer from our server.”

“I can’t find the correct driver for my printer”

 Probing questions: Do we have the correct IP address for the device?

Has this been installed before?

Is the printer shared from a server? Does it say “Printer on Devicename” on another users machine. (Ex. “Sharp_MX-5001N on TermServ”)

 Steps to isolate: Make sure the correct IP address is used, connect to the devices Web Console using the IP given.

Make sure the printer is being shared from a print server. Navigate to the servers shares and see if the printer is listed there.

Attempt to connect the printer via the shares. Right click and the printer and choose Connect. If it prompts you to use windows updates or to install the driver from a local folder, the driver needs to be installed on the server.

Confirm what processor is being used on the client machine, 32bit or 64bit.

Steps to resolve: Log in to the server and check the Printer/Devices page. Make sure the printer they want is set to be shared via the devices “Sharing” tab. By default, the printer will be installed with the driver that corresponds with the servers processor type (32bit or 64bit). If a 32bit server shares out its printer, it will share out the 32bit driver.  Additional drivers can be configured on each device via the option shown below.


If the corresponding processor that the client machine is using is not checked, an additional driver will need to be installed to allow printing from the client machine through the print server. Checking the box and clicking OK will bring up an install prompt shown below.


You will need to find the correct printer driver (PCL5,PCL6,PS, etc.) for the clients machine from the printers manfacturer site and install the .inf file via the Browse option shown. Once this is installed, you should be able to connect to the printer via the share and the correct driver will install itself from the server. From here on, any further machines running the same processor should be able to pull the correct driver from the server and install successfully without searching for a driver.

Additional considerations: If this does not correct the issue, it could be a configuration issue on the printers end. Make sure there are no passwords required for printing and that security permissions are not restricting user accounts on the device.

If it is a network printer, you can install the device via the ip address but this will usually bypass any security permissions or group policy settings they have if the device is supposed to be shared from the server and may cause inconsistencies on the network.

If there are further issues, escalate to Tier 2.