Q

Saving escape characters

One user writes, "How can I send escape characters to a network printer to change the font, orientation, etc? We currently do this with a printer interface module using "passthrough". When we try to send escape characters (hex 1B) directly to the network attached printer, the host print transform utility appears to strip out these characters even though we code the print file to not replace unprintable characters. Is this an EBCDIC to ASCII translation issue?" iSeries printing and Output expert Chip Milosch responds.

How can I send escape characters to a network printer to change the font, orientation, etc? We currently do this with a printer interface module using "passthrough". When we try to send escape characters (hex 1B) directly to the network attached printer, the host print transform utility appears to strip out these characters even though we code the print file to not replace unprintable characters. Is this an EBCDIC to ASCII translation issue?
Escape characters are almost always stripped out by IBM printer interfaces. If you are doing a lot of coding to try to control fonts, orientation, etc on print outs, I assume you must be doing this to make your reports look better, possibility with the goal of giving the look of customized forms. While this is an admirable goal, I'd suggest that the amount of time involved in customizing these printouts can quickly become a significant task. You would probably be better off researching and investing in one of the forms design packages available, then either using Host Print Transform to print the resultant *AFPDS spool file, or use a tool to convert the spool file to a PDF document that will print anywhere, with guaranteed fidelity.
This was first published in October 2005

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