12-13-2013 10:47 AM
We continue to run into problems whenever a site running classic PCL5 printers needs to replace one. We have a number of sites that do "legacy" PCL5 printing that it is not feasible to change; these are older Unix and VMS systems, not windows/mac/linux.
We keep running into printers that claim they have 40 or more fonts, but no pre-sales way to find out that in fact only a few are usable from PCL5, and the majority are only usable via PCL6 (which means if you don't have a driver you're screwed). In some cases these restricted printers also have problems downloading soft fonts (just like the compatibles from Ricoh and Canon used to have).
The old printer user guides used to list the available fonts. The new ones do not. They state we can print a PCL5 and PCL6 font list, but thats useless without having already bought (or found) said printer.
I have pursued this with HPSC (who wants an SAID for the specific printer before talking to me; in other words buy it THEN we'll tell you), and via presales chat and calls, with no useful results. The PCL docs, including the printer comparison guides have not been updated for years and do not cover any recent printers.
About 3 years ago I chased this up to some vice-president's office in the printing division, still could not get answers. Needless to say the website comment emails to the CEO didn't achieve anything either.
Am I missing something? Is there in fact any pre-sales means of getting this info short of posting a plea to the internet for someone who already has one of the possible printers and getting them to print a font list for us?
12-15-2013 05:32 AM
I sympathise, but I doubt that you'll get much response from HP on this.
i had a slightly more obscure pre-sales question (see /t5/Printers-LaserJet/What-PCL-XL-Class-Revision-l
I did eventually get an answer of sorts, on one of the forum's "Expert Days", but it shouldn't have to be a "getting blood out of a stone" experience for potential customers.
12-16-2013 04:35 PM
That is not what the experience should be, but it is apparently the experience the recent/current HP wants to provide, and has persisted in providing for quite a number of years now.
12-17-2013 04:08 PM
12-24-2013 10:53 AM
I sent a web online support request Friday with a list of 10 or so departmental printers that list PCL5, and specifically requested ONLY the list of PCL5-usable fonts. Got the autoresponse quickly but nothing since. We'll see what happens; certainly giving more leeway than normal due to this being Christmas week.
01-10-2014 11:17 AM
Never got a response from the "HP questions before you buy" page (other than the auto acknowledgement) so on Wednesday I sent a followup with the same list of printers, requesting their PCL5 supported font lists and confirmation that they will use PCL5 bitmap soft fonts. Again, got the auto-acknowledgement. If I don't hear back by Monday I'll start beating on Twitter again.
01-15-2014 11:36 AM
Sorry that you have had so much trouble trying to find which PCL5 fonts are supported on which printers. As you have stated, the documentation on this has not been updated recently - this is in part due to the fact that the internal fonts haven't changed much recently and newer printers support the same font set as older ones do.
As the documentation states, the PCL5 font list is the guide for a specific model and the font list does display the PCL5 escape sequences that are to be used to select a specific font.
Most of the HP LaserJet printers currently support more than 80 PCL5 fonts and these are all listed on the PCl5 font list and are all useable by PCL5.
If you can tell me which LaserJets you are looking at, I will send you the supported font list. Or if you have a specific list of fonts that you want to make sure are supported, I will take a look and let you know if those fonts are supported on certain devices.
01-17-2014 09:32 AM
thanks. I had just posted an equivalent query to the enterprise boards during the ask the expert day and unfortunately didn't get a usable response there... how to print the font list on a printer on-hand is not relevant when you're trying to find out which printers to buy,
If you have any avenue of pushing this as a problem with the powers that be please do. All we need is for the printer specs on the web, or the downloadable user guide, to include a list of fonts available under PCL5, and that standard PCL5 functions like bitmap soft fonts are supported, and there'd be no issue but we have been fighting with HP for _years_ now, even got up to some VPs office three years ago, and still ended up with no information or resolution.
Our customers are replacing printers at numerous levels of capacity and performance, from a terminal invoice printer that may only print 30-40 sheets per day (and so they want cheapest possible that will work) up to the occasional replacement for a LaserJet 8000. Experience shows that the more expensive printers (the ones that come with JetDirects instead of the generic network interface and cost high hundreds to low thousands) have almost always worked, while the cheaper ones are hit or miss. 4 years ago we had three low end "PCL5" printers purchased that got relegated to PC desktop printing because they had the very restricted PCL5 font list (only PCL6 had access to all the fonts) but we could not find that out ahead of time
So... I really need to know font lists and bitmap soft font support for the entire range of printers that claim PCL5 support. But for now the most requested have been the network versions of the following (and this is the list I sent twice to presales support and have received no response):
LaserJet Pro 400
Pro 400 Color MFP M475dn
Pro 400 MFP M425dn
Pro 300 Color MFP M375nw
Pro X476dn MFP
Pro X576dw MFP
Its been a while since I reviewed these on the website but all of them claimed PCL5 support. If you can get me the PCL5 font lists for _any_ of these it would be a help. If you can confirm that they will support PCL5 bitmap soft font downloads too, thats icing on the cake.
In general the forms on our customer systems (across many customers and many forms) use:
Line printer font (fixed)
Line printer with line-draw characters (fixed)
CG Times scalable
CG Times Bold scalable
univers medium scalable
univers bold scalable
univers condensed scalable
Arial Bold scalable
Helvetica Bold scalable
Times Roman scalable
Times Bold scalable
Letter Gothic Bold
there may be some other italic variants of the fonts used also but I think its minimal
Thank you for any info and assistance.
01-17-2014 04:55 PM
Thanks for the reply and the detailed information. I am working with the teams that "own" these products and will try to get the information to you as soon as we can. Also, we are trying to this information documented on the spec sheets for each of these products on the Web as well, but that may take some time to complete. We will keep you updated.
All PCL5 products "should" support downloaded PCL5 bitmap fonts, but it sounds like you have found instances where this did not work. Can you provide more information about the failures that were seen?
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