The main difference between PCL 5 and PCL 6 is that the PCL 6 is more powerful in terms of printing, imaging and graphics capabilities than the PCL 5.
Generally, Page Description Language is a computer language that describes the appearance of a printed page at a higher level than an actual output bitmap. PCL, which stands for Printer Command Language, is a Page Description Language that belongs to Hewlett Packard. Originally, they released it for inkjet printers but later expanded it for thermal, matrix and page printers. In overall, PCL 5 and PCL 6 are two versions of PCL. In addition to PCL 5 and PCL 6, there are versions such as PCL 1,2 and 3.
Key Areas Covered
Printer Command Language (PCL), PCL 5, PCL 5e, PCL 5c, PCL 6
What is PCL 5
In March 1990, HP released PCL 5 for LaserJet III. It consists of Intellifont font scaling, outline fonts and HP-GL/2 (vector) graphics. Also, it supports advanced desktop publishing and graphic designing.
There is an advanced version called PCL 5e (PCL 5 enhanced), which is an enhanced version of PCL 5. HP released this version for LaserJet 4 in October 1992. It contains features to improve computer to printer communication. In other words, PCL 5e supports bi-directional communication between the printer and PC and Windows fonts. Subsequently, HP released another version named PCL 5c in 1992. It introduced colour support on HP PaintJet 300XL and HP colour LaserJet.
What is PCL 6
PCL 6 is the newer version of PCL. It consists of three main modules. There is also an advance version of this; PCL 6 “Enhanced”. It is object-oriented and PDL optimized for printing from GUI interfaces like Windows. Also, it is compressed to optimize throughput and provides backward compatibility. Furthermore, font synthesis provides features such as scalable fonts, font management, and storage of forms and fonts. However, PCL 6 standard is almost equivalent to PCL 5c or PCL 5e.
Besides, there are some class revisions in PCL 6. Firstly, Class 1.1 supports RLE compression. It supports bitmap or TrueType fonts, 8 or 16-bit code points. Moreover, it supports custom and predefined paper sizes such as letter, A4 etc. Subsequently, the next revision was class 2.0. With this revision, it is possible to write text in a vertical direction. Also, it supports A6 and Japanese B6preset media sizes. Besides, it also supports JPEG compression. Furthermore, class 3.0 supports PCL fonts and allow using different halftone settings for vector or raster graphics, text.
In overall, PCL 6 language is more compact and consists of various features, providing additional capabilities to create high-resolution images and graphics. Furthermore, PCL 6 is faster than previous versions.
Difference Between PCL 5 and PCL 6
PCL 5 is a version of PCL and was released with the HP LaserJet III in March 1990. Meanwhile, PCL 6 is the latest version of PCL 5 and was introduced around 1995 with the HP LaserJet 4000 series printers.
An important difference between PCL 5 and PCL 6 is their graphics capability. PCL 6 generates higher resolution graphics than PCL 5.
Speed and Efficiency
Furthermore, another important difference between PCL 5 and PCL 6 is speed and efficiency. PCL 5 is slower than PCL 6 while PCL 6 is faster and less processing intensive than PCL 5.
Page Description Language (PDL) helps to define the appearance of a printed page. PCL is a PDL belongs to Hewlett Packard. PCL 5 and PCL 6 are two versions of PCL. The main difference between PCL 5 and PCL 6 is that PCL 6 is more powerful in terms of printing, imaging and graphics capabilities than PCL 5. In brief, PCL 6 is more advanced than PCL 5.
1.“Printer Command Language.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Apr. 2019, Available here.
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