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PS vs. PCL Drivers?

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3 replies to this topic

#1 t_r_nelson


    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 01-September 05
  • Location: Minneapolis, US

Posted 23 March 2007 - 14:08

There seems to be some subtle differences between PS and PCL printer drivers. I would like to know if there is a benefit to using PCL drivers over PS. The network admins I have followed usually had installed PCL drivers on the networked printers. I have found that some things don't work correctly if PCL drivers are used, but the problems go away with PS drivers. I have yet to see PS drivers not print something that PCL can.

So the question is, if both PS and PCL drivers are offered by HP and others, why are so many admins using PCL drivers?


#2 HawkMan


    Neowinian Senior

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  • Joined: 31-August 04
  • Location: Norway
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Posted 23 March 2007 - 14:46

All driver features should work on the PCL drivers, and for most office related print jobs or regular prints from webpages and all that suff they should be better, as in faster and create smalller jobs.

PS drivers we mostly suggest to use for actual post script jobs, like pritning PDF's or other adobe PS type documents an EPS files and such. As a postscript file can often be sent directly to the printer without any driver intereference if you use postscript, or the driver will convert it to a PS job with very small changes to the size of the job from the doucment.

While sending a PS/PDF document to a pritner with a PCL driver to driver will need to rework the entire job into PCL wich can turn a 2-5 MB document into a several hundred MB printjob, causing lots of network traffic probably a slow print, and at worst it won't print because the printer doesn't have enough memory to handle it.

#3 google123



  • Joined: 07-January 05

Posted 24 March 2007 - 06:17


#4 severach



  • Joined: 16-April 04

Posted 28 March 2007 - 17:59

Good description but incomplete. PCL drivers often work better in programs that are are too poorly designed for use in a print shop. This would include all Microsoft products. This is because PS drivers are not native to Windows so are poorly implemented.

PS drivers are required for some types of printing that print shops do including color process printing.

To avoid problems I always install all 3 print drivers: PCL5e, PCL6, and PS. This allows the users to cycle through all the options until they find one that prints right.