Chapter 5 - Control codes - Escape sequences

Some special characters inserted in the ASCII print file can be used to modify the appearance of the print job.

Also known as Escape Sequences, these codes were commonly used in text-mode printing to obtain special effects, such as bold, underline, and so on.

There were different sets of escape sequences for different printer models, so printing to an Epson printer were requiring the programmer to send a different ascii stream than printing the same job to an HP printer.

Using PRINTFIL with the GDI printing engine, a single set of Control Codes can be used to produce those effects to ANY Windows printer, regardless of which emulation it supports (or no emulation at all if it is a Windows-only printer), because PRINTFIL automatically translates the control codes found on the ascii print-job file into the correct Graphical Effects for the selected printer, using the Windows printer driver.

PRINTFIL has its own set of Escape Sequences, but if you cannot change the source ascii file (or you dont want to change it), you can customize them, by inserting the desired characters (in decimal notation, separated by commas) in the Printfil's configuration dialog, or directly in the [Sequences] section of the PRINTFIL.INI file (but in this case you'll have to restart Printfil in order to apply the changes).

If Printfil's escape sequences does not match those embedded by the source application into its print jobs, you'll see some extra characters printed within the text. If you already know which kind of sequences your source app. is embedding (Epson, HP, ...), you can select them in the Configuration -> Standard -> Escape dialog. If you don't know which kind of sequences are them you can find them out by using the "Help -> Dump: Redo Last Print" Printfil's menu entry. In this way you'll see the decimal value near each character in your last printed job.

It is also possible to simultaneously use more than a sequence for each effect, allowing Printfil to correctly manage jobs designed for different printer models: Epson, HP etc. without to modify the source app. To do so, simply separate the different sequences by the pipe char ("|" - 124 dec.)

For example:



The next chapter lists all the entries in the Printfil.ini file with the supported sequences.

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