top of page

Page Description Language

Page Description Language is a computer language that used to represent a file, such a Word document, to the Raster Image Processor in a printer. The Raster Image Processor interprets the data as a bitmap, or a grid of pixels.

There are three very common page description languages, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

PCL (printer command language) - is the HP page description language. It uses simple commands that don't require expensive printer controllers. It is good with low cost printers, but doesn't allow for high precision in printing or the use of a full range of colors.

PostScript is a page description language developed by Adobe. It uses code to describe text and graphics that is text itself that can be reviewed in a text editor. The PostScript language has applications beyond just printing. Its dictionary feature allows for pages to be generated from files based on data inputted on the printer. PostScript was developed to ensure that different devices would print files the same way.

PDF - this page description language is focused on printing as close as possible to the image displayed on the screen.

bottom of page