Wiki - Printer Emulators

Compatibility

Background

The high costs of printer hardware can make a developer's job difficult when designing a product which has printing capabilities. Various methods exist for printing to virtual printers which avoid the need to purchase physical hardware during the research and development phases of a project as well as baseline troubleshooting of functionality.

Printer emulation is a critical part of reducing the overhead associated with a development lifecycle. Listed below are common printer hardware emulators/methods.

Pixel

OS Name Pixel Comments
Windows PDFCreator ✔️ Recommended choice for Windows. Download
Windows CutePDF ✔️ Good alternative to PDFCreator
Windows PrimoPDF ✔️ Good alternative to PDFCreator
Windows Microsoft XPS Document Writer ✔️ 600 dpi only; known to degrade image quality
Windows Microsoft Print to PDF ✔️ 600 dpi only; known to degrade image quality
macOS RWTS PDFwriter ✔️ Recommended choice for MacOS. Download
macOS Lisanet PDFwriter ✔️ Requires workarounds for macOS 10.10+
Linux CUPS-PDF ✔️ Recommended choice for Linux. Download via apt/dnf/etc

Raw

OS Name Raw Comments
Windows QPCPrint ✔️ ESC/P2 Windows 7 or lower, disable UAC. Download
Windows Bematech ✔️ ESC/Bema Download (Portugese language)
Windows FILE: ✔️ Raw Configure, Inspect output using XVI32 hex editor
All Labelary ✔️ ZPL Recommended for ZPL. Visit site
All Zpl Printer (Emulator, Chrome app) ✔️ ZPL Based off Labelary. Download
Notes:
  1. Install the app from the Chrome Webstore
  2. Find the app by searching Start/Spotlight
  3. Edit the settings and increase the buffer to something large (e.g. 50000B).
  4. Edit the settings to set the paper size
  5. When printing using QZ you may use "set to host" to print. Alternately, you may add a local raw printer which points to 127.0.0.1 with the emulator also listening on 127.0.0.1.
  6. Last, and this is important, make sure to toggle the emulator back "On" after making changes.
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