3.5.13 Formatting Print Output

There are two methods for formatting print output: emulation of SCS (IBM's SNA Control Set) orders, and emulation of the Hewlett-Packard PCL5 printer control language.

Extra! emulates PCL5 by recognizing PCL commands within the print stream and making the equivalent series of calls to the Windows GDI (Graphics Device Interface) service. This means that you can use PCL commands to format output even on printers which do not have built-in support for PCL (because Windows transforms the GDI calls into the appropriate commands for those printers).

On rare occasions, you may need more specialized control over formatting. You may wish to use capabilities of a specific printer (such as a Postscript printer) which are not available in SCS nor in PCL. Or you may want to suppress all output formatting entirely. For example, you might want to "print" to a disk file which will become input to another program, such as a database.

The Raw Output Mode option is offered for this purpose. In Raw Output Mode, the print datastream from the host is translated from EBCDIC to ASCII, SCS formatting controls are stripped from the stream, and the resulting ASCII stream is copied directly to the printer or disk file.