Creating and Using Autoexec.zpl files

Article ID: 14431588

Issue / Question

Creating an Autoexec.zpl file

Applicable To

Zebra Printers that support ZPL Programming Language
Excludes: 2824 Series, 2844 Series, S4M (E53 Firmware Version), 888 DD/TT Series, MZ Series, ZQ110, EM220, EM220II

Resolution / Answer

In some instances it may become necessary or advantageous to create an AUTOEXEC.ZPL file.
It functions in much the same way as the autoexec.bat file in MS-DOS.

It can be used for setting up various parameters at the time the printer is powered up.
When the printer is powered on, it checks its non-volatile memory locations for the stored format called AUTOEXEC.ZPL.
If found, the contents of the file are automatically executed as a stored format.

The AUTOEXEC.ZPL file would be stored in one of the following *non-volatile memory locations of the printer.

  • A: compact flash memory (not used in current printer)

  • B: PCMCIA memory ( last used in Xi3+ printers)

  • E: Flash memory (current in all later model printers)

The following are examples of common AUTOEXEC.ZPL files that are used:

Note: An AUTOEXEC.ZPL file cannot be used to set the Command Character (i.e ^CCx command) and only one AUTOEXEC.ZPL file can reside on the printer.

Note: the E: memory references below can be substituted with A:, or B: memory
To understand ZPL you can refer to the ZPL manual

Set the Print width (^PW)


Set the Left position (^LS Label Shift)


Font Identifier (^CW)


Print Rate (^PR)


Printing a quantity of a canned format at power up: (100 labels will automatically print after powering up the printer.)

^FO20,20^A0N,30,25^FDProperty of Acme Rental^FS
^FO20,60^A0N,30,25^FD847 Main Street^FS
^FO20,100^A0N,30,25^FDJupiter, FL 05002^FS

Combination of all the above to a AUTOEXEC.ZPL files:

^FO20,20^AXN,30,25^FDProperty of Acme Rental^FS
^FO20,60^AXN,30,25^FD847 Main Street^FS
^FO20,100^AXN,30,25^FDJupiter, FL 05002^FS

To Delete an AUTOEXEC.ZPL file:


After the printer is powered up and finishes the POST it goes into the AUTOEXEC.ZPL routine which might block a command to delete the AUTOEXEC.ZPL file.
The ~JA is used in the delete file sent to printer to break out of the AUTOEXEC.ZPL routine.

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