MZ and iMZ Series Initial Printer Setup Details and Information

MZ and iMZ Series Initial Printer Setup Details and Information

Article ID: 95893948



MZ and iMZ Series Printer Setup Overview 

 MZ220, MZ320, iMZ220, and iMZ320

MZ Series User's Guide  Read More>>
iMZ Series User's Guide  Read More>>

The Zebra MZ and iMZ series printers can be used in a wide variety of applications using many different media types (direct thermal only) to suit your printing needs. This flexibility is due to the printer's ability to be configured and adjusted for all the variability an application may introduce. Understanding the printer configurations will enhance your ability to optimize your printer to meet your printing needs and also understand the limitations of the printer.

The iMZ printer allows for bluetooth pairing to Apple iOS devices whereas the standard MZ series will not support bluetooth communication to an iOS device.  Other non-iOS devices should pair with both printers without issue (Windows OS, Android OS, Windows Mobile, etc.).  See bluetooth setup below for more detail.

The printer comes from the factory set to tear-off mode with journal/receipt paper and adjusted for full width paper label stock. Many printing applications will function with these factory settings and require no additional adjustments beyond the communications setup and minor darkness adjustment.  However, depending on the media being used and application requirements, some setup may be required to allow for optimal performance

Important: All printer settings can be impacted by commands from a mis-matched or misconfigured driver or software application. A printer that is functioning fine after setup but fails or indicates an error after label requests are received are most likely affected by the host side misconfiguration of the driver or printer software settings. The host device that generates the printer commands for printing typically have setup configuration that send these as commands to the printer. Make sure all settings match the printer settings to avoid intermittent issues.


Media Related Settings and Calibration 

1. Understanding your media

The Zebra Printer supports the use Continuous Journal or Pre-printed black bar media. Knowing your media detail is important for proper configuration.

Here are the details you should know for printer media setup and configuration.

Media Related Configurations

Note: As mentioned above, it is important to ensure all driver and applications settings match what you are setting the printer up for to ensure that the printer does not encounter errors due to improper settings being applied.

>Media Type Continuous (Journal/Receipt) and Black Mark.  Default is Journal/Receipt (Continuous) but can be configured for Bar (Black Mark) by turning on top of form detection - Use the CPCL FORM  Command for enabling Top Of Form Detection Read More>> 

Helpful Info - Setting Media Type in the Driver (Termed as "Paper Type" in driver).  The location of the settings are the same as referenced in the following link, but terminology may be different depending on the version of driver installed.  Read More>>

>Print Method – MZ/iMZ Series Mobile Printers support only direct thermal printing and do not support the use of ink ribbon.

>Print Mode – The MZ/iMZ Series Mobile Printers only support Tear-off print mode.

>Media Loading - The media must be properly loaded for the Print Mode you intend to use.


2. Understanding the Media Sensor

The printer comes with a fixed sensor for label tracking for Black Mark/Bar Media or Media Out detection.  There are requirements that need to be met by the media in order to be within specifications for the sensors to properly detect and calibrate.  Any sensing mark on the media should be located in the break between each label/tag.  The following link includes printer specifications (media specs are listed as well). 

MZ220 and MZ320 Specs  Read More>>
MZ220 and iMZ320 Specs  Read More>>

iMZ  Media Requirements Read More>>

Reflective Sensor – The Reflective Sensor is used for Mark Media and detecting Media Out conditions. The Sensor is located in the center of the media path as shown in the Media Requirements link above. 



3. Calibrate the printer for the media. 

By default the printer will be set for use with Journal/Receipt (Continuous).  The length will be specified by the printing application. For Bar/Black Mark you will have to set the printer to detect top of form using the FORM command Read More>> 

If you are receiving media out errors or the printer is not properly feeding your media, you may need to assure your application or driver settings are properly configured for the Media Type you are using.  See the CPCL Manual for details  Read More>>



Print Quality

Print quality is a product of proper printer setup and use of compatible media for the application.  The three impacting factors to consider are:

1. The Media capabilities

The MZ and iMZ Series printers only support Direct Thermal media.  If you are not getting any print on the label, please ensure you have direct thermal media if you are not using ribbon or that the labels and ribbon are a correct match for each other and that it is loaded properly.  Read More>>

Not all media is the same when it comes to being compatible with your application or needs. Printing speed, durability of the image/media, and environment are just a few factors to consider when determining the printer setup for the application.

2. Print Speed 

The printer is capable of printing at multiple print speeds. The speed selection works in tandem with your darkness setting.  Typically the slower the print speeds used the lower your darkness setting can be.  The higher the print speed, the higher your darkness will need to be set.  In general, slower print speeds yield better print quality.  Depending on your application (CPCL or ZPL) you may need to adjust your settings using the proper language.

Setting Print Speed using CPCL "SPEED" Command (see CPCL Manual) Read More>>

Setting the Print Speed using ZPL Commands  Read More>>

3. Print Darkness

Print Darkness (also may be referred to as Density or Burn Temperature) is a user adjustable setting. You can also use a setup utility or the printer driver if available to set the print darkness. Darkness being set too low will yield poor quality print, while it being set to high can cause blotchy print or bleeding of the ink within the print. Trying to compensate for poor media compatibility by using high darkness settings can impact your printer’s printhead life. Vary the darkness to produce the best print quality.  Depending on your application (CPCL or ZPL) you may need to adjust your settings using the proper language.

Setting Darkness Using CPCL (if CPCL is used for printing)  Read More>>

Setting the Darkness using the ZPL commands  

Note:  The printjob itself can also contribute to the quality of print that you receive.  If a third party application is being used such as a web application, .pdf file, or any other design application, the file may be converted to a graphic so that the printer can properly interpret and print the data.  Graphics will typically print with lower quality than if you were to send direct CPCL/ZPL code and this can cause barcode scanning issues or poorly printed text on the media.


Communications Setup


A Zebra compatible driver must be installed before connecting the printer. 

USB Details Read More>>

Wireless Network Setup 

Wireless network setup requires you to first establish communication to a Windows PC via USB (recommended).  You then have to use either our Zebra Setup Utilities or ZebraNet Bridge Enterprise software to configure the printer for your network. 

  • ZebraNet Bridge can be used to assign the desired network settings. Read More>>
  • The Zebra Setup Utility has a network setup wizard that can be used to configure your printer for a wireless network.  This is the recommended software to use. Read More>>
  • Supported Wireless Securities  Read More>>

Additional Setup Detail:

If printing from a Windows PC via a Windows print driver via wireless, make sure to set your IP port to 6101.  For details, click the following link.  Read More>>

Loading Root Certificate to Zebra Mobile Printer  Read More>>

Bluetooth Setup (iMz printers support Bluetooth 3.0 with the Dual Radio Option ... 2.1 when Bluetooth only)

Zebra bluetooth printers are 'slave' devices and the 'master' device must initiate the connection.  The printers by default should be set to discoverable and without a PIN.  If you have issues pairing with the device or wish to set a PIN or friendly name for the device you can do so using our Zebra Setup Utilities.  Read More>>

When connecting to a Windows PC, you must first add (or discover) the bluetooth device and then install a driver for the printer so you can specify the appropriate COM port to allow for communication. 

Windows 7 Bluetooth Configuration and Driver Install  Read More>>

Windows 8 Bluetooth Configuration and Driver Install  Read More>>

Android Bluetooth Setup  Read More>>

Note:  If printing from Android or iOS devices a custom application will be needed.  You can use our Zebralink Multiplatform SDK for assistance.  Read More>>

Configuring iMZ Series Printers for bluetooth connection to iOS devices. Read More>>

We do offer a demo app from the PlayStore, "Zebra Utilities", but it is not a full functioning application and is not intended for use in production.  



Printing App or Program

Zebra printers are command interpretation engines using printer commands to to define the printed images. The printer must receive the commands in the supported printer language such as ZPL, CPCL, or Line Print. The printer will not respond if the label format received does not contain the required programming commands for label printing. To print, programming commands can be entered into a file and communicated to the printer, received as an output through a driver from an application, or created using one of many Zebra Label Software packages on the market.

For a general overview of this information Read More>>

Zebra offers ZebraDesigner Version 2 Software for Label Creation  Read More>>



Utilities and Drivers

Application or Utility Comment
Zebra Setup Utility Read More>>                                             This is a free Windows based utility that features a printer setup wizard for simple printer or network setup.  
ZebraNet Bridge  Read More>>                                 This is an enterprise application for network printer management but is free to use for configuring a network or locally connected printer
ZPL Programmers Guide Read More>>                                The ZPL Programming Guide contains useful commands to control the printer's settings as well as the print that it produces.
ZDesigner Driver Read More>>                                                                     If you are using the ZDesigner Driver there is a Printing Preferences section that allows you to configure your printer.

+ Product Codes

  • MZ Series
  • iMZ Series Mobile Printers
  • iMZ220 Mobile Printer
  • iMZ320 Mobile Printer