Setting Darkness and Print Speed on Zebra ZQ500 or QLn Series Mobile Printers

Article ID: 01165527




Adjusting darkness and print speed settings on Zebra Mobile QLn Series printers.

Applies To

QLn220, QLn320, and QLn420 Series Mobile Printers.
ZQ510, ZQ520 Mobile Printer


You are required to have the ZDesigner driver installed for your printer, Zebra Setup Utilities installed, or knowledge of ZPL programming language.


The following procedures give you the ability to modify the darkness and print speed at which your printers will print at.  This can help to correct print quality issues and produce more crisp and higher quality labels.


There are three recommended ways to set the darkness and print speed on a Zebra ZPL enabled printer.  Each should accomplish the goal of modifying the darkness and print speed settings that your printer is using.  Higher darkness does produce more wear on the print head and you should not need to print at the maximum darkness value to achieve a quality print.  

1.  Setting Darkness/Print Speed Using Zebra Setup Utilities  Read More>>

2.  Setting Darkness/Print Speed Using ZDesigner Driver  Read More>>

Note: Different Windows systems have different paths of accessing the driver.  Windows XP requires you to access "Printers and Faxes" whereas Windows 7 requires you to access "Devices and Printers".  All ZDesigner ZPL print drivers should have somewhat similar interfaces and although certain options may be present and referenced in one, other model printers may not support those features.  For example, QLn Series printers do not support "Cutter" or "Applicator" operation mode although they are options in the ZPL driver.

Make sure to send a test page print through the driver to allow the settings to be applied on the printer after configuration is complete.

3.  Setting Darkness Using ZPL Read More>>

Note:  See Helpful Information below for instructions on sending file to printer.  The ~SD will set the darkness at the value you specify (i.e. ~SD20 sets darkness to 20).  The ^MD command adjusts darkness relative to the current setting (i.e. it adds or subtracts from the current darkness value configured on the printer).

Setting Print Speed Using ZPL  Read More>>

Helpful Information

Configuring Printer Settings with Zebra Setup Utilities  Read More>>

ZPL Programming Guide  Read More>>

Download Zebra Setup Utilities  Read More>>

Sending file to printer using Zebra Setup Utilities  Read More>>

Sending file to printer using ZDesigner Driver  Read More>>

+ Product Codes

  • QLn Series Healthcare Mobile Printers
  • QLn Series Mobile Printers
  • QLn220 Healthcare
  • QLn220 Mobile Printer
  • QLn320 Healthcare
  • QLn320 Mobile Printer
  • QLn420 Mobile Printer
  • ZQ500 Series Mobile Printers
  • ZQ510 Mobile Printer
  • ZQ520 Mobile Printer
  • ZR600 Series Healthcare Mobile Printers
  • ZR600 Series Mobile Printers