Setting the Darkness on a ZM Series, RZ, or ZT200 Series Printer

Article ID: 77984063




Setting the darkness level on the ZM Series Printer

Applies To

ZM-Series Printers
ZT200 Series Printers
RZ Series Printer


The print darkness setting allows a user to control the intensity of the transferred image to optimize the perceived print quality. The darkness can be set from 0 to 30 for a ZPL based printer and the actual value you use is based on your media/ribbon combinations and application requirements. 

While the darkness value can be set using the printer LCD Display an application driver or software can overwrite/change this setting based on the SD (Set Darkness ZPL command and MD  (Media Darkness ZPL command). For this reason if you are experiencing problems with print darkness you may have to determine if there are settings your software/driver or with your ZPL format that are unintentionally altering your darkness value. 


Methods used to set the print darkness:
  • The darkness level can be set directly on the printer through the printer's LCD Read More>> (Excluding the ZT220)
  • Zebra Setup Utility can also be used to change the printer's darkness setting. Read More>>
  • Setting the darkness using the  Zebra Designer Driver Read More>>
  • If your application is printing through a 3rd party driver, contact that vendors technical support.
  • If you are using ZPL code in your application see Read More>>

Note: Software and driver settings can over-ride the darkness level set on the printer. If test labels print acceptably and then sending your label format changes the darkness, verify your application settings since they may be altering the printer darkness setting.


To view the printer's current ZPL configuration use one of the following methods

  • ZPL Commands can instruct the printer to print a configuration label Read More>>
  • Printers with an LCD Front Panel  - Read More>>

 Darkness is listed on the configuration label. Typical values are 0-30


User-added image

Helpful Information

Printing a Selftest Label Read More>>


+ Product Codes

  • Z Series Industrial Printers
  • ZM400
  • ZM600
  • ZT200 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT210 Industrial Printer
  • ZT220 Industrial Printer
  • ZT230 Industrial Printer
  • ZT400 Series RFID Printers