Using ZPL Stored Formats

Article ID: 13969797

Issue / Question

Using ZPL Stored Formats

Applicable To

ZPL Compatible printers

Resolution / Answer

The Zebra printers are capable to store on their memory a template and recall it to print variable data on the same layout.
It is recommended to use ZebraDesigner 3 to design the label and the “Print to file” option to get the ZPL code to modify.

This procedure is possible using the following ZPL commands:


To store the template on the printer memory


To recall the template


To fill the variable fields. This command must be followed by a number that identifies the variable field itself.
Both ^DF and ^XF commands must be followed by the memory letter and the filename, extension included.

The memory you can use are the following

  • R for the printer RAM.
  • E for the flash memory.

If you use the R memory, you will lose the stored template once the printer will be rebooted.
Remember that the filename should not exceed 8 characters (the additional characters will be cut) and cannot include spaces.

Example 1
This example shows how to store and recall a template, without variable fields.

Storing the template

^XA ^DFE:TEMPLATE.ZPL^FS ^FO50,50^A0,60,60^FDTest^FS ^XZ

^XA is the open command
^DFE:TEMPLATE.ZPL this command instructs the printer to store the file, instead of print it
^FO is field origin, A is the font, FD is the data field
^XZ is the closure command

Recalling the template


^XF recalls the TEMPLATE.ZPL file stored on memory E
^PQ1 is the print quantity

Example 2
This example shows how to store and recall a template with a variable field using the ^FN command.

Storing the template


^FD fields in line 3 and 5 are the fixed fields (Name and Surname)
^FN1 and ^FN2 these are the variable fields 1 and 2

Recalling the template


^XF recalls the TEMPLATE.ZPL file stored on memory E
^FN1 recalls the ^FN1 fields on the template and fills it with "John"
^FN2 recalls the ^FN2 fields on the template and fills it with "Doe"

Example 3
If you are constantly printing the same label but one of the fields is a counter, you can recall a saved format which includes a counter as a variable field using the ^SN command.

Storing the template

^FO25,25^A0N,50,50^FDTest Model^FS
^FO25,125^A0N,50,50^FDSerial number^FS

Recalling the template



The command ^SN will send to the printer “123001” as the initial value for the first label, then, according to “1” which is the increment value and to the value that follows ^PQ (Print quantity), it will print 100 labels incrementing the value of 1 on each label (123001, 123002…).
If you need to decrement the value, a minus must precede the number (E.G. -1).

More information can be found on the ZPL Programming Guide

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