Zebra Printer Prints Printer Code (ZPL, EPL or CPCL), Unrecognized Characters or Text

Article ID: 49139153

Issue / Question

Printer codes are printing when attempting to print labels.

Why is the printer outputting text instead of the expected label images? 

Applicable To

Zebra printers using Zebra Driver

Resolution / Answer

How it Works

The Zebra Printer is a command-driven printer that requires programming commands to produce an image on the labels. Some applications can produce the printer language and are compatible with the printer without the need for a Windows Driver. The Windows Driver is needed if the application produces Window Meta Data that must be changed to the printer language using a Zebra Windows Driver.

Some applications come with the default driver. In summary, consult with your application provider if you experience any of the issues discussed in this solution.
 

NOTE Verify the type of driver you are using when the prints on the label are different from what is shown in the application.


Solution 
The application may output the printer's native command languages which are ZPL, EPL, or CPCL when creating the label image. Use a generic text or raw driver to send data to the printer. If the data is in a file, send the file directly to the printer using FTP. For more information, refer to the article FTP File Transfer Protocol from DOS

IMPORTANT! The output should not be processed by a printer driver.
Do not use Zebra Universal Driver, Zebra Designer Driver, or 3rd party printer drivers.

When the application generates the printer language commands, use a driver by selecting the Windows Generic Text driver for the print queue setup. This setup allows the printer's commands to pass into the printer to produce the labels.
 

NOTE Printers in Dump mode is also one of the reasons commands are printed instead of the label. Ensure that the printer is not in Dump or Communication Diagnostic mode. To stop the printer from being in the Communication Diagnostic mode, cycle power the printer.

+ Product Codes

  • 105SLPlus Industrial Printers
  • 105SLPlus Industrial Printers
  • 110PAX Print Engines (disc.)
  • 110Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 140Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 170Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 220Xi4 Industrial Printer
  • 2824 Plus Series
  • 2824-Z Series
  • All Surface RFID Label Solution
  • Desktop Printers
  • EZ320 Mobile Printers
  • G-Series GC Desktop Printers
  • G-Series GK Desktop Printers
  • G-Series GX Desktop Printers
  • GC420d Desktop Printer
  • GC420t Desktop Printer
  • GK420 Healthcare Desktop Printers
  • GK420d Desktop Printer
  • GK420d Healthcare Desktop Printer
  • GK420t Desktop Printer
  • GK420t Healthcare Desktop Printer
  • GT800 Desktop Printer
  • GX420Rx Desktop Printer
  • GX420d Desktop Printer
  • GX420t Desktop Printer
  • GX430d Desktop Printer
  • GX430t Desktop Printer
  • HC100 Wristband Printer
  • HC100 Wristband Printer
  • Industrial Printers
  • LP 2824 Plus Desktop Printer
  • MZ Series
  • Mobile Printers
  • P4T Mobile Printers
  • P4T Mobile Printers
  • Print Engines
  • QL Plus Series Mobile Printers
  • QL Series Mobile Printers
  • QL320 Mobile Printer
  • QL420 Mobile Printer
  • QLn Series Healthcare Mobile Printers
  • QLn Series Mobile Printers
  • QLn220 Healthcare
  • QLn220 Mobile Printer
  • QLn320 Healthcare
  • QLn320 Mobile Printer
  • QLn420 Mobile Printer
  • R110Xi4 RFID Printer
  • RFID Printers
  • RP4T RFID Printers
  • RP4T RFID Printers
  • RW 220 Mobile Printer
  • RW 420 Mobile Printer
  • RW 420 Print Station
  • RW Series Mobile Printers
  • TLP 2824Plus Desktop Printer
  • Xi Series Industrial Printers
  • ZD410 Series
  • ZD410D
  • ZD420 Series
  • ZD420-HC
  • ZD420C
  • ZD500 Desktop Printer
  • ZD500 Desktop Printer
  • ZD500R RFID Printers
  • ZD500R RFID Printers
  • ZE500 Print Engines
  • ZE500 Print Engines
  • ZE500R RFID Print Engine
  • ZE500R RFID Print Engine
  • ZM400
  • ZM600
  • ZQ500 Series Mobile Printers
  • ZQ510 Mobile Printer
  • ZQ520 Mobile Printer
  • ZR300 Series Mobile Printers
  • ZR338 Mobile Printers
  • ZR600 Series Healthcare Mobile Printers
  • ZR600 Series Mobile Printers
  • ZT200 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT210 Industrial Printer
  • ZT220 Industrial Printer
  • ZT230 Industrial Printer
  • ZT400 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT400 Series RFID Printers
  • ZT410 Industrial Printer
  • ZT410 RFID Industrial Printer
  • ZT420 Industrial Printer
  • ZT420 RFID Industrial Printer
  • iMZ Series Mobile Printers
  • iMZ220 Mobile Printer
  • iMZ320 Mobile Printer