Overview

PCL2PDF for the AS/400 converts LaserJet PCL print files to Adobe Acrobat PDF. These output files are fully PDF 1.2 compliant and can be viewed by any of the free Acrobat Readers and Viewers. For Windows and Unix systems these include Acrobat 3.01, 4.0 and later. The output PDF files can be fully searched on using Acrobat and indexed by Acrobat Catalog. Pcl2pdf supports the conversion of PCL4 (LaserJet II), PCL5 (LaserJet III) and most PCL5e (LaserJet 4/5) print files. Support for HP-GL/2 vector graphics is not present at this time.

AS/400 Commands

Listed below are the AS/400 commands used to call the Native AS/400 PCL to PDF Converter. All commands are contained in the RJSPCLPDF library on the AS/400. Reports and PCL files created by SAP, EZ Print/400, Formation MG, Optio, Formsprint, Elixir, etc. can be converted to PDF format.

  1. PCL2PDF - This command allows a PCL input file in an AS/400 IFS directory to be converted to PDF format. The resulting file is placed into the specified file name in the AS/400 IFS.
    Example: The command listed below copies a file named RJS.PCL to a file named RJS.PDF in the root IFS directory.
    PCL2PDF PCLFILE('/RJS.PCL') PDFFILE('/RJS.PDF')
  2. CPYPCLPDF - This command allows an AS/400 PCL spool file to be converted to PDF format. The resulting file is placed into the specified file name in the AS/400 IFS.
    Example: The command listed below copies a spool file names QSYSPRT to a PDF file named REPORT.PDF in the root IFS directory.
    CPYPCLPDF FILE(QSYSPRT) FILNAM('/REPORT.PDF')

Command Options

The following options can be used on the PCL2PDF converter commands in the Command option fields.The switches are case-insensitive, that is you can use uppercase, lowercase or a mixture of each.
Note: Only one command option should be entered per command option field. Only use if necessary.

  • -P The program defaults to assuming a "front panel" condition of portrait orientation. Of course it will react correctly to any PCL page orientation commands it finds in the PCL print file. Use this switch to set the default orientation to portrait for those files which don't explicitely set it, for example:- -P
  • -L The program defaults to assuming a "front panel" condition of portrait orientation. Of course it will react correctly to any PCL page orientation commands it finds in the PCL print file. Use this switch to set the default orientation to landscape for those files which don't explicitely set it.
  • -A3 The program defaults to assuming a "front panel" condition of A4 paper size. Of course it will react correctly to any PCL page size commands it finds in the PCL print file. Use this switch to set the default page size to A3 (420 x 297 mm) for those files which don't explicitely set it.
  • -A4 The program defaults to assuming a "front panel" condition of A4 (297 x 210 mm) paper size. Of course it will react correctly to any PCL page size commands it finds in the PCL print file.
  • -LEGAL The program defaults to assuming a "front panel" condition of A4 paper size. Of course it will react correctly to any PCL page size commands it finds in the PCL print file. Use this switch to set the default page size to Legal (14 x 8.5 ins) for those files which don't explicitely set it.
  • -LETTER The program defaults to assuming a "front panel" condition of A4 paper size. Of course it will react correctly to any PCL page size commands it finds in the PCL print file. Use this switch to set the default page size to US Letter (11 x 8.5 ins) for those files which don't explicitely set it.
  • -LOG Redirects error messages to a PCL2PDF.LOG disk file instead of the default stderr. This file will be created in the current working directory at the time the program is run. For the Developer Library this switch is very useful to help debug print file conversions.
  • -BM:# Specifies the point size of the default bottom margin to use. There are 72 points to an inch. The default is a bottom margin of 35 points. This option is useful should the program mistakenly split a page into two across a page boundary for print files that don't use formfeeds as page ends. You can use positive or negative values. Negative values will extend the page downwards. For example, to specify a bottom margin of 20.5 points use:- -bm:20.5
  • -LT:# This options corresponds to the PCL Line Termination escape sequence &k#G and can be useful for converting print files produced on Unix systems. Sometimes Unix files use just linefeeds for line endings. This can be noticed in PDF documents where the text appears to be on one line only, extending far off the page to the right. To have the program translate linefeeds to carriage-return linefeed pairs use:- -lt:2
  • -M:# Specifies the maximum number of pages to process (PDF pages to produce). The default is to process the whole input PCL file. For example, to process the first 2 pages only use:- -m:2
  • -RA Specifies that all text from downloaded bitmapped PCL soft fonts will be rendered as bitmaps. This is equivalent to using the combination of switches -rl:20 -ru:10. Use this option to see which text in the print file comes from downloaded soft fonts and which comes from internal printer resident typefaces. In Acrobat you will be able to zoom in close on the bitmapped text to see the dot patterns. Note that using this option may dramatically increase the size of the output PDF documents.
  • -RL:# Specifies the point size below which text from downloaded bitmapped PCL soft fonts will be rendered as bitmaps. The default is to bitmap text equal to or below 4 point. Text above this size will be printed using Acrobat resident typefaces. This option is useful to enable some downloadable fonts with poorly specified font headers to be displayed. For example, to specify 2 point or below use:- -rl:2
  • -RU:# Specifies the point size above which text from downloaded bitmapped PCL soft fonts will be rendered as bitmaps. The default is to bitmap text equal to or above 36 point. Text below this size will be printed using Acrobat resident typefaces. This option is useful for displaying some logos (images) printed using downloadable soft fonts. For example, to specify 40 point or above use:- -ru:40
  • -CSIZE The program uses Flate compression algorithms to dramatically compress the output PDF documents. This is the same alogorithm as used by the PKZIP (R) data compression utilities. By default the program will use a standard level of compression as a comprimise between conversion time and PDF file size. Use this option to specify the output PDF documents should be created as small as possible:- -csize
  • -CSPEED The program uses Flate compression algorithms to dramatically compress the output PDF documents. This is the same alogorithm as used by the PKZIP (R) data compression utilities. By default the program will use a standard level of compression as a comprimise between conversion time and PDF file size. Use this option to specify the output PDF documents should be created compressed but as fast as possible.
  • -MM Previous versions of the program used special, optional command line switches to specify control over the typefaces used in the output PDF documents. Two of these switches, -FM:# and -TT, have now been discontinued. The program should now optimally specify correct PDF typefaces to use for display and printing. Use this option instead to force Acrobat to display typefaces using only Adobe Multiple Master typefaces.
  • -NOPRE Acrobat PDF, being based on PostScript, is essentially an opaque document format. This means that many PDF objects will always obscure other objects placed underneath. When converting PCL print files this can sometimes be problematical. In general, grey shading used in PCL files is transparent and will show through any text printed below. This is often intentional and desirable. To cater for this the program will re-order any grey shaded areas found to be displayed first, before other objects on the page. For the vast majority of print files this process works correctly and as intended.
    There are some types of PCL files where it is intended that grey shading should mask out or obscure text beneath. (A delivery note may not want to show items prices.) If you meet conversion problems like this try using this switch to disable the program's re-ordering process.
  • -SC:# This option scales the PDF output on the page. Pass a scaling value as a percentage of the original size (100%). You can use values greater than 1 to increase the scale of a document. It can be useful sometimes when printing from Acrobat to reduce a document to fit within the (Windows) printer driver?s unprintable area. Scaling and reduction is performed around the centre of the document. For example, to reduce to 95% of the original size use:- -sc:0.95
  • -DIA:".." Use this option to specify the document author to be included in the PDF output. Normally the program will use a default author name. On PC and Unix systems be sure to enclose the title within single or double quotes to keep it separate from other command line switches. Note that the quote marks are not required or used with Developer Library versions of the program. If the command line gets long consider using the command file option -@:"..." above. An example usage is:- -dia:"Joe Bloggs"
  • -DIC:".." Use this option to specify the document creator to be included in the PDF output. Normally the program will leave this value unspecified. Note the comments above regarding quote marks and command line length. An example usage is:- -dic:"Report Generator/2000"
  • -DIK:".." Use this option to specify the document keywords to be included in the PDF output. Normally the program will leave this value unspecified. Note the comments above regarding quote marks and command line length. An example usage is:- -dik:"invoice, january, manufacturing"
  • -DIS".." Use this option to specify the document subject to be included in the PDF output. Normally the program will leave this value unspecified. Note the comments above regarding quote marks and command line length. An example usage is:- -dis:"Sales summary for Q4 1999"
  • -DIT:".." Use this option to specify the document title to be included in the PDF output. Normally the program will produce a default title based on the input PCL filename. Note the comments above regarding quote marks and command line length. An example usage is:- -dit:"Quartely report on South East Asia sales"
  • -NOWIN The program is usually able to detect and correctly handle soft fonts downloaded by the Windows LaserJet printer drivers. Some of these drivers, however, do not always produce fonts correctly formatted and fully conforming to the PCL specifications. If you find that some text in the output PDF files looks like "Egyptian heiroglyphics" then using this switch may help to make the text readable. Also, try using the -RA switch above.
  • -NOUNI In addition to the -NOWIN switch this option can also be used to help the program identify fonts downloaded by the Windows Unidriver printer driver. This and the -NOWIN option should not be required in normal use.

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Last Modified On: December 10, 2016