PRINT CONTROL PROGRAM (PCP)
(C) Copyright 1988 Blanchard Software
All rights reserved.
This is a shareware program. All users may copy
and distribute the Print Control Program and the
accompanying files provided that the program and
files are not altered in any way.
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY
This software, instructions and reference
materials are sold "as is" and without warranties
as to performance or merchantability. The sellers
salespersons may have made statements about this
software. Any such statements do not constitute
warranties and shall not be relied on by the buyer
in deciding whether to purchase this program.
This program is sold without any express or
implied warranties whatsoever. Because of the
diversity of conditions and hardware under which
this program may be used, no warranty of fitness
for a particular purpose is offered. The user is
advised to test the program thoroughly before
relying on it. The user must assume the entire
risk of using the program. Any liability of seller
or manufacturer will be limited exclusively to
product replacement or refund of the purchase
IBM is a registered trademark of International
Business Machines Corporation.
PCP is a memory resident Print Control Program. It offers
improved print screen capability (high fidelity screen capture)
for text screens and the capability to send commands to the
printer from within other programs. It is supplied with a printer
code file for an IBM compatible printer. Instructions are
provided for modifying or preparing a printer code file for other
You might use screen prints in documenting a computer
program, preparing tutorials, preparing reports or for any
documentation purpose that requires an "image" of the display
PCP produces a printed screen image that captures the most
important features of the video display. It cannot duplicate
every screen feature (blinking, for example), but it is
sufficient for many documentation purposes. It shows normal print
and underlining. It prints blanks for non-display mode characters
(passwords), and it represents high intensity display and reverse
PCP gives additional printer control from within programs
that offer only limited printer control. For example, you might
want to switch to compressed print while you are running a
program that does not let you set printer modes. With PCP you can
send the control codes to the printer and them resume operation
of the other program without interruption.
The following list is a summary of features offered by PCP
used as a screen capture program.
1. You can print any rectangular subset of the
screen from a single character to the whole screen.
2. You can set print margins to place the print
properly on the page.
3. You can send control codes (escape sequences)
to the printer to select print modes. This will allow
you to set print size and line spacing to adjust the
proportions of the printed image.
4. You can make the printer double strike each
line for darker and more uniform print.
5. The printed image shows underlining as it
appears on the (monochrome) screen. It shows high
intensity display as extra black (bold) printed
characters. It prints blanks for screen text with the
non-display attribute (frequently used for passwords).
It represents reverse video display by printing a gray
background with the text characters.
6. The PCP pop-up menu also allows you to select
the original DOS print screen function.
In addition to it's basic screen capture function, PCP can
be used to send control character sequences to the printer from
within another program. All you have to do is press and make choices from the PCP pop-up menus. Any of
your printer's features can be made accessible this way.
PCP is compatible with both monochrome and color monitors.
Note however, that the color monitor (CGA) cannot display
underlining. Furthermore, some color monitors are incapable of
producing high intensity text. If your software package sends
underlined text to the screen, the color monitor displays it as
blue characters on a black background. PCP will read this text
from the screen and print underlined text. If your software
package sends high intensity text to the screen, PCP will read it
and print bold characters whether or not your color monitor can
display high intensity text.
USING THE PRINT CONTROL PROGRAM
In the discussion below the symbol means to
press the print screen key while holding down a shift key.
refers to the escape key. refers to the carriage return or
"enter" key. This is the angled arrow key on the IBM keyboard.
PCP normally resides in memory as an inactive program. The
program is not activated until you press the key
combination. The program will then save the current display
contents and present a pop-up menu. You make menu selections by
pressing the number key (or first letter) of your selection.
There are seven menu options. Each is described below.
MENU OPTION 1 (1, C or c) sends control codes (escape
sequences) to the printer. A menu will pop-up when you choose
this option. Just type the letter corresponding to the set of
codes you want. You may send several sets of codes. When you have
transmitted all the required codes, press to return to the
main menu. The printer will usually stay in the selected mode
until you change the mode or turn the printer off.
Most printers are not capable of executing all possible
combinations of their individual print modes. Choosing print
feature X, such as near letter quality, may defeat a previously
selected mode Y, such as compressed print. See your printer
MENU OPTION 2 (2, A or a) is for selecting the screen area
to be printed. When you choose this option the PCP menu will
disappear and the whole screen will be highlighted. You can use
the arrow keys to change the boundaries of the highlighted area.
Only the highlighted area will be printed.
Use the arrow keys to move the top left corner of the
highlighted area first. When the corner is properly located,
press the F7 key (or you can press "f" for fix). If you make an
error, you can press F5 (or "u" to undo) to start over again.
After you have fixed the top left corner, use the arrow keys
to set the lower right corner of the highlighted area. Press F7
or "f" when the area you want printed is defined. The main menu
will reappear, and PCP will remember the area definition.
MENU OPTION 3 (3, M or m) sets print margins. A pop-up menu
asks you for the number of lines for the top margin and then the
number of spaces for the left margin. PCP remembers these values
for use in subsequent printing. It returns you to the main menu.
MENU OPTION 4 (4, P or p) tells the computer to begin
printing. It prints the defined screen area with the margins you
selected using any printer codes you may have sent. If you have
not defined an area with menu option 2, then the whole screen is
printed. If you have not set margins with menu option 3, then
zero margin values are used.
Area definition and margin values are remembered from screen
to screen. The printer also retains it's control code settings.
For option 4 (and 5), PCP sends codes for underline or bold
to the printer as required by the screen text. If you have
previously set your printer for a mode that is incompatible with
underline or bold you may not get the desired print effects.
MENU OPTION 5 (5, D or d) is the same as option 4 except
that each printed line is double struck. This will make darker,
more uniform printout. You can use this option if your printer
ribbon is old and worn. You can also try this option for
preparing screen prints for use as masters for copying.
MENU OPTION 6 (6, O or o) is the original print screen
function. The program transfers control to the actual BIOS print
screen code. Thus, normal DOS print screen is still available to
you even though PCP has taken the key
MENU OPTION 7 (7, E, e or ) ends the PCP session and
removes the menus from the screen. It restores the original
screen that was present when PCP was called. The program remains
memory resident and can be called again by pressing
. Area definition and margin values are retained.
The IBM character set includes some characters which will
display properly on the screen but not on the printer. For
example ASCII 13 (hex 0D) displays a musical note on the screen,
but it is read by the printer as a carriage return. This is true
principally of the characters with ASCII codes less than 32 (hex
20). For some printers there may also be a problem with
characters just above ASCII 127 (hex 7F).
If you get some unexpected line feeds or page ejects in
doing a print screen, check the screen character at the point
where the effect occurs. If your printer allows you choice of
character sets, you may be able to eliminate the problem that
These problems occur only rarely because the offending
characters are not often used in displays.
PROGRAM SETUP AND CHECKOUT
PCP controls printer operation by inserting special hex
control codes into the stream of characters sent to the printer.
The printer electronics recognizes the codes and removes them
from the character stream. It uses the codes to reset the
internal printer mechanism to do such things as bold printing,
underlining, compressed characters etc.
For example, consider what happens when PCP does a screen
print that includes some underlined text. PCP reads the screen
character by character. When it first encounters an underlined
character, it looks up the code for underlining and inserts this
code in the character stream immediately before the first
underlined character. Your printer notices the special code and
resets itself for underlining before it prints the character.
Your printer will stay in the underline mode until it gets
another code to reset. PCP continues reading underlined
characters and sending them to the printer. When PCP next
encounters a character that is not underlined, it inserts the
"underline off" hex code into the character stream immediately
before the print character. Your printer detects the code and
turns off underlining before printing the character.
This is a very nice system. But the rub here is that all
printers do not use the same control codes. If your printer is
not an IBM compatible model, then you must supply the correct
printer codes for PCP.
PCP uses a file called PRINTER.COD to define printer control
codes. The file supplied with the program has codes for an IBM
compatible printer. You can change the codes in the file using a
word processor that produces ASCII output.
File entries are arranged in pairs. Each pair consists of
the name of a printer function, such as "Start Underline," and
the hex character control code sequence for that function. The
names are used for display on the PCP pop-up menu that identifies
The name of the printer function can be up to 15 characters
long. The hex codes must be two characters each (Use leading zero
if necessary) with a space between them. There is room for five
control codes with each named function. You can find printer
codes (escape sequences) in your printer manual.
The printer codes for bold and underline must always be the
first through fourth pairs of entries in the file. PCP uses these
printer commands and expects to find them there. After the first
four pairs, you can put whatever printer control codes you find
useful in the file. Condensed print and line spacing controls are
useful for adjusting the relative proportions of the printed
The printer code file supplied with PCP is listed below to
show the proper format for the file. Note that codes and names go
on separate lines and are arranged in pairs. Each line should be
ended with a carriage return. The file can contain up to 16 sets
of printer function codes.
1B 2D 01
1B 2D 00
17 CPI Start
17 CPI Stop
1B 33 2C
1B 33 24
Some printers offer several variations of bold print. These
may be described as enhanced print, emphasized print or some
similar names. It is recommended that you use whichever variant
of bold print is compatible with condensed print. This will
enable you to make condensed screen printouts that are
approximately the same proportions as the screen.
The simplest way is to change the codes is to load a copy of
PRINTER.COD into your word processor. Then change the hex codes
by simply typing the correct codes using digits from 0 to 9 and
letters A to F. You can also change the names of the functions if
you want. Then write the file to disk without any margins, extra
spaces or formatting. If you have not used your word processor to
produce a pure ASCII file before, check your word processor
If you change the printer code file, you will want to test
it with your printer. An additional test file called PRTXT.EXE is
supplied with PCP. This program generates lines of normal, high
intensity, reverse video, underlined and non-display text. PCP
can be operated in a nonresident mode to simplify testing.
To test the printer codes, type PRTXT to display the
test character strings. Then type PCP to load the print
utility program in its nonresident mode. Then you can use the PCP
menu options to select printer codes and to print. Try out all of
the printer code pairs. If you need to make corrections to the
file, you can return to your word processor and make the changes.
It is important that the codes be correct. PCP will not be
able to detect errors in the printer code file.
Once you are satisfied that the printer codes are correct,
you can load PCP in it's memory resident mode. Type PCP R
to do this. The program should be loaded before any transient
programs are loaded.
Normally, you would load PCP as part of your power up
sequence. Adding the line PCP R to your AUTOEXEC.BAT
file will cause PCP to be loaded automatically. PCP.COM and
PRINTER.COD must be in the same directory.
Shareware effectively gives you "free home trial" of new
software. If you don't like the program or don't plan to use the
program, then there is no obligation to pay for it. If you use
Print Control Program, then you should register your copy with
the program author and pay the five dollar registration fee.
The author receives no payment from shareware libraries or
bulletin boards that distribute copies of the program.
Send your $5.00 check payable to Walter Blanchard, along
with any comments, suggestions or complaints to
P.O. Box 1650
Norristown Pa. 19401
We will keep you informed of program improvements or upgrades.
I expect to use the Print Control Program on a regular or
occasional basis. I have enclosed a check payable to Walter
Blanchard for the five dollar registration fee.
State: __________________________ ZIP _____________
I use Print Control Program on an:
[ ] IBM PC [ ] IBM XT [ ] IBM AT
[ ] OTHER (please specify):
Hard disk? (Y/N):
Monitor? [ ] Monochrome [ ] Color
Where did you get your copy of PCP?
Mail to: Walter Blanchard
P.O. Box 1650
Norristown Pa. 19401