Contents of the DISKLASR.DOC file
DISKLIST LASER COMMAND GUIDE
Revised December 3, 1993
This is a guide to help you use DISKLIST on a HP LaserJet. Since
other brand laser printers emulate the HP PCL (Printer Control
Language) this information is applicable to most laser printers.
The purpose is to help you customize the laser commands that
DISKLIST sends to the printer. This will give you control over
how and where DISKLIST is printed.
The basic syntax of a PCL command is:
The first character is ESC
ESC is followed by printable ASCII characters - letters,
numbers and symbols.
The last character is always an uppercase letter.
The simplest command is to reset the printer - ESC E.
There is a space after ESC in this documentation for clarity. In
the actual HP laser command there is no space. In the DISKLIST
laser command editor, the ESC is displayed as a left arrow with
ESC is usually followed by two characters that identify a family.
The first is usually a symbol and the second a lowercase letter.
These are followed by a number. It can be an integer or a
decimal to 4 decimal places, depending on the command.
To set the point size to 12, the command is: ESC (s12V
To set the pitch to 10 characters per inch: ESC (s10H
Note that the integers match the desired value of the parameter,
and the point command ends in V for vertical and the pitch
command ends in H for horizontal. Both commands have the family
One final rule. Commands that have the same two characters after
ESC can be grouped together without repeating the ESC or the
common 2 characters. In this case, the last letter of each
imbedded command must be lowercase.
Using the commands of the previous example to form one
Note the v is now lowercase.
Warning: Case is very important. Also, do not confuse the
number 0 and the letter O, or the number 1 and the lower case L.
If you are not getting the results that you expect, look at your
commands very carefully for these substitutions.
LASER COMMAND SETUP
DISKLIST has a set of laser commands for each format. They are
in the file DISKLIST.LSR. It also has a laser command editor,
accessed with F6, so you can easily change them. Remember to
save the changes you make in this file with F9. The laser
commands are setup in the following categories:
Pitch & Point Size
Lines per inch
Left Margin, Row
You can put any commands on any line. These categories are for
reference only. Although the order is important because the
value of one command effects the operation of other commands.
This will be discussed later with left margin and row.
When laser printer is selected, DISKLIST concatenates all of the
commands in the first 7 categories and sends them to the printer.
After the list is printed, DISKLIST sends the commands in the
eighth category, Reset.
You don't have to have any laser commands. Many of these
parameters are inherent in the default font or can be set by
controls on the printer. You may need a few commands, such as
top and left margin, and lines per inch. The editor has a key
to delete the commands on one line, F7, or all commands for a
Laser commands are all printable ASCII characters except ESC.
The IBM character set displays ESC as a left pointing arrow. So
does DISKLIST. To enter ESC on the command line, just press the
ESC key. Since the ESC key is used for input, press Function
Key 10 to exit the editor. I try to make my software consistent,
so DISKLIST will quit all functions when F10 is pressed.
Within a font set are many symbol sets. The IBM lines that
DISKLIST uses to print the frames are in the symbol set called
IBM-PC(USA). The command to use this symbol set is ESC (10U.
Some fonts do not have this symbol set, so the printer will
select another set close to it, but that symbol set probably
won't have the IBM lines. In that case you can use the ASCII
lines or select a label format that doesn't have lines.
This command sets the character spacing to proportional or fixed.
Since DISKLIST prints columns and a frame, the fixed spacing must
be selected. The command for fixed spacing is ESC (s0P. For
proportional spacing the command is ESC (s1P.
Most fonts only come in one type of spacing, proportional or
fixed so this command is probably ignored. And, you don't
want to use a proportional font with DISKLIST.
PITCH AND POINT SIZE
These commands were used in the example above. DISKLIST uses two
sets, one for normal and one for compressed. They are:
Normal ESC (s10.00h12.0V
Compressed ESC (s16.66h8.5V
This command determines whether the list will be printed in the
Portrait or Landscape mode. The commands are:
Portrait ESC &l0O
Landscape ESC &l1O
This command positions the list from the top of the page.
Remember, with most lasers there is a border around the page
where the printer cannot physically print. If you set it up to
print there, nothing will be printed in this area. The command
for the number of lines down from the top is ESC &l#E where #
represents the number of lines.
LINES PER INCH
Lines per inch control the vertical spacing of the data lines.
There are two ways to select this. Either select a specific
number of lines per inch, or select a fractional vertical motion
The lines per inch command is ESC &l#D where # is the number of
lines per inch. However, unlike most of the other commands, this
command only allows specific numbers. They are 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8,
12, 16, 24, and 48.
Line spacing by vertical motion index command is ESC &l#C.
# represents the number of 1/48 inch increments and can be a
decimal. The following table illustrates some useful values but
any value is acceptable by PCL.
This command positions the list from the left edge of the
page. Before version 3.0, DISKLIST used the command ESC &a#L
for the column number to start printing in, where # represents
the column number. This is important when you position the
list on labels. The positioning of the left margin is based
on the current horizontal motion index which was set by the
DISKLIST now uses ESC &l0U to set the left margin because it
is required for the shade feature. This is the PCL5 command
for Left (Long Edge) Offset Registration.
If your laser printer does not have PCL5 compatibility, then
you may change the left margin commands to ESC &a#L in all the
formats you expect to use. You may edit the file DISKLIST.LSR
with the DOS EDIT and use Search and Change, or you may use
the DISKLIST.LSR file from an earlier version of DISKLIST.
This change will only work with the Output Devices Laser
Printer and Ink Jet Printer. The laser commands for all the
other laser output device selectios are imbedded in DISKLIST.
SHADE will still work after this change if you set the left
margin to 0.
Row positions the start of the list down from the top margin,
not the top of the page. The command is ESC &a#R where # is the
number of lines below the top margin. Since it is in the &a
family, DISKLIST puts this in one command with the left margin.
The positioning of the row based on the current vertical motion
index which was set by the lines per inch command.
F6 will insert these commands in the editor for the selected
Pitch ==> Normal Compressed
Symbol ESC E ESC (10U ESC E ESC (10U
Spacing ESC (s0P ESC (s0P
Pitch & Point Size ESC (s10.00h12.0V ESC (s16.66h8.5V
Orientation ESC &l0O ESC &l0O
Top Margin ESC &l0E ESC &l0E
Lines per inch ESC &l6D ESC &l8D
Left Margin, Row ESC &l0U ESC &a1R ESC &l0U ESC &a1R
Reset ESC E ESC E
The symbol command is preceded by the ESC E, the reset command.
This forces a page eject in some printers, so you may want to
eliminate it. If laser printer is selected, CTRL E will also
send a page eject from the control window. If you want to print
more than one list on a sheet, remove the reset, then use CTRL E
to eject the page.
DISKLIST sends the following commands to the laser when it
downloads your font that you have selected from the Download
Reset ESC E
Font ID Assignment ESC *c#D
The Font File
Font ID Assignment ESC *c#D
Make Font Permanent ESC *c5F
Select Font ESC (#X
# is the font number. DISKLIST generates a number by adding 70
to the sequence number of the font in the font selection window.
Except selection 10, which is assigned the number 70. So the
range of font ID numbers that DISKLIST assigns is from 70 to 79.
You can then reselect a font with the command ESC (#X. The
downloaded fonts are lost when the printer is turned off.
This is just a beginning of learning about PCL. It is sufficient
to produce useful lists and labels. There are many more commands
that may be of help in configuring DISKLIST to print lists
exactly as you like. They are all in your printer manual. I
hope this write-up helps you to read and understand the laser
If you download or select a font, delete all laser commands
(use F8 in the editor), then insert a command for lines per
inch and commands for top, left margin, and row. Otherwise
the commands will override the selected font and the printer
will select another.
If the vertical IBM lines look like dashes, squeeze the lines
together by printing more lines per inch. Use the ESC &l#C
With a laser printer you can create your own list formats. For
example, if you have a 6 point 25 pitch font, you can use the
format for 5.25 inch 5 across to print a list that can hold 165
file names and be cut to fit the size of a 3.5 inch disk. Then
tape the list to the back of the diskette with one small piece of
tape placed along the edge of the diskette that doesn't go into
the drive. You then have a list that stays attached to the
diskette even when it is inserted in the drive.
DISKLIST LASER COMMAND REFERENCE CARD
Reset ESC E
Point Size ESC (s#V
Pitch ESC (s#H
Portrait ESC &l0O
Landscape ESC &l1O
Top Margin ESC &l#E
Left Margin ESC &l0U (PCL5)
Left Margin ESC &a#L (Before PCL5)
Row ESC &a#R
Lines Per Inch ESC &l#D
Valid Values of # for lines per inch are:
1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 24, and 48.
Vertical Motion Index ESC &l#C
# represents the number of 1/48 inch increments and can be
a decimal. The following table illustrates useful values: