PCL printing

When you submit a print job through a PCL print driver and select a paper bin to print from, the driver generates a bin number and puts it into the data stream. Unfortunately, different drivers generate different bin numbers for the same bin. For example, one driver might make "Tray 1" equal to bin 4 and "Auxiliary tray" equal to bin 2, while another driver makes "Tray 1" equal to bin 1 and "Auxiliary tray" equal to bin 8. To add more difficulty, the generated PCL bin numbers can range from 0 to 59. While most drivers use low numbers (0 through 10), keep in mind the other possibilities.

During the transformation from PCL to AFP, InfoPrint Manager takes the bin number that the driver generated and compares it to the bin mappings you set. The pcl2afp transform inserts the AFP bin number that you assigned and sends the job to the destination you requested. The printer prints the job on paper from the bin you chose. As a result, it is essential that all of the users who submit jobs to a given InfoPrint Manager printer use the same driver. If they do not, the mappings you set up will not work correctly for them.

The first challenge for you in setting up the mappings is determining what bin number the PCL driver places in the data stream. For various InfoPrint printers, the drivers actually generate the same bin numbers. If you are using the PCL5e driver for an IBM Network Printer 12, Network Printer 17, Network Printer 24, InfoPrint 20, InfoPrint 21, InfoPrint 32, or InfoPrint 40, the numbers listed in IBM PCL5e Bin numbers are placed in the data stream.

IBM PCL5e Bin numbers

Tray (what you select in Device Settings) PCL bin number (what the driver puts in data stream)
Automatically Select 0
Tray 1 1
Manual feed paper 2
Manual feed envelope 3
Auxiliary tray 4
Tray 2 5
Envelope feeder or Envelope tray 6
Tray 3 7
Tray 4 8
Tray 5 or 2000 sheet input tray 9

If you are using a different driver, the documentation that came with your printer might provide these numbers; look for a section on the PCL driver. Alternatively, if you are able to capture the PCL data that is sent to a specific bin in your printer, you can look for the bin number in the data stream. In some cases, however, it might be just as easy to use trial and error to determine the correct mappings. Again, keep in mind that PCL bin numbers can range from 0 to 59.

The second challenge is in determining the AFP bin numbers that correspond to your printer. AFP bin numbers range from 1 to 255, and are not standard from printer to printer. Some printers have hard-coded bin numbers; each bin on the printer actually has a number written on it. In other cases, the AFP bin numbers are more difficult to discover. In fact, the numbering scheme for some printers changes completely when you add one of the optional paper bins. Still other printers allow you to change the bin numbers yourself. As a result, it is difficult to predict exactly what the AFP bin numbers for your printers are. However, there are some guidelines that you can use.
  • Most AFP paper bins use numbers 1 through 10, with 1 being the biggest, topmost, or bottommost bin.
  • Envelope feeders/bins start at number 65 and can go up to 69.
  • The manual feed tray is usually number 100.

If you are printing to InfoPrint printers, the best place to find the default numbering schemes for each printer is in the IPDS and SCS Technical Reference and the IPDS Handbook for printers that use the AFCCU.

Important: If you find the AFP bin numbers for your printer in this documentation, be aware that the number is written in hexadecimal notation. You must convert the number to decimal before you put it in the mapping file. In addition, the numbers that are listed are the machine numbers, not the numbers the software requires (they are the IPDS bin numbers, not the AFP bin numbers). After you convert the number to decimal, add 1 to it to get the number that you should put in the mapping file.

For example, if you have a printer with three paper bins and a manual feed bin, you could do this:

  1. On the system that your InfoPrint Manager server runs on, install the PCL driver that you plan to use. The easiest way to install the driver is by using the Windows Add printer wizard to create a printer that uses that driver.
  2. Using the Management Console, create a Windows gateway printer that uses the driver you just installed and has a PSF printer as its target destination.
  3. Click the Windows Start button and select Settings → Printers to open the Printers window.
  4. Right-click the Windows gateway printer you just created and select Properties from the pop-up menu.
  5. Click Device Settings to show the printer options that are available for this driver. For example, some drivers show a list of "paper trays" and allow you to select a paper size for each one.
  6. Make sure that all of the paper trays you plan to use are activated and have the correct size paper selected.
  7. Click OK to close the dialog and make the settings take effect.
  8. Determine which method you will be using to map bins:
  9. Follow the appropriate procedure.

    When you have to enter PCL and AFP bin numbers, start with the guidelines above and create some logical mappings, such as the ones shown in table Sample mapping table for an InfoPrint 20 for an InfoPrint 20.

    Sample mapping table for an InfoPrint 20

    Tray selection PCL bin number AFP bin number
    Tray 1 1 1
    Tray 2 5 2
    Tray 3 7 3
    Manual feed tray 2 100
    Envelope tray 1 6 60
    Envelope tray 2 4 61
    Complete the procedure.

  10. Load each paper bin (including the manual feed bin) with a different kind, color, or specially marked paper.
  11. Submit a test job to each bin and see which paper it prints on. Keep track of your results and use them to change the mappings to meet your configuration.
  12. Once you have the mappings worked out correctly, tell your users this information:
    • How to create a connection to this Windows gateway printer from their workstations.
    • What options to set in the device settings.
    • What kind of paper is in each bin.
    • How to print to each bin.