Back to series

This video is a primer on creating your own custom cover sheets that use PCL codes for personalization of the information on the cover sheets.

In order to make a PCL template cover sheet, you first need to use an application that can print to PCL5 to create a PCL (Printer Control Language) template file. First create a source file (such as a .doc or .txt file) and then output this file to PCL. Store both the source file and the PCL output on the RightFax server this is recommended because the PCL file cannot be edited.

Let's take a look at this process.

When creating the document, Microsoft Word is commonly used.

There are a couple of things to remember when using Word.

First, use a Native printer font versus a True Type or Post Script font since the PCL codes need to be interpreted in the print job as code and not text. Some versions of Word may display icons to indicate whether a font is Native or not, but a good option is to use the Courier font to begin with to get a working PCL cover sheet, and then test other fonts with the same Word DOC file as a working template. Fonts that do not convert correctly in the PCL print output for your RightFax cover sheet template with print the PCL code as output in the cover sheet instead of pulling the included information you specify in the cover sheet. A full list of PCL codes is contained in your RightFax Administrator's Guide and should be your reference for which codes you will be using. PCL codes are inserted inside less than/greater than angle brackets, <>.

Also with Word, graphics and text boxes included in the document can also cause issues with the codes not being interpretted as such and instead ouput as text. If you are using graphics or text boxes make sure they do not overlap with each other, or other PCL code fields. Make sure no text boxes or graphics extend off the edges of the document you are creating.

Finally if you are still seeing issues when using graphics or text boxes, try eliminating them altogether to begin with until you have a working coversheet and then go back and add the items back in, sometimes this needs to be performed 1 item at a time between testing.

Cover sheet creation can sometimes be frustratingly non-exact, but with practice you will get the hang of it.

Once you have the document created, save it as a DOC file and not a DOCX.

Now it's time to send the print job to your PCL printer. Depending on the version of RightFax your Adminisitrator's Guide may recommend an HP LaserJet 4, or HP LaserJet 5200 driver for either PCL 4 or PCL 5 output. In this example we will use the HPLJ 5200.

Depending on the application you use to create the document you may have the option to print to file, or you may need to create a printer with a port that uses file output, either option will work, we just need the printer to give us PCL output in a file we can import into RightFax.

Once you have a PCL document, import it into RightFax per your version's requirements. In RightFax 10.6, we use the import cover sheet option.

Now that the cover sheet is imported configure a user to test with. Specify the items you will be using in the PCL codes to carry over from the fax submission to the cover sheet and then send the fax.

You can view the fax once it starts to send to see whether or not your PCL code worked. If you see PCL code output instead of the supplied data in the cover sheet, you have a problem and need to go back to the DOC or TXT file you created and try to resolve the issue, and then recreate a new PCL file. Make sure to pay special attention to the font, this is the most common cause of issues, remember to use a Native printer font. Check the printer driver you are using for thePCL output, HPLJ4 and HPLJ5200 work best for RightFax. Pare down graphics and text boxes

As always, if you have any questions about this topic, or any topic in the world of faxing, let us know at The Fax Guys, we are always happy to help.