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As long as I can remember, the preferred print driver has been PCL5 or PCL6. It seems that PCL5 is going the way of the dodo, and PCL6 has more problems than I care to list here (pcl xl errors). It seems that the most reliable print driver these days is the PS (postscript) driver. Just wondering what everyone elses' experience has been and what kind of driver they prefer?

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I prefer whatever one the manufacturer has on their website that will install and let me print out exactly to paper what is on print preview.

Seriously, I messed around with all of this in the past and I just don't think it matters any more.

I have a Samsung laser that installs as 3 printers - PCL, standard, and another that I forget the name. I did a lot of testing and everything I did (pictures, fonts and more) came out exactly on to paper as it was on print preview - no matter which printer I selected.

I really don't think that anyone should mess around with this, simply download and use whatever is available by your manufacturer and if you ever need anything professional done such as production printing, sent it as a PDF or whatever source artwork and let them deal with it.

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+1 Simple, sensible answer! – alex Oct 5 '09 at 12:51
In an office setting, it matters. I've had problems lately with HP's PCL6 drivers giving PCL XL errors when trying to print PowerPoint presentations or PDF files. Another problem using a KPDL driver printing a PDF crashes the Windows print spooler every time. The solution to both? Switch to Postscript or PCL5. Seeing how HP removed their PCL5 drivers from their website, Postscript is the only solution. Kindof a step back if you ask me. – churnd Oct 5 '09 at 14:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Doing more research myself, I've found that Postscript, while older, isn't necessarily inferior to PCL. Postscript is primarily targeted towards graphics while PCL is optimal for text. Postscript can take slightly longer to print as it's spooled job is larger than PCL. There doesn't seem to be any downfall to using Postscript other than that. In fact, many graphics design labs that use large format printers will stick with Postscript.

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