I type in the data I want to send, but I have to press Return to actually have it transmit the data.
That's because you have enabled the
Local Line Editing feature in the Terminal menu.
Is there a way of either having PuTTY not send the actual CR/LF as a result of pressing Return, ...
No (although it can send just the CR without the LF).
... or another way of sending the data that was just typed in?
Local Line Editing feature off, and whatever you type will be transmitted immediately. You will not need to type the
Enter key unless you actually want to send a CR character.
That also means that if you cannot type as fast the baudrate allows, then the receiving device better not have any constraints (e.g. such as Modbus) on intercharacter timing.
Also any mistakes you type cannot be undone, because the
Backspace key will send a control-H (value 0x08) character instead of erasing the previous keystroke.
Note that the
Enter key should only generate/transmit a CR character. The generation of the accompanying LF character is configurable.