What is the difference between Post Script (PS) and PCL Printer Drivers?
Both Adobe's PS and HP's PCL drivers are page description languages. This means they are both languages that describe how to print a page. Each has its own positive and negative qualities, and they are good for different things.
PCL drivers do most of the rendering on the local workstation and the information is sent in essentially binary form to the printer. Post Script drivers essentially send a page description to the printer, where it is rendered. Since local workstations are generally MUCH faster than the printer's, PCL printing is much faster than Post Script and because PCL printing requires less printer memory some jobs may only print if sent using PCL drivers. However, PCL is also a simpler language than Post Script so it lacks many of the complex drawing and scaling functions that are available in Post Script. Therefore, if you are using a package which takes advantage of Post Script's capabilities (e.g. most Adobe products and some others), you may get better quality output using Post Script drivers whereas your complex print job may not print properly or at all using the PCL driver.
Article ID: 44800