What are the differences between GDI, PCL and Post Script printers?

Why does it matter whether I have a GDI, PCL or Post Script printer?

Printers use a set of operating commands that determine how data sent from the computer is interpreted and acted upon.
These commands provide a printer with the ability to change modes so that it behaves just like a printer from another manufacturer.

    Here are a few common emulation command formats:
    * For Dot Matrix/SIDM Impact Printers – IBM Pro Printer (IBM ppr), Epson, Microline
    * For Laser and LED Printers – GDI, PCL and Post Script

    Here is further explanation on GDI, PCL and Post Script.

    GDI: Shorthand for Graphical Device Interface, this is a Windows standard for representing graphical objects (not text) and transmitting them to output devices such as monitors and printers.

    PCL: Shorthand for Printer Control Language, this defines a standard set of commands enabling programs to communicate with HP or HP-compatible devices.

    Post Script: This is a page description language developed by Adobe Systems. Post Script can be used by a wide variety of computers and printers and is the dominant format used for desktop publishing.
    Documents in Post Script format are able to use the full resolution of any Post Script printer because it describes the page to be printed in terms of primitive shapes which are interpreted by the printer’s own controller.
    Post Script is often used to share documents on the Internet because of this ability to work on many different platforms and printers.

    If the file to be printed contains an EPS-embedded file, only a Post Script printer can render it correctly.

    Each format has its own unique purpose. If you need assistance determining the proper format to use, please email us at support@okidata.com or call us at Oki Data Customer Support (1-800-654-3282).