PDT Files (3270 and 5250)

PDTs (printer definition tables) are compiled from PDFs (printer definition files). PDFs contain printer commands that must be understood and supported by your printer.

The following are the basic printer languages:

Printer Control Language (Hewlett-Packard)
ProPrinter Data Stream (IBM®)
Printer Control Language (Epson)
(No PDFs for this language)

Many printers support two or more of these languages. Most print drivers use a PJL (Printer Job Language) to switch between languages and to perform other job control functions, such as setting the number of copies.

You do not need a PDF for each different printer model; with the increasing number of models, PDFs are named for the printer language, not the printer model.

Older SBCS PDFs and PDTs are not shipped with Z and I Emulator for Windows, but are available at the product Web site. If you already have modified PDFs, any PDF and PDTs other than those in Table 1 are retained during an install.

The End_Job statement in a PDF contains the printer commands that are sent to the printer at the end of each print job. If the End_Job contains a character defined as form feed (FFF in the PDT), a form feed (FF) is sent to the printer. It is not needed if the host application ends the job with the FF, as is commonly done. Some print drivers add the FF if needed, and most print drivers ignore extra FFs. So the FFF usually is protection against the host application not using a FF, and usually causes no problem. However, if you get an extra blank page, remove the FFF.

Table 1. Old Printer Definition Files
Printer Definition File (PDF) Name Remarks
ibm5577a (No FFF)
ibm5577b (No FFF)

The supplied basic_ascii PDF does not contain any printer commands, which results in only ASCII text being sent to a printer or file. An accompanying PDT is also shipped. This PDF is for SBCS only.