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ESC/P (Epson Standard Code for Printers) is a command language developed by Epson to control computer printers. It was mainly used in dot matrix printers and some inkjet printers. During the era of dot matrix printers, it was also used by other manufacturers (e.g. NEC), sometimes in modified form. At the time, it was a popular mechanism to add formatting to printed text, and was widely supported in software.



ESC/P derives its name from the start of the escape sequences used, which start with the escape character ESC (ASCII code 27). As an example, ESC E will switch to printing in bold font, ESC F switches off bold printing. The ESC/P control codes are sometimes also referred to as Epson LQ codes, as they were made popular by the Epson LQ series of dot matrix printers.


There are several variants of ESC/P, as not all printers implement all commands. Epson refers to a more recent variant of ESC/P as ESC/P 2. ESC/P 2 is backward compatible to ESC/P, but adds commands for new printer features such as scalable fonts and enhanced graphics printing.

Modern printers

Modern printers no longer use ESC/P; instead they are driven through a standardized page description language, usually PCL or PostScript, or they use proprietary protocols.

See also

External links


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