Deeep in the configuration tree of the Printronix Printers when in pSeries emulation (which is what they suggest using for IBM i) there is an option:

"Ignore FF at TOF" (Ignore Form Feed when at Top of Form) *ShaZaaam!

Let there be labels (with no waste!)

- Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis

On 4/30/2012 12:08 PM, DrFranken wrote:
I totally understand your desire that this be done with externally
described forms however:

1) This is a canned program from a vendor.
2) It prints and has printed perfectly for years on the same technology
(older version) Printronix printer connected with Twinax.
3) We CANNOT use vertical positioning features because this output is
IGP graphics language, ANY IBM i print formatting, spacing, skipping etc
is completely ignored while the printer is in IGP mode. In fact we see
the FF and LF characters in the hex dumps and the printer happily
ignores them there.
4) IBM i is simply issuing a form feed to 'complete' the spooled file
output to the printer. IBM indicated we get our choice, LFs or FF. At
least the FF leaves alignment correct. The FF is NOT coming from the RPG
program it's coming from the print writer.

We believe this is absolutely and positively the fault of Printronix for
not knowing how to configure their printers to work correctly with IBM
i. Printronix sold these printers for this purpose and has a
configuration document but it does not address this situation.
Printronix want us to tell them how we fix it!

As these printers are single purpose, purchased to print this one label,
only this one label and nothing but this one label, proving I can print
a simple report doesn't help. And we don't have AFPDS licensed here anyway.

- Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis

On 4/30/2012 11:56 AM, Stone, Joel wrote:
Again, I would STRONGLY suggest trying a SIMPLE externally-described printer file.

View the text output of the current spool file, copy portions of it using RLU to a PRTF, create it with *AFPDS.

Write a 1 line RPG pgm to print the PRTF format (repeat a few times for multiple labels).

Use the vertical positioning feature of a text line in the PRTF. This may trick OS400 into NOT thinking you are moving down the page.

Hopefully ?? this will result in no extra FF at EOF. Will probably need the ENDPAGE between labels so the OS will never reach an overflow condition.

(Of course don't issue ENDPAGE at EOF).

* *AFPDS printer line
* PFLINE is used for standard 10 cpi 6 lpi text print lines


* position of text is controlled by pgm by setting
* next fields to a value of the position of line in inches;
* each time a line of text is written; ie .1667 (or 6 lpi) is added
* to the vertical position.



-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of DrFranken
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2012 9:43 AM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: Re: Printronix IGP mode ignore Character??

In this case "Bottom of the final label" == "Top of the next label" so
NO forms movement is desired. So the 0C we are getting skips one entire

Other than the typical positioning within the labels there are no LF or
FF commands in the labels, that part is pure IGP.

This is an internal print file provided by the application.

The single OC is being generated by IBM i at the end of the spooled
file. We had a problem open with IBM and they indicate there are two
options: 1) Send sufficient OA (LF) characters they believe are needed
to move to top of form (What they think is needed is WAY wrong as they
count the IGP commands as lines.) 2) Send a single 0C (FF) command at
the end of the file. You cannot select "None of the above."

These labels print perfectly (and have for years) on Printronix P5000
printers that are TWINAX attached. The primary difference here is
Network attached.

- L

On 4/30/2012 10:09 AM, Stone, Joel wrote:
"The labels are IGP graphics language and print perfectly on the page,
ending with the printer at the bottom of the final label. "

If it is ending at the bottom of the label, then the final 0C should skip to the top of a new page, ready for the next label to print.

Is there a 0C at the beginning of the NEXT spool file also?

Does the IGP command initially do a FF with the next file? Cant that be removed?

Is it an externally-described printer file? Sometimes these will give you more control of the printer.

Try one with some simple commands, see if it does less 0C form feeds.

-----Original Message-----
From: DrFranken [mailto:midrange@xxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2012 5:48 PM
To: Stone, Joel
Subject: Re: Printronix IGP mode ignore Character??

The labels are generated by an RPG program, exactly one. The program
never does form feeds only line by line output. They print perfectly on
an older P5000 printers but those are twinax connected.

The labels are IGP graphics language and print perfectly on the page,
ending with the printer at the bottom of the final label. IBM i then
sends just one single 0C character (form feed in ASCII) at the end of
the spooled file. We can Hex Dump the output and see it at the printer
we can also see it in the Comm Trace.

This is categorically not an RPG output problem. The tangle comes
because the output of RPG is IGP commands and may be 40 to 50 commands
per label, one per line (by IGP requirements) while the label is a mere
15 lines tall. In fact you can see in the trace and the Hex Dump at the
printer that IBM i is in fact sending the 0C form feed after every
fifteen lines of IGP command output. While in IGP command mode the
printer simply ignores those 0C characters. However the final 0C comes
out right after the printer flips out of command mode and back to 'dumb
printer' mode. Of course that's where it is because IBM i makes sure
it's the very last thing sent. Unfortunately the printer is already AT
top of form having just completed the last label and so it skips to the
top of the NEXT label. With hundreds of jobs per night that's a lot of
wasted labels.

The printer is SUPPOSED to have an option where you set 'Ignore Mode'
and tell the printer what character to ignore. We want to change the
character IBM i is sending as Form Feed to something that will do
nothing (i.e. Bell) and then specify that character in the printer as
the 'Ignore character' but the printer ignores the ignore and since IBM
i is inserting those characters every 15 lines they makeamess of the labels.

We're hoping someone has a workaround or knows how to tell a printronix
printer how to honor the ignore character. Their documentation is
'exceptionally light' on the topic.

- Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis

On 4/27/2012 5:37 PM, Stone, Joel wrote:
Sounds like a pgm is creating too many form feeds.

What is creating the spool file? RPG?

Is it just one pgm - or many?

Did you look at that pgm to remove any extra form-feeds?

Does it use an external printer file? If not, can you convert to external? Then you have a lot more control.

Possibly it is encountering an overflow condition AND issuing a form feed - that would waste a form.

Printers are tough on the iseries. But if the pgm is issuing an extra formfeed, it is going to be tough to get rid of it.

-----Original Message-----
From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of DrFranken
Sent: Friday, April 27, 2012 3:34 PM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: Printronix IGP mode ignore Character??

Setting up new Printronix P7000 printer with IGP Ethernet connected.
Prints just fine except it form feeds an entire label at the end,
wasting it. With hundreds of print jobs per day this is unacceptable.

Went into the WSCST object (WSCSTCONT132) and retrieved that. Changed
the Form Feed '0C' to 00 and applied it. Blows up the IGP string
wherever IBM i Inserts a form feed because 00 isn't valid there. Tried
other characters (07, OD, Space, ^) with the same results. IGP mode has
an 'Ignore Char' option so we set that to the character we're using. It
seems not to honor the ignore.

From the printer config page:

087 Ignore Char
088 Ignore Mode Enable
089 Select Char 94 /* 94 is 5E Hex */

Any ideas how to get IBM i to NOT DO ANY FORM FEEDS period. Or how to
get IGP to honor the ignore character?? This is driving us nuts.

Device Description:

FORMFEED(*AUTOCUT) /* Tried Continuous, generates LOTS of
LF's */

Our WSCST: (compiled to PRINTRONIX above)


DATA ='00'X.
DATA ='20'X.
DATA ='0D'X.
DATA ='5E'X. /* 5E is the ^ Character. Not used
by IGP */
DATA ='0A'X.


- Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis
This inbound email has been scanned for all viruses by the MessageLabs SkyScan

This outbound email has been scanned for all viruses by the MessageLabs Skyscan service.
For more information please visit

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

This thread ...


Follow On AppleNews
Return to Archive home page | Return to MIDRANGE.COM home page

This mailing list archive is Copyright 1997-2021 by and David Gibbs as a compilation work. Use of the archive is restricted to research of a business or technical nature. Any other uses are prohibited. Full details are available on our policy page. If you have questions about this, please contact [javascript protected email address].

Operating expenses for this site are earned using the Amazon Associate program and Google Adsense.