Store Label Design in a Zebra Printer Using CODESOFT – CODESOFT Instructions

Summary

This Instruction Article explains how to store a label design developed in CODESOFT into printer memory for a Zebra printer (to see how to use CODESOFT to print a label AFTER it is stored in the printer memory, read this article). Putting the label design into the printer memory involves sending the full label design ZPL code with markers for the data and thus creating a ‘Smart Printer‘. This feature is often used to either:

  1. Speed printing by storing as much data as possible in printer memory (instead of transferring it through the network).
  2. Allow labels to be easily and quickly printed from another system by sending a short piece of ZPL code that includes the name given to the label in the printer memory and values for variable fields to populate in the label

Prerequisites

  • Use of CODESOFT Printer drivers (not Windows drivers) for Zebra printer.  Model ZE500-4 RH 300dpi is used in this example.
  • Working understanding of CODESOFT (2014 or later)
  • Some understanding of ZPL language
  • Working knowledge of Windows printing process

Instructions

  1. Create a label template using CODESOFT
  2. Select a Zebra printer (using driver from CODESOFT) as printer for the label
  3. Select Print from File menu.
  4. Click on Settings and select Advanced tab
  5. Check the following boxes.
    • Create template in download format using ^FN command
    • User variable identifier
    • User Download Format Command
    • Click on the ‘more’ button
  6. Assign Identifier to each of the ‘When Printed‘ variables in the label. Identifier can only be numeric.  Click OK when done
  7. Select Layout tab
  8. Check the Store layout in printer box. The type of memory (DRAM or flash) depends on your situation. Consult us or your IT team for your specific situation.
  9. Use this variable as layout name is optional but highly recommended. It is uses to assign name to the image to be stored on the printer. In the example below, the name LAYOUT refers the a ‘When Printed’ variable in the label. It contains the actual name to be used.
  10. Check the Delete all layouts before printing is also optional. It will clears the printer for all images before storing a new one.
  11. Click OK when done

Notes:

  • When you print this label to the printer, nothing obvious will happen. You may see the data light (if the printer has one) flash briefly.
  • If you are able to upload the label file commands into the printer memory but sending print jobs to it fails to work properly, we recommend updating to the latest TEKLYNX printer driver and trying to upload the file again.
  • If, after updating the driver, it still fails, you may want to analyze the ZPL instructions. If you are familiar with ZPL printer language, you can select the Print to file option in the Print dialog box. It will send the output to a text file. You can review it for accuracy. You should see a ^DFR command near the top. This tells the printer to store the commands listed after it into the printer memory.

Additional Comments

  • This article is based on CODESOFT software. The concept, however, may be applicable to any software that can export ZPL code (LABELVIEW, LABEL MATRIX, BarTender, etc.)
  • The results may vary for different models of Zebra printer as some printers have more features than others

Updated on July 30, 2018

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