Updated Mar 10 2003
The Staircase Effect
Each line of text in a UNIX ASCII file ends with ASCII <LF> (0x0A
Each line of text in a DOS ASCII files ends with ASCII
<CR><LF> (0x0D 0x0A hex)
<LF> is a Line Feed, <CR> is a carriage return.
Therefore, when printing ASCII files in a UNIX format, printers that
aren't meant for use with UNIX will print in a staircase pattern.
If you where to print a directory listing it could look like this:
This is caused by the fact that at the end of each line of ASCII there
is a lf (line feed) to tell the printer to move to the next line.
However there is not a cr (carriage return) to tell the printer to
return to the beginning of the line.
and so on, right off the page.
Some print controllers, like EFI, automatically append a cr to a lf. So
you won't see this on their controllers.
Some print contollers don't and you have to append cr to lf on the
print server using some kind of a filter. More on this down the page at
The only Canon print controllers that do not append cr are the old
peerless controllers for the GP200f and maybe some of the very small
printers (I don't know, I don't work on them)
On the imageRUNNER controllers you can enable the append cr to lf, but
by default it is off. HOWTO is next.
Q1. I am using a imageRUNNER 2200/2800/3300/5000(i)/6000(i)/8500/105
and this is happening. What can I do?
A1. Appending cr of lf is a user accessable feature. The following
are directions to enable this feature.
From the control panel press "Additional Functions"
From the touch panel:
Press "printer settings" then "settings"
Now press the down arrow until you get to screnn 5/5 and choose PCL/PS
(in time the screen may change so just look for PS/PCL)
Now press the down arrow until you get to screnn 3/3 and choose "Appned
CR to LF" (in time the screen may change so just look for Appned CR to
Select "yes" and press "ok"
From the contol panel press "reset" to get back to standby mode.
Cool your done.
Q2. But I have another printer that doesn't have the option to append
cr to lf. What can I do?
A2. The only Canon printer that I am aware of that does this is the
old GP200f. There maybe some of the very small printers (I don't know,
I don't work on them)
This is where filtering comes in handy. Each OS filters differently. I
would suggest looking at your OS page on this site for more on
filtering with your OS.
Accually the only good pages for filtering so far are the Solaris lpr and the linux/BSD
PDF by Stefano Gelmetti & Franco Palleni. If you are an UNIX
sysadmin not on Solaris or BSD system, read the solaris page. You will
be able to work out your OS by using man and reading the source code
avalible on the solaris page.
Have way too much fun.
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