Printer::Thermal - Perl interface for Thermal (and some dot-matrix and inkjet) Printers that support ESC/POS specification. Which as it happens, includes most receipt/kitchen printers in market.
Perl
Latest commit 828028e Mar 27, 2015 @shantanubhadoria v0.29
 - Link to the successor module in description (Shantanu Bhadoria)

README.pod

NAME

Printer::Thermal - Interface for Thermal and some dot-matrix and inkjet Printers that support ESC-POS specification (Deprecated) - Use Printer::ESCPOS instead

VERSION

version 0.29

SYNOPSIS

use Printer::Thermal;
 
#For Network Printers $port is 9100 in most cases but might differ depending on how you have configured your printer
$printer = Printer::Thermal->new(device_ip=>$printer_ip,device_port=>$port);
 
#These commands won't actually send anything to the printer but it will store all the merged data including control codes to send to printer in $printer->print_string variable.
$printer->write("Blah Blah \nReceipt Details\nFooter");
$printer->bold_on();
$printer->write("Bold Text");
$printer->bold_off();
$printer->print(); ##Sends the above set of code to the printer. Clears the buffer text in module.
 
#For local printer connected on serial port, check syslog(Usually under /var/log/syslog) for what device file was created for your printer when you connect it to your system(For plug and play printers).
my $path = '/dev/ttyACM0';
$printer = Printer::Thermal->new(serial_device_path=$path);
$printer->write("Blah Blah \nReceipt Details\nFooter");
$printer->bold_on();
$printer->write("Bold Text");
$printer->bold_off();
$printer->print();
 
#For local printer connected on usb port, check syslog(Usually under /var/log/syslog) for what device file was created for your printer when you connect it to your system(For plug and play printers).
my $path = '/dev/usb/lp0';
$printer = Printer::Thermal->new(usb_device_path=$path);
$printer->write("Blah Blah \nReceipt Details\nFooter");
$printer->bold_on();
$printer->write("Bold Text");
$printer->bold_off();
$printer->print();

DESCRIPTION

This Module is deprecated in favour of Printer::ESCPOS, which is the shiny new successor to this module. Printer::Thermal will continue to work and might receive occasional support and bug fixes but no new features. Read the See Also section for reasons on why I deprecated Printer::Thermal in favour of a new namespace instead of upgrading the existing module. For those who are already using Printer::Thermal, have simple needs and are happy with what this module provides, they can avoid the switch to Printer::ESCPOS as that module does not have a interface compatible with Printer::Thermal and might involve some work switching over. If you are starting a new project or if you want the support for brand new features like printing logos etc., then you must use Printer::ESCPOS.

For ESC-P codes refer the guide from Epson http://support.epson.ru/upload/library_file/14/esc-p.pdf

ATTRIBUTES

usb_device_path

This variable contains the path for the printer device file when connected as a usb device on UNIX-like systems. I haven't added support for Windows and it probably wont work in doz as a local printer without some modifications. Feel free to try it out and let me know what happens. This must be passed in the constructor

serial_device_path

This variable contains the path for the printer device file when connected as a serial device on UNIX-like systems. I haven't added support for Windows and it probably wont work in doz as a local printer without some modifications. Feel free to try it out and let me know what happens. This must be passed in the constructor

device_ip

Contains the IP address of the device when its a network printer. The module creates IO:Socket::INET object to connect to the printer. This can be passed in the constructor.

device_port

Contains the network port of the device when its a network printer. The module creates IO:Socket::INET object to connect to the printer. This can be passed in the constructor.

baudrate

When used as a local serial device you can set the baudrate of the printer too. Default (38400) will usually work, but not always.

This param may be specified when creating printer object to make sure it works properly.

$printer = Printer::Thermal->new(serial_device_path => '/dev/ttyACM0', baudrate => 9600);

read_char_time

*DECRECATED*

read_const_time

*DECRECATED*

black_threshold

Black ink threshold, This param may be specified when creating the printer object. Default is 48.

alpha_threshold

Alpha threshold, This param may be specified when creating the printer object. Default is 127.

heatTime

Heating time to set for Supported Thermal Printers, this affects dot intensity.

This param may be specified when creating the printer object. Default is 120

heatInterval

This param may be specified when creating the printer object. Default is 50

heatingDots

This param may be specified when creating the printer object. Default is 7

printer

This is the direct device handle to the printer, You must almost never use this. Unless you are hacking through the module. If you are using this you must send me a bug report on why you had to use this.

You can access it with $printer->printer

print_string

This contains the string in the module buffer that will be sent to the printer when you call $printer->print();

my $print_string = $printer->print_string

font

Set ESC-POS Font

underline

Set/unset underline property

emphasized

Set/unset emphasized property

double_height

set unset double height property

double_width

set unset double width property

METHODS

print

$printer->print() Sends the accumulated commands to the printer. All commands below need to be followed by a print() to send the data from buffer to the printer. You may call more than one printer command and then call print to send them all to printer together. The following bunch of commands print a text to a printer, move down one line, and cut the receipt paper.

$printer->write("hello Printer\n");
$printer->linefeed();
$printer->cutpaper();
$printer->print(); # Sends the all the commands before this to the printer in one go. 

write

$printer->write("some text\n") Writes a bunch of text that you pass here to the module buffer. Note that this will not be passed to the printer till you call $printer->print()

left_margin

$printer->left_margin($nl,$nh) Sets the left margin code to the printer. takes two single byte parameters, $nl and $nh. To determine the value of these two bytes, use the INT and MOD conventions. INT indicates the integer (or whole number) part of a number, while MOD indicates the remainder of a division operation. For example, to break the value 520 into two bytes, use the following two equations: nH = INT 520/256 nL = MOD 520/256

reset

Resets the printer

right_side_character_spacing

Takes a one byte number, spacing as a parameter

horiz_tab

Adds a horizontal tab character like a \t to the print string.

line_spacing

Allows you to set the line spacing for the printer.

linefeed

Sends a new line character, i.e carriage return and line feed

justify

$alignment can be either 'L','C' or 'R' for left center and right justified printing

bold_off

Turns bold printing off

bold_on

Turns bold printing on

doublestrike_off

Turns doublestrike on characters off

doublestrike_on

Turns doublestrike on characters on

emphasize_off

Turns off emphasize(read ESC-POS documentation)

emphasize_on

Turns on emphasize(read ESC-POS documentation)

font_size

Defined Region 0 <= n <= 255 However, 1 <= vertical direction magnification ratio <= 8, 1 <= horizontal direction magnification ratio <= 8 Initial Value n=0 Function Specifies the character size (magnification ratio in the vertical and horizontal directions).

font_size_esc

Set ESC specified font size

$printer->font_size_esc($size);

font_b

Switches printing to font b

font_a

Switches printing to font a

underline_off

Switches off underline

underline_on

Switches on underline

inverse_off

Switches off inverse text

inverse_on

Switches on inverse text

barcode_height

Sets barcode height

print_barcode

$printer->print_barcode($type,$string) Prints barcode

print_text

$printer->print_text($msg,$chars_per_line); Prints some text defined by msg. If chars_per_line is defined, inserts newlines after the given amount. Use normal '\n' line breaks for empty lines.

print_bitmap

To be done: This function is not implemented yet.

color_1

Prints in first color for dual color printers

color_2

Prints in second color for dual color printers

cutpaper

Cuts the paper. Most Thermal receipt printers support the facility to cut the receipt using this command once printing is done.

open_cash_drawer

Opens the Cash Drawer connected to the thermal printer.

test

Prints a bunch of test strings to see if your printer is working fine/connected properly. Don't worry if some things like emphasized and double strike looks the same, it happened with my printer too.

NOTES

  • If the printer prints out garbled characters instead of proper text, try specifying the baudrate parameter when creating printer object when you create the printer object(not for network or USB printers)

$printer = Printer::Thermal->new(serial_device_path => '/dev/ttyACM0', baudrate => 9600);

USAGE

  • This Module offers a object oriented interface to ESC-POS Printers.

  • Create a printer object by providing parameters for one of the three types of printers supported.

  • then call formatting options or write() text to printer object in sequence.

  • Then call the print() method to dispatch the sequences from the module buffer to the printer.

Note: While you may call print() after every single command code, this is not advisable as some printers tend to choke up if you send them too many commands too quickly.

SEE ALSO

Printer::ESCPOS is the new module that will take over the Perl support for ESC-POS receipt printers. Why did I choose to deprecate Printer::Thermal for Printer::ESCPOS instead of upgrading it? Read on if you are curious

  • When I started writing Printer::Thermal I was working with Thermal printers for my own requirements and wanted to write something that would work with all Thermal Printers. As I discovered after a couple of releases of Printer::Thermal, the ESC-POS specification is a broad command specification for POS printers and it has nothing to do with the print technology itself thermal or others, so the name of the module was a big misnomer and it led to lot of confusion as to question of what the module was actually for.

  • Printer::Thermal module was only intended for supporting thermal printers but it worked quiet well with other printer types. The way receipt printers work there was no reason to have a module specifically for thermal printers. So this Printer::Thermal name started to make me uneasy.

  • There are those have minimal printing needs from their POS printers, they are already using Printer::Thermal and are happy with it. There is no reason for them to switch over unless they start a new project. For newer users it makes sense to start with a module that will have future supports and adds a wider range of flexible functions for ESC-POS Printers.

  • Last but not the least important reason, I wanted to make two things user-expandable: Printer connection(USB, Serial, Network etc.) and Printer Model Profiles(As I discovered that while most printer had more or less common command codes, They all had their own feature sets which borrowed most commands from a subset of ESCPOS. So I wanted users to be able to create their own profiles of supported commands to allow community effort for expansion of module functionality. Adding these two to existing module would have broken backward compatibility. Printer::ESCPOS will have better interfaces for users to add their own connection types and printer profiles.

SUPPORT

Bugs / Feature Requests

Please report any bugs or feature requests through github at https://github.com/shantanubhadoria/perl-printer-thermal/issues. You will be notified automatically of any progress on your issue.

Source Code

This is open source software. The code repository is available for public review and contribution under the terms of the license.

https://github.com/shantanubhadoria/perl-printer-thermal

git clone git://github.com/shantanubhadoria/perl-printer-thermal.git

AUTHOR

Shantanu Bhadoria (shantanu@cpan.org)

CONTRIBUTOR

Shantanu Bhadoria <shantanu att cpan dott org>

COPYRIGHT AND LICENSE

This software is copyright (c) 2015 by Shantanu Bhadoria.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.