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SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR EFFICIENT DOWNLOAD OF FONTS, GRAPHICS, AND OTHER DATA FROM A HOST COMPUTER TO A PRINTER

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131778D
Publication Date: 2005-Nov-18
Document File: 7 page(s) / 182K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Peter H. Chin: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The present invention provides systems and methods for efficiently downloading fonts, graphics and other data from a host to a printer. In one embodiment, data is downloaded in its native form by suspending the commands used by the printer logic, so that the native data is not mistaken as commands to the printer. In some embodiments, the data is compressed prior to download. In an alternative embodiment, the data is provided to the printer via a memory card, which avoid conflicts with the command functions of the printer logic and eliminates time needed for download of the data via direct link.

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SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR EFFICIENT DOWNLOAD OF FONTS, GRAPHICS, AND OTHER DATA FROM A HOST COMPUTER TO A PRINTER

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1.         Field of the Invention.

The present invention relates generally to systems and methods for downloading font, graphics and other data files to a printer.

2.         Description of Related Art.

Printers are generally capable of using different fonts for printing data.  There are a wide variety of fonts available for selection by the user.  Many fonts provide different styles for printing Arabic characters, while others allow for the printing graphical characters, while other are used to print characters used in certain languages, such as Kanji, which is used to print many Asian languages.

Given the large numbers of different fonts, their relative file size, and the limited amount of data storage typically available on printers, it is generally not possible to download all possible font files to the printer.  Instead, a user must select only those fonts that are typically used in the printing process and download these fonts during the initial set up of the printer.  Any special fonts needed for specific print jobs are typically downloaded prior to the print job.  Unfortunately, the download of fonts from a host to a printer is generally a time and computational intensive process.

Figure 1 illustrates a typical host-printer configuration.  Specifically, a printer 10 is connected to a host computer 12 via a communication link 14.  The communication link may be by direct connection, remote connect via a network, such as a LAN, WAN, Internet, etc., wireless, etc.  In general operation, the printer receives data and commands from the host and based on the commands, prints text and graphical information on a media.  The controller typically provides the printer with script files that define the text or graphics to be printed, the font to use, and commands concerning the location on the media where the data is to be printed.  The commands used in the script are a predetermined set of commands defined by the printer language software used to run the printer.  When the scripts are received, the printer locates the font designated in the script, and uses the font data to print the desired text on the media in accordance with the printer language commands in the script.

Font data is typically stored in a binary format.  This creates a problem for some printers that use printer logic commands that are represented in ASCII format.  For example, some printer logic command sets may use specified control characters as delimiters between data, or they may use specified control characters to represent specific commands.  At least one known printer language protocol uses carets (^) and tildes (~) in the command set.  Control characters are represented as 0-31 in binary format.  Problems occur during the download of some fonts because binary representations in the fonts that are a val...