PostScript Printer Outputs Garbage Text on Multiple Pages or Fails to Print

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PostScript Printer Outputs Garbage Text on Multiple Pages or Fails to Print

In QuarkXPress, you can choose a data format to specify how the data for the pictures in your layout are sent to a PostScript printer: Binary, ASCII, or Clean 8-bit. Because binary data may be incorrectly interpreted through certain network printing protocols, or because your specific PostScript printer may not be able to interpret Binary data, you may need to change the data encoding method from Binary to either ASCII or Clean 8-bit. Please see the More Information section of this article for a detailed discussion of how these encoding methods differ.


Go to File > Print and select the Pictures pane. In the Data field of the Pictures pane, select either ASCII or Clean 8-bit.

More Information—Selecting a data format: Pixel–based images, such as TIFF, PICT, and JPEG images, contain information that describes the color and shade of each pixel. When you print a bitmap graphic to a PostScript printer, QuarkXPress® generates code that describes each pixel of the graphic to the printer. This code can be sent encoded as a data type of Binary, ASCII, or Clean 8-bit (also known as PC Binary).

Binary Encoding: If you select Binary encoding, a one-byte value is assigned to each pixel of the bitmap graphics in your document. Binary encoded PostScript files are smaller than those that are ASCII encoded and print more quickly. However, PC-based network printing protocols and less sophisticated PostScript printers may incorrectly interpret binary data. If this occurs, one of three things can happen at  output:

  1. The job may print garbage text on multiple pages.
  2. The printer may be slow to respond and the job will take a long time to print.
  3. The print job will completely fail to output.

ASCII Encoding: If you select ASCII encoding, a two-byte value is assigned to each pixel of the bitmap graphics in your layout. This encoding method creates larger print files that are slower to print than binary encoded files. However, ASCII data can be correctly transmitted over a wide variety of network printing protocols to most PostScript printers, which ensures reliable output. You may want to use this method if you do not know exactly how your printer is configured or have not had success with Binary or Clean 8-bit  encoded data.

Clean 8-bit (PC binary): Clean 8-bit (also known as PC Binary) encoding was developed by Quark, Inc., to take advantage of both ASCII and binary encoding. Pixels whose binary values may be incorrectly interpreted by network printing protocols are encoded as ASCII data. All other pixels are encoded as binary data. After the ASCII-encoded pixels pass through the printer network, they are changed back to binary data. The file size of a print job generated with Clean 8-bit (or PC Binary) is somewhere between that of an ASCII and binary file.
It is possible for a file printed as Clean 8-bit to be larger than the same file printed as ASCII, but this is a rare occurrence and depends on the distribution of pixels in the bitmap. This situation occurs because of the extra code QuarkXPress uses to pre- and post-process the ASCII encoded pixels.

Saving Pages as EPS: When you save a page as EPS (File > Export > Page as EPS) from QuarkXPress 8 or from an image-editing application such as Adobe Photoshop, the EPS file is encoded with either ASCII or binary data when it is saved. If you import the EPS into a picture box in QuarkXPress, it will print in the data format with which it was saved, regardless of the data format selected when you print. If you encounter a problem printing a QuarkXPress project file that contains a binary-encoded EPS, resave the EPS using the following steps:

  1. Resave the EPS from its originating application. Ensure that ASCII encoding is selected when you save.
  2. Reimport the picture. You can also simply update it in your layout. To do so, go to Utilities > Usage and select the Pictures pane.
  3. Print the layout. If there are additional raster images in the layout, select ASCII or Clean 8-Bit in the Data field of the Print dialog.


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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 30026-1108
  • Date Created: 11/20/2012
  • Last Modified Since: 06/21/2017
  • Viewed: 2446
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