I want to send a sample of my PCL data for you to investigate my problem
but it's too large. How should I send it?
Simply extract the first page or two using EscapeE's File/Save subset
option. If you start at page 1 this is just a copy of the the first part of the file
and will be fine as long as the problem is in that region of the document. If
you start elsewhere EscapeE attempts to set the correct state (e.g. include downloaded fonts and macros) but does not attempt to set up some of the
more obscure aspects of the environment such as stacked colour palettes.
Therefore if saving the middle part of a file it's best to check it still shows the
problem before sending it.
I had a problem installing the trial version of EscapeE from the
RedTitan web site.
Sometimes company firewalls cause a problem with the automatic
installer. Click here to download a zip
The web site does not say which version of Escape is being downloaded?
The web site automatically downloads the most up-to-date version
Which version of PCL is supported by EscapeE?.
Most PCL features up to and including PCL5e, and more besides; for example we handle colour palettes and HP-GL technical extensions which are not standard PCL5. Version 8 supports PCL6 (PCLXL). Version 8.27 supports PCL3GUI including mode 10 compression. If your PCL files require features we do not support then please send us examples.
I have downloaded Escapee from the web site and want to use it
for export and data conversions, but this version does not appear to
The version you have downloaded works as a viewer in demonstration
mode. The full features are not enabled until the program is registered.
Registering entitles you to a one month free trial and can be done via
the Internet or by fax or e-mail (see below).
How do I register?
If you start an unregistered version of EscapeE you will be prompted.
See the File | Register EscapeE menu.
You will need a valid email address.
How do I uninstall the demo version that I downloaded?
You can use the regular Windows uninstall. Choose "Add or Remove Programs" on the Control Panel
After updating EscapeE, why do the PDF files created contain the header "Unlicensed Demo Version of the RedTitan EscapeE Program"?
This may be for one of three reasons:
a) you did not manage to install the licence file on the computer which is
running EscapeE. More...
b)The PC ID that you gave us is that of a different computer. EscapeE is
licensed to run only on that PC.
c) You have an old version of EscapeE which requires a slightly different
licence. If your version dates from before 17th July 2001 then this is likely to
be the problem. If you run EscapeE and click on Help and About it tells you the
version number. If this is earlier than 5.11 it is best to download a later
version from our web site at www.pclviewer.com or you can request an old-style
I would like to view a .prn file which was created using a HP LaserJet 5000 Series PS driver.
EscapeE doesn't handle Postscript - you need to use the Laserjet PCL driver. You may need to install the driver via 'Start|Settings|Printer|Add Printer'. (You may need the appropriate Windows CD.) Then choose the PCL5 driver when creating the file.
Is it possible to do a batch conversion of files?
Yes. All of EscapeE's functions are available from the command line:
ESCAPEE 1234.PCL /PDF
creates a file 1234.PDF by default but you can specify the output file
using a /TO option. You can also set it up to run continuously and watch
for files appearing in a particular directory. The ESCAPEE.PRN file
which comes with EscapeE (and can be viewed by it) gives the most up-to-date
list of the command-line options.
Is there a simple way of constructing a command line?
Open the Options|Configuration dialogue and set up the required
options, then click on Shortcut. This saves the appropriate command
line options as a shortcut (or you can copy the parameters from that
dialogue and use them on a command line). If you just want to call
the program from the Start menu or the desktop you can set up the default
directory in the programs Properties.
Can I do batch conversion without the viewer displayed?
There is an option, /WINDOW 1, which will cause EscapeE to run minimised
ESCAPEE TEST.PCL /PRINT /PAGE 5-9 /WINDOW
Is there a way to have EscapeE shut down after launching it from
the command line?
Yes, the /X option does this. The command-line options are described
in the Help section 'Command line syntax: other options. They are also
documented in the EscapeE.PRN file which is dispayed when you first
What throughput can I expect when converting in batch mode? Also
what are the system requirements (within reason) for maximum throughput?
It depends on the PCL file: images slow the conversion down. For typical
pages containing normal text it should be possible to achieve many pages
per second on any reasonable machine. Users are unlikely to need a more
highly specified machine than say 300Mhz with 64Mbyte of RAM.
Is TCP/IP input or output available?
Yes - it supports TCP/IP input from a specified port and can send its
PDF output via LPR.
Can I control EscapeE remotely?
Yes. EscapeE can be controlled remotely from a browser using RedTitan's
Do you have a version that works under UNIX?
EscapeE works well using the Wine emulator on Linux. See the Linux comes of Agenews arcticle
How to I capture windows print driver output?
RedTitan have a Port Monitor that does the job. Download the CapturedTitan Windows print capture utility
Can I process just selected pages?
Yes. For one-off conversions the 'File | Export' menu has the option to process specified pages. More...
Can I look for and open files up in a specified mapped network
Yes. EscapeE normally looks for files in the directory that the software is installed on, but you can change this in various ways, depending on how you are running the program. More...
Is EscapeE available as a dll or ocx that can be used by custom
EscapeE is written in Delphi (Version 5) but no DLL or OCX is available
as yet. However it can be given a command line which allows virtually
all the features to be exploited. It is possible to save a configuration
and invoke it later using the syntax ESCAPEE ^configname.
Can I get a customised version of EscapeE, e.g. without the splash
screen or with special options?
Printing from EscapeE
RedTitan is happy to help with individual solutions and corporate alliances.
Contact us at email@example.com.
Can I change between different paper sizes, e.g, letter and legal,
within the same document when printing from EscapeE?
Yes, EscapeE adjusts for different paper sizes. If your document does
not explicitly select a paper size then you you may need to change the
default paper. This can be done using the Options|Configure|Printer
Can I print in automatic mode?
Yes. You can do this from the command line e.g:
ESCAPEE TEST.PCL /PRINT /PAGE 5-9 /WINDOW
prints pages 5 to 9 of a document called TEST.PCL
The only limitation is that in this mode there is no way of selecting
the printer: EscapeE will use the default one.
I exported an HP document to PDF but when I printed the page on
the same HP printer, it was reduced in size?
This does not normally happen. One possible reason is if the document
uses a paper size bigger than the default paper for the printer then
Acrobat uses the 'Shrink to fit' option, which would give the effect
you describe. If EscapeE shows the document correctly on the screen,
then try the Print option and check that the result is correct. Then
check that Acrobat displays the page correctly (note the paper size
displayed on its status bar at the bottom of the screen). If so, select
a suitable size paper in the Print dialogue and you should get correct
We currently use a COBOL program to produce hard copy and are having
problems with page breaks
EscapeE behaves exactly like the printer you have configured it to emulate. Check that you have the correct set-up for your printer. More...
I tried using EscapeE's plain text export, and the file produced
seems to be a lot of jibberish
Some printer drivers assign non-standard code to the characters
in their download fonts - try selecting a different driver. More...
The file displays correctly in EscapeE but when I create a TIFF and print
the data is too low on the page.
The problem lies in the way the TIFF file is being printed. If you open
TIFF file in EscapeE (it views TIFFs as well as PCL files) then it will
correctly. However for example the Imaging program that comes with Windows
allows a top and left margin, so the text prints too low and too far to the
right. The solution is to reduce the area of the TIFF to the printable
by exporting only the selected area (see Options/Configuration/Images).
Why when I print the PDF is the print-out not in the same size as the print-out of the pcl file?
This is because Acrobat has resized the page to fit on the
area of the paper. (Acrobat doesn't spot that there is nothing printed in the border.)
In the print menu for Acrobat version 5 you have a
box "Shrink oversized pages to paper size" which in earlier versions of
was "Shrink to fit". If this box is unchecked then the PDF should print at
The characters are not rendered very clearly when viewing the PDF
at low magnification.
By default, text is represented as characters using PDF bitmapped (type
3) fonts. Acrobat does not render these very well at small sizes, though
the file will print correctly. Try turning off 'Smooth text and monochrome images' from the Acrobat 'File|Preferences' menu. More...
Why are some horizontal lines thicker than others when I use Adobe to view a PDF file converted from PCL?
Some PDF viewers display rounding errors at low magnification. Zoom in to the page and you will see that lines of equal thickness in the original and converted files will appear correctly in the viewer too. More...
When files are converted to PDF is the content of the PDF file 'text' or is it 'bit mapped'?
Any text in the input PCL document will be output as text in the PDF document which EscapeE creates. Some drivers, however, output certain types of text as graphics, so if your input PCL file was created by one of these, the "text" may not be quite what it seems! More...
If you prefer to have the text bitmapped, choose Render as a graphic in the PDF advanced configuration options
Is it possible to edit or extract text from the PDFs after they
Any text in the original file will be present in the exported PDF file so a PDF editor would allow text editing and searching. It might be necessary to change the code
conversion table for output from certain drivers - see "Font display issues". RedTitan can supply Plug-ins ("AddText" and "MoveText") for EscapeE; these enable you to edit the document before it is exported to PDF.
Does EscapeE implement PDF security features?
Yes, version 4.50 allows users to set passwords for access to documents
and to control:
b) Selection of text and graphics for copying to the clipboard
c) Changing the document
d) Adding or changing notes and form fields
Is it possible to extract to PDF or TIFF and generate the XML extraction
file at the same time?
Yes. You can export to an image format or PDF and at the same time extract
text fields to XML, Comma-Separated, or Plain Text format. These fields
can be defined on a per-document basis or there can be a default set
for each directory in which input files appear.
Can I do this in automatic mode from a watched directory?
Yes. To create TIFF and XML simultaneously you need to define a field covering the area of interest. Then in the Options|Configuration dialogue select the input file specification, select TIFF output, and possibly give an output specification if the default is not suitable. Then click 'Image options' and in the Log File section choose 'XML' as the format and 'All fields'. Click on the Automatic tab and enable the timed check for files, e.g. every 5 seconds.
What about logging (page counts, etc.) into a database as well?
The file logging mechanism is not currently available in conjunction
with the field extraction.
Can EscapeE create XML style sheets in addition to creating the
tagged XML data?
Yes, in version 4.70.
I defined a number of fields through the page view method, but
when I ran the XML export I only got the page numbers and no additional
It's possible you inadvertently defined the fields as being relative
to a tag which did not occur on any of the pages. Another possibility
is that you asked to output only the selected fields and failed to select
the fields you require.
I have a number of documents that are very similar in layout. Is
there a way of simplifying the data extraction?
When you mark up data fields and extract them, EscapeE creates a file
(extension *.EE) with the field name definitions. So rather than redefining
each whole document you can use the same .EE file and make the few modification
manually to create a new .EE file.
There doesn't seem to be a place to define where the .EE file is.
Do I need to put DEFAULT.EE in the same folder as the print files?
You can do this - it will apply to all files in that folder unless they
have a EE file with the same stem. More...
You can specify virtually all the EscapeE options on its command line
if you require (see the User Guide or Help for more information).
I need text extraction for the whole document, not for fields.
Is there a way to get the text contents extracted and TIFFs produced
in one pass?
Proceed as follows:
1. Define a field comprising the whole page. The easiest way to do this
is to view the whole page, sweep it all out and right click. Choose
the New Field option and (after perhaps changing its name) click on
the New Field button in the resulting dialogue. This will by default
create a field definition file called xxxx.EE where xxxx is the stem
of the name of the file you are viewing. You can change this name to
DEFAULT.EE if you like, and this will avoid having to call up the field
definitions explicitly for other documents in the same directory.
2. Request logging of fields in text format via the Options menu or
when exporting the file.
When I try to extract text I get an empty file - why is this?
There is no text in your file, merely graphics, and EscapeE doesn't do
OCR! If it was produced by a Windows driver there may well be a way of persuading
it to produce text. In the Print Setup dialogue click on Properties, then on
Fonts. Make sure you choose either Download TrueType fonts as outline soft fonts
or as bitmap soft fonts. You can tell if your file is mainly graphics if
- The file is huge and displays rather slowly
- If you right click on some text it doesn't enable the "Text details" or
"Font properties" options, only "Graphic details"
When I tried to extract text I obtained rubbish in my file. Why is this?
You are suffering from the non-standard character codes used by
some drivers. Most of the problems come from Windows drivers,
since customised software or Unix systems tend to drive printers in a
straightforward way, so I assume your output was created via a Windows
When you use fonts which are not resident on the printer and the
driver is forced to download the fonts it may not use the
standard ASCII or Latin-1 codes.
In some of the fields why is there more text included than I marked?
The problem is that there are two overlapping pieces of text in your
EscapeE concatenates the two. The solution is to be more specific in the
searching criteria or perhaps to be more accurate in delimiting the field.
example if the two pieces of text are in different fonts or sizes then you
specify the attributes of the one you want in the Fields/Searching
can check for overlapping fields by right-clicking on the text and
Details. You will see a line for each piece of text found at the point
When I try to extract a number of fields from the detail line of
an invoice, additional data is picked up on this line.
A line is considered part of the field if any part of it falls within
the field and the characters on such lines are included if at least
half the character's width is in the field. If the fields are not well
aligned with the data, extra lines may become included. It is therefore
crucial that the fonts do not change between defining the fields and
extracting the data (e.g. if Courier is substituted for a missing font).
You can sometimes avoid this by making the fields relative to an explicit
tag: e.g. make the description fields use the 'Description' text as
a reference, so that their offsets are measured from wherever that text
Tip: the View menu has a Fields option which if ticked causes all the
fields to be shown in yellow, and any selected contents in red.
How can do I define a field relative to a tag?
To change a field right click on it and choose Field properties.
You can set up fields which only appear for those pages containing a
specified textual tag by making them refer to a tag. You define the
tag by right-clicking on the tag wherever it appears on the page and
choosing Define tag. The text that you clicked on will be
shown in the Tag box and may be edited if required. then click on OK.
Then define your field by marking it out (or select an existing field)
and in the Field Properties dialogue you click on the Reference Field
box, then choose the appropriate tag as a reference.
Can I define the page field tags, names and positions directly
in the .EE file without having to use the page viewer?
You can write the .EE file yourself, since it is XML and therefore just
a text file.
When extracting fields, do you have a way of handling different
page formats in a single PCL file?
Double byte fonts
The field extraction can be tailored to each different kind of page
by choosing a tag string which is unique to that page and basing a different
series of fields on each such tag. You can also define multi-page sets
which repeat every n pages (see Field Definitions|Advanced). The starting
page can be specified separately, so a field could be defined to start
at page 3 and then every 2 pages, or to skip the first page you define
a field that starts at page 2 and is then on every page.
Does EscapeE handle double byte fonts?
Yes. The program will display pages containing double-byte fonts
such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean, if these are present in the document
as download bitmap fonts.
I have converted a file with red type, but it prints as a shade
of gray. Can your program handle colour?
Font display issues
Yes. EscapeE can handle coloured text and graphics but your example
does not contain any. This is probably because you selected a black-and-white
printer driver for the output. If you choose an HP colour PCL printer
driver then you should see the text in colour.
Accented characters do not view correctly
EscapeE defaults to 10U "symbol set" if the print files does not specify an alternative. Try changing the Configuration-Printer settings. e.g. If your printer defaults to Spanish - replace 10U with 19U.
Help with symbol sets
When I open a PCL file the fonts do not display correctly.
When a font is not downloaded as part of the file, EscapeE will attempt
to match the requested fonts to those in its resident font
library (called RESIDENT.FIF). If there is no exact match with any of
the library fonts then the nearest one is chosen, which may result in
a some variation in the appearance of the text. EscapeE uses the standard Windows fonts Arial, Times New Roman, Courier
New, Century Gothic, Symbol and Wingdings. EscapeE is also supplied with equivalents to Letter Gothic, Univers, Courier and LinePrinter fonts (versions 8.15+)
EscapeE will use both bitmapped and TrueType scalable fonts included in the file.
Contact us for help on special font requirements or configuration information.
When I extract text it is unreadable.
Some printer drivers assign non-standard code to the characters in their
download fonts. Try using a different driver if possible or contact RedTitan for advice. More...
Can EscapeE convert special logo fonts?
EscapeE can automatically decode downloaded bitmapped logos if they
occur in the datastream and render them correctly. It is also possible
to install logos or other special fonts as resident fonts
to cater for printers which have font cartridges or a hard disk containing
custom fonts. If you have scaleable logos they can also be used but
will need to be installed as TrueType fonts: contact RedTitan for help.
My text contains a form drawn using the PC box-drawing characters.
Will these characters appear in any fields I extract?
EscapeE uses its own PC box drawing font and such characters are not
included in any data extraction process though they will produce the
correct effect in any generated images.
My output needs to be fixed pitch text similar to the output of
scanners and OCR systems.
Problems arise for text in proportional fonts or in differing sizes.
The Advanced tab of the Fields dialogue allows you to specify a notional
column width and to request left or right alignment of fields. If you
want the whole of the text formatted in a fixed format then simply choose
Is it possible to manipulate the fonts (especially soft fonts)?
The EscapeE demonstration system does support the viewing of bitmapped
soft fonts embedded in PCL files. However in order to edit the characters
or convert the fonts to other formats you might need to purchase the
RedTitan font editor which has unrivalled capability to manipulate bitmap
fonts: it can handle 30 different printer formats and perform transformations
such as emboldening, slanting, outlining etc.
I have soft font files created for us by HP. Could I load these
For bitmapped fonts you can simply install them using the Install Soft
Fonts option on the File menu. For Intellifont format you would need
to convert them to TrueType format. Contact RedTitan for help.
Can the file be converted to an image file (TIFF or PCX) that retains
Coloured PDFs are supported but not images.
I am having problems getting sharp looking fonts after PDF conversion
See PDF export above.
Can bitmaps, etc. be added to the file opened in your program, and
if so, is it a fairly easy process to place them on the page?
The PCL image and font mechanisms are fully supported, so files
containing images are not a problem. In addition there is a plugin which
allows text, logos or images to be added at specified points to all
or selected pages.
Why is it called EscapeE ?
HP Printer Command Language (PCL) comprises a sequence of escape
codes embedded in the print job before it is sent to the printer. The
escape character and a capital E are sent at the start of a PCL output
to reset the printer. EscapeE also recognises HP plotter files if they start with escape dot, BP or IN commands (or they have extension .PLT) and starts in HP GL mode.
Running the RTUNZIP program manually
When you first run EscapeE it sets up an association between
files with the .RTZ extension and the RedTitan RTUNZIP program. This should mean
that if you double-click on your 07000398.RTZ file on that computer in Outlook
Express or Windows Explorer it will call RTUNZIP which will install the licence.
If for some reason this association has not worked e.g. there was already
another program associated with the .RTZ extension (unlikely), then you may have
to run the RTUNZIP program manually. First ensure that the RTZ file is in a
known folder on the target computer e.g. by saving the attachment to the folder
in which you installed the EscapeE program. Let us assume you installed in
c:\redtitan\software, so it is easiest if you save the 07000398.RTZ file to
that folder. Then run the RTUNZIP program either in DOS or by clicking on the
'Start' button and then on 'Run', and browsing to the RedTitan folder or by typing
the full path followed by the words UNZIP 07000398.RTZ and pressing Enter. The
full command is of the form:
c:\redtitan\software\rtunzip unzip 07000398.rtz
N.B. If you saved the RTZ file to another folder you will have to specify the
full path of the rtz file.
"Unable to write to ini file RT.ini." message.
This message appears when the RT.INI file is inaccessible. This could be because you have previously installed a RedTitan system in a folder which no longer exists, or the RT.INI file is defined as being on a drive to which you no longer have write access. The default folder for the RT.INI file is the one where you installed the software, and there is a pointer to it from the RedTitan section of the WIN.INI file in the WINNT folder (the Windows folder for Win95/98). You can edit this file with a text editor e.g.Notepad: find the [Redtitan] section - this should contain a symbol
where <file> is the full path of the RT.INI file e.g.
If this is not pointing to the correct place then you need to change it.
How to process selected pages
For one-off conversions the File | Export menu has the option
to process specified pages.
For batch conversions you can use the command line options:
to process page n
to process pages n to m inclusive
to process from page 2 onwards.
How to look for and open files up in a specified mapped network
EscapeE normally looks for files in the directory that the software
is installed on, but you can change this in various ways, depending
on how you are running the program. If you are calling EscapeE from
the command line with an explicit filename then you can specify the
full path e.g:
ESCAPEE C:\FILES\DATA.PCL /PRINT
If you want it to watch for files appearing in a particular directory
then you can configure its input file specification via the Options | configuration dialogue, e.g. to look for .PCL files in directory
or you can give this on the calling line, e.g.:
ESCAPEE /INSPEC C:\FILES\*.PCL /PRINT
Page break problems
EscapeE is intended to behave exactly like a real printer, however it does need to be configured
exactly the same way as your printer. For example it needs to be told
the default orientation, paper size and (if non-standard) the number
of printable lines per page. The Options|Configuration|Printer dialogue
can be used to set up these items. Click on Save to remember the settings.
If you do need to force a new page then the Form Feed control code (12
decimal, 0C hex) is the simplest way of doing this. There are also PCL
commands to force a front or back page in duplex mode:
<Escape>&a1G = Front side,
<Escape>&a2G = Back side.
Drivers and Character codes
The Windows 98 HP driver is systematic in the way it allocates codes - it adds 3 to each one, so in EscapeE if you select Options|Configuration and set 'Type' to 'Windows HP Driver' the correct code conversion will be engaged. Other drivers (notably those of Windows2000) assign character codes arbitrarily, in order of their occurance in the text. This means that for example if the text began with the word 'Hello' the character 'H' would have code1, 'e' code 2 etc. which as far as EscapeE's display is concerned is fine but does cause problems in making use of the text. The default configuration is 'Windows Driver' but you can also try 'Other' which applies no code conversion at all. A workaround is to use only the printer's resident fonts in your document, since the driver is compelled to use standard codes in this case. Some drivers allow you to tell them which fonts are resident.";
How to render characters more clearly when viewing the PDF.
It is possible to set up substitute outline fonts, in particular Times Roman, Helvetica and Courier are always available. These will often produce a better result for PDF viewing purposes. If you supply details of any scaleable fonts to RedTitan we can set up metrics which will allow Acrobat to display a similar substitute font. This is a good way of reducing the size of the PDF by not including fonts in the document but will not work for unusual styles or scaleable logos/signatures.
Why some horizontal lines are displayed thicker than others when viewing a PDF file converted from PCL
PCL describes lines in terms of their position and thickness. EscapeE correctly maintains these parameters. Some PDF viewers, however, convert the lines to (PostScript-style) outlines; thus a horizontal line fills the area between an upper and a lower boundary. Calculating the positions of these boundaries gives rise to rounding errors, which become particularly noticable at low magnification. Vertical lines may display poorly for similar reasons.
When files are converted to PDF, how can I tell whether the content is 'text' or 'bit mapped'?
If you want to check that the text really is in the PDF you can (temporarily) change the PDF advanced options to output 'uncompressed' and to 'combine text strings together' and look at the PDF with a text editor.
If you have the following files:
then file A uses field defined in A.EE and the others use DEFAULT.EE.
If you want to specify a field file explicitly you can either type in
the name in the Fields dialogue (the box at the top of the screen) or
specify it on the EscapeE command line when calling via a shortcut or
from DOS or another program. The syntax for this is:
ESCAPEE /FIELDS filename.
For further help contact RedTitan on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © RedTitan Technology Limited 1998-2006.