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Will my old dot matrix receipt printer work with Store Operations?

There are three issues to address:

1) Receipt format

The standard 40 col XML receipt template in Store Operations is designed to render fonts and graphics on high speed thermal receipt printers. Dot matrix printers do not support these features.

Thermal receipt printers can select fonts on-the-fly to size line output. They also accomodate 42-44 characters per line. Most dot matrix printers are limited to 40 characters and a single font (standard or condensed).

2) Buffer size

Many older dot matrix printers have small buffers on board, sometimes as low as 1k. Store Operations is trying to pass a lot of information to the printer at once, since it supports high speed thermal receipt printers. If the buffer is not sufficient to process this data, the printer may hang, or the receipt may be missing lines at the bottom, or the printer may pause before completing the receipt.

3) Driver

The preferred printer connection method for Store Operations is via an OPOS driver. If the manufacturer of your dot matrix printer offers OPOS support, the printer should work in some capacity. If OPOS support is not provided, you may be able to run the printer with a Windows driver, but doing so will require additional tweaks to the XML receipt format, including an imbedded ASCII code to pop your cash drawer.


If your dot matrix printer has a 2k or higher buffer, and OPOS support, it may work with our modified XML receipt format.

We have had success with Star series SP200 and SP300, as well as Ithaca Series 50. We supply a special 2-line per item receipt format for use with 40 column printers. This includes modifications to standard receipts, layaways, workorders, and backorder formats. Contact our sales office for details.

For the SP200/SP300 series Star printers, set the 40 column receipt format Paper Width to 2.6 and set the Show Header Logo to False. Go to Manager | Database | Registers | Receipt Formats | 40 col | Sales/Properties. Apply changes to all formats when prompted. Exit POS (if already running) before testing the new settings.

In some cases you may need to decrease the Paper Width to 2.5 or increase to 3.1 or 3.3.

Note: If you will be using your receipt printer for credit card processing, we highly recommend switching to a thermal receipt model. They are infinitely faster compared to dot matrix. They are extremely quiet. Plus many models include an auto-cutter to separate the authorization ticket from the receipt. Receipts can also be barcoded for easy returns, and include your store logo and promotional graphics.

For information on which thermal brands and models we recommend for Store Operations, please contact our sales office for details or visit our website and view our product catalog.
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  1. Dave J

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