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How to make System Five work with a Zebra Printer

Code Based vs WYSIWYG

When using the Zebra Printer with System Five you have 2 options

Code Based

  • This is the preferred method of printing with all Zebra Printer.
  • Have to make a label from scratch? there is an easy way to do this. In fact Zebra sells software that will do it for you!To have Zebra Software create the codes for you click on this link
The most important thing to remember when creating labels to be exported as printer codes is that due to the fact they are stored as text in System 5 you cannot use graphics/pictures or True type fonts. If you do the exported codes will contain binary data which cannot be stored in System 5 and will not work correctly.


This was the easy solution to make a Zebra Printer work with System Five, however over the years Zebra has made a number of changes to there drivers and this method of printing no longer gives consistent results.

If a customer is having issues with their WYSIWYG labels it would be best to make a new label using code based.

Printing EAN-13 EPL codes on a Zebra Printer

When printing EAN-13 labels on a Zebra printer, you must be sure to only send the first 12 numbers, and not the 13th digit. The reason is that the Zebra printer is trying to auto-generate the 13th digit itself. Most EAN-13 codes start with a zero “0”. What happens is that the Zebra drops the first zero and tacks on a 13th digit based with a math formula based on the remaining 12-digits. Unfortunately it becomes a completely different barcode, which cannot be used to find your product.

Here is the code-based snippit to print an EAN-13 barcode using EPL:


B is for barcode; 20 dots across; 30 dots down; 0 rotation; EAN-13 format; twice size narrow bar; twice size wide bar; 50 dots high; Yes print a human-readable barcode underneath; send only the first 12 numbers of the barcode. Dots are measured as 8 dots/mm or 203 dots/inch.

Possible need to adjust Zebra (Motorola/Symbol) scanner if it doesn't scan the Zebra-printed EAN-13 EPL codes from a Zebra Printer

After the work of getting their Zebra printer to print the EAN-13 barcodes, a customer complained they couldn't get their Zebra (Motorola/Symbol) scanner to scan the barcode properly. Zebra provided this document to program the scanner to adjust it to work. zebra_generated_barcodes_-_4.13.2016.16.56.36.pdf

Printing Label over Terminal services Windows 2008

Printing in Windows Terminal Services has changed with the introduction of Windows 2008 Server and Easy Print.

The Terminal Services Easy Print driver is a feature in Windows Server 2008 that enables users to reliably print from a Terminal Services RemoteApp program or from a terminal server desktop session to the correct printer on their client computer. It also enables users to have a much more consistent printing experience between local and remote sessions.

Easy Print appears to pose a problem with trying to re-direct RAW text-based print jobs to the re-directed printer. The symptom is the print job starts, but nothing is printed. Graphic based print jobs however print fine using Easy Print. The solution for printing text based print jobs from a Windows 2008 Terminal Server is to make the following Group Policy change so that the Easy Print driver is not the preferred driver choice when adding the re-directed printer for a Terminal Server session.

Open the Group Policy Administrator on the 2008 Server by clicking START - RUN and typing GPEDIT.MSC. Browse to the following folder (Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Printer Redirection) and set to Disable Use Terminal Services Easy Print printer driver first

For more details on this click here.

zebra_how_to.txt · Last modified: 2016/04/15 17:16 (6 years ago) by sjackson