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Esc/P Commands for generic Text printers

DescriptionEsc CodeHex
10 cpi27,80,18<1B> <50> <12>
12 cpi27,77,18<1B> <4D> <12>
17 cpi27,80,15<1B> <50> <0F>
Bold On27,69,27,52<1B> <45> <1B> <34>
Bold Off27,70,27,53<1B> <46> <1B> <35>
Underline On27,45,49<1B> <2D> <31>
Underline Off27,45,48<1B> <2D> <30>
22 Line Page Length27,67,22<1B> <43> <16>


The Epson EX series were introduced as an alternative to the FX series and launched in July 1986. They offered the option to add colour or a scanner unit and incorporated fast print speeds and a push tractor for short tear off. The colour option came bundled from October 1989 onwards. The printers had two sets of DIP (Dual In-line Package) switches located in the rear panel of the printer. These switches control certain printer functions and default settings, the details of which are listed below.

Switch No.FunctionUp (On)Down (Off)
SW1-2Slashed ZeroValidInvalid
SW1-3Character TableGraphicItalic
SW1-4Protocol ModeIBMEpson
SW1-5Print QualityNLQDraft
SW1-6Character SetSee Character Table
SW1-7Character SetSee Character Table
SW1-8Character SetSee Character Table
SW2-1Page Length12"11"
SW2-2Cut Sheet FeederValidInvalid
SW2-31" Skip-over perforationValidInvalid
SW2-4Auto-line feedAuto LFNo LF
SW2-5Interface SelectionSee Interface Table
SW2-6Interface SelectionSee Interface Table
SW2-7Baud RateSee Baud Rate Table
SW2-8Baud RateSee Baud Rate Table

Character Table

Character SetSW1-6SW1-7SW1-8

Interface Table

8-bit ParallelOFFOFF
Serial - OddOFFON
Serial - EvenONOFF
Serial - NoneONON

Baud Rate Table

Baud RateSW2-7SW2-8


The Epson FX-850/1050 9 pin dot matrix printers were launched in August 1988 to replace the FX-800/1000 series. They offered greatly improved print speed, paper handling - including paper parking and micro feed - and lower noise levels than their predecessors. Each printer has two sets of DIP (Dual In-line Package) switches located on the right-hand side panel of the printer. These switches control certain printer functions and default settings, the details of which are listed below.

Switch No.FunctionOn (Up)Off (Down)
SW1-1Default Character SetUser DefinedROM
SW1-2Slashed ZeroValidInvalid
SW1-3Character TableGraphicsItalics
SW1-4Protocol ModeIBMEpson
SW1-5Auto Tear OffOnOff
SW1-6Character SetSee Character Table
SW1-7Character SetSee Character Table
SW1-8Character SetSee Character Table
SW2-1Page Length12"11"
SW2-2Cut Sheet FeederValidInvalid
SW2-31" Skip-over perforationValidInvalid
SW2-4Auto-line feedAuto LFNo LF

Character Table

Character SetSW1-6SW1-7SW1-8

Note: When DIP switch 1-4 is ON (IBM mode), DIP switch 1-3 has the following function.

Switch No.FunctionOn (Up)Off (Down)
SW1-3Automatic CR with LFInvalidValid


DIP Switches

The printers have two sets of DIP (Dual In-line Package) switches located on the rear panel of the printer. These switches control certain printer functions and default settings, the details of which are listed below.

Switch No.FunctionOnOff
SW1-1Character SetSee Character Tables
SW1-2Character SetSee Character Tables
SW1-3Character SetSee Character Tables
SW1-4Code TableGraphicItalic
SW1-5Not UsedNot Used
SW1-6Not UsedNot Used
SW1-7Cut Sheet FeederValidInvalid
SW1-8Select Buffer Capacity0KB6KB
SW2-1Form Length12"11"
SW2-21" Skip-over perforationValidInvalid
SW2-3Interface SelectionSee Interface Table
SW2-4Interface SelectionSee Interface Table
SW2-5Baud RateSee Baud Rate Table
SW2-6Baud RateSee Baud Rate Table
SW2-7Short Tear-offValidInvalid
SW2-8Auto-line feedAuto LFNo LF

Character Table

Character SetSW1-1SW1-2SW1-3

Interface Table

8-bit ParallelOFFOFF
Serial - EvenONOFF
Serial - OddOFFON
Serial - NoneONON

Baud Rate Table

Baud RateSW2-5SW2-6

How do I get the short tear off feature to work?

The first step is to turn the dip switch 2-7 to the "ON" position. Then there are two ways to activate the short tear off. The first way is to send a form feed at the end of each page. The second way is to send 66 lines of data to the printer. In both instances data transmission must stop for a minimum of 3 seconds before the feature is activated.

When printing on single sheets, each page drops down several lines. Why?

The number of printable lines on single sheets are 61 or 62. Change the number of lines/page in your software package.

Where are the P-ROM and Character Generator ROM located on the main board of the LQ-850/950/1050?

The P-ROM is in location 9A. The Character Generator ROM is in location 6A.

What size buffer does the LQ-850/950/1050 have?

6K bytes or 0K bytes. This is selectable by dip switch 1-8.

What are the printing speeds?

The printing speeds are:

Pitch   Quality   Characters/Second

What ribbons does the LQ-850/950/1050 take?

LQ-850 - Standard (#7753), Film (#7768)
LQ-950 - Standard (#7767), Film (#7769)
LQ-1050 - Standard (#7754), Film (#7770)

Does the LQ-850/950/1050 support colour?


What fonts are built into the LQ-850/950/1050?

Are there any optional fonts available?

* Multi-Font Module contains all the above listed fonts. It is available for the LQ-950 and LQ-850/1050 with the upgrade (LQ850/1050U).

What type of paper feeds do they support?

What size envelopes can they print on?

Number 6 and number 10 envelopes.

What are the paper thickness specifications for multi-part forms?

It will print on continuous multi-part carbon less forms, with one original and up to 3 copies. The maximum paper thickness should not exceed 0.0126 inches.

If it comes with the built-in push feed tractor unit, why does it need an optional pull tractor?

When printing on multi-part forms, the optional pull tractor keeps the forms taut for more consistent paper feeding.

How do I switch from parallel to serial in the printers?

The dip switches on the back of the printer determine which interface is being used.

What if I want to install an optional serial interface board?

Install the optional interface as detailed in the User's Manual. Then set the dip switches on the printer to the parallel position and then set the dip switches on the optional interface board to enable it.

Which optional serial interface boards will work?

The two current serial interface boards that work are the 8143 and the 8148.

If I want to use the built-in serial interface on the printer, what cable do I use?

Epson markets two cables that allow direct connection to personal computers. When connecting the 6 pin DIN to an IBM PC/XT or compatible DB-25 serial port use cable #8297. When connecting to an IBM AT or compatible 9 pin serial port use cable #CA-070.

Does the LQ-850/950/1050 support the legal character set?

The LQ-950 does have the legal character set built in. The LQ-850/1050 needs the upgrade kit (kit #LQ850/1050U) to support the legal characters.

What is the upgrade kit for the LQ-850/1050?

The upgrade kit, #LQ850/1050U, upgrades the printer to allow the use of the new dual bin cut sheet feeder (product code for the LQ-850 = #7346 and for the LQ-1050 = #7348).

What does the upgrade kit contain?

It has a new P-ROM, instruction sheet, an errata sheet and a new user's manual.

Is the upgrade kit for the LQ-950 too?

No, the LQ-950 comes standard with the upgrade built in.

ESCP/2 Commands

The following list shows the ESC Codes that use a variable within a command. The ASCII characters 1 and 0, or their decimal or hexadecimal equivalent can be used. Most programs use the ASCII decimal equivalent as the method of inserting codes. However, some programs are restricted to using only decimal values instead of the ASCII decimal equivalent. Note: "*" Indicates the command is supported.

FeatureEscape Code  9 Pin  24 Pin
Proportional On/OffESC p n**
Select NLQ or DraftESC x n**
Expanded Print On/Off  ESC W n**
Double High On/OffESC w n**
Underlining On/OffESC - n**
Select Super/SubscriptESC S n**
Select Character SetESC % n**
Unidirectional On/OffESC U n**
Half Speed On/OffESC s n**

Only the decimal or hexadecimal values may be used for the command variable(s) listed in the following tables. For example, the command ESC k n in basic must be expressed as CHR$(27)"k"chr$(0) or CHR$(&h1B)"k"CHR$(&h00) to select the Roman font.

FeatureEscape Code9 Pin  24 Pin
Select Font:ESC k n**
n = 0 Roman **
n = 1 San Serif **
n = 2 Courier  *
n = 3 Prestige  *
n = 4 Script  *
n = 5 Ocr-B  *
n = 6 Ocr-A  *
n = 7 OratorNeeds Multifont Module *
n = 8 Orator SNeeds Multifont Module *
Character Style:ESC q n *
n = 0 Normal  *
n = 1 Outline  *
n = 2 Shadow  *
n = 3 Outline & Shadow  *
Master Select:ESC ! n**
n = 0 Pica **
n = 1 Elite **
n = 2 Proportional **
n = 4 Condensed **
n = 8 Emphasised **
n = 16 Double Strike **
n = 32 Double Wide **
n = 64 Italic **
n = 128 Underline **
Select Score:ESC ( - n1 n2 m d1 d2 *
n1 Must be 3  *
n2 Must be 0  *
m Must be 1  *
d1 = 1 Underscore  *
d1 = 2 Strike-Through  *
d1 = 3 Overscore  *
d2 = 0 Cancel Selected Score  *
d2 = 1 Single Line Continuous  *
d2 = 2 Double Line Continuous  *
d2 = 5 Single Line Broken  *
d2 = 6 Double Line Broken  *

FeatureEscape Code9 Pin  24 Pin
n/360-inch Line SpacingESC + n *
n/180-inch Line SpacingESC 3 n *
n/216-inch Line SpacingESC 3 n* 
n/60-inch Line SpacingESC A n *
n/72-inch Line SpacingESC A n* 
Immediate n/216 Line FeedESC J n* 
Immediate n/180 Line FeedESC J n *
Reverse Feed n/216ESC j n* 
Reverse Feed n/180ESC j n *
Immediate Mode On/OffESC i n* 
Inter character SpacingESC SP n**
Page Length in LinesESC C n**
Page Length in InchesESC C NUL n**
Skip Over PerforationESC N n**
Set Left MarginESC l n**
Set Right MarginESC Q n**
Horizontal TabHT**
Horizontal Tab StopsESC D n1 n2..NUL**
Set Horizontal Tab Increment  ESC e NUL n**
SET HTabs in SpacesESC f NUL n**
Set Vertical Tab StopsESC B n1 n2..NUL**
Set VFU Tab ChannelESC b x n1 n2..NUL**
Select VFU Tab ChannelESC / x**
Set Vertical Tab IncrementESC e 1 n**
Vertical SkipESC f 1 n**
Set VTabs in ChannelESC b c n1 n2...NUL**
Set VTab ChannelESC / n**

FeatureEscape Code9 Pin  24 Pin
Select Graphic Mode 9-Pin Graphics:ESC * m n1 n2 data**
m = 0 60 DPI **
m = 1 120 DPI **
m = 2 120 DPI Hi Spd **
m = 3 240 DPI **
m = 4 80 DPI **
m = 5 72 DPI * 
m = 6 90 DPI **
m = 7 144 DPI * 
Select Graphics Mode 24-Pin Graphics:ESC * m n1 n2 data *
m = 32 60 DPI  *
m = 33 120 DPI  *
m = 38 90 DPI  *
m = 39 180 DPI  *
m = 40 360 DPI  *

FeatureEscape Code9 Pin  24 Pin
Single-Density 60 DPIESC K n1 n2 data* 
Double-Density 120 DPIESC L n1 n2 data* 
Hi-Speed Dbl. 120 DPIESC Y n1 n2 data* 
Quad. Density 240 DPIESC Z n1 n2 data* 
9-Pin 60 DPIESC ^ 0 n1 n2 data* 
9-Pin 120 DPIESC ^ 1 n1 n2 data* 
Reassign Graphics Mode  ESC ? n* 

FeatureEscape Code9 Pin  24 Pin
Define User Defined CharacterESC & NUL n1 n2 a1 data**
Copy ROM to RAMESC : NUL n NUL**
Select ROM CGESC % 0**
Select Download CGESC % 1**
Justification:ESC a n**
n = 0 Flush Left **
n = 1 Centering **
n = 2 Flush Right **
n = 3 Justified **
Select Character Set:ESC t n**
n = 0 Italic set **
n = 1 Graphic set **
n = 2 User-Defined Set Remap to 80h-FFh  *
Printable Code Area Expansion:ESC I n  
n = 0 Restore Codes   
n = 1 Redefine Codes   
Select International Character Set:ESC R n**
n = 0 USA **
n = 1 France **
n = 2 Germany **
n = 3 United Kingdom **
n = 4 Denmark I **
n = 5 Sweden **
n = 7 Spain **
n = 8 Japan **
n = 9 Norway **
n = 10 Denmark II **
n = 11 Spain II **
n = 12 Latin America **
n = 13 Korea  *
n = 64 Legal  *

FeatureEscape Code  9 Pin  24 Pin
Set Absolute Print PositionESC $ n1 n2**
Set Relative Print PositionESC \ n1 n2**
Repeat DataESC V n data *
Color Selection:ESC r n**
n = 0 Black **
n = 1 Red (Magenta) **
n = 2 Blue (Cyan) **
n = 3 Violet **
n = 4 Yellow **
n = 5 Orange **
n = 6 Green **

The following command uses the ASCII character decimal value only.

FeatureEscape Code  9 Pin  24 Pin
Cut Sheet Feeder Operation:ESC EM n**
n = 0 Disable CSF **
n = 1 Select Bin 1 **
n = 2 Select Bin 2 **
n = 4 Enable CSF **
n = R Eject Sheet **

It is urged that a functional understanding of the printer commands be obtained. Reference to the User's Manual is encouraged whenever a more detailed command description is desired. Some of the commands listed are unique to certain printers. For a detailed listing of the commands supported by a specific printer, please refer to the Command Summary in the printer's User's Manual or the Control Code Matrix chapter in the Epson Programmers Reference Manual.

Note: If a particular command is not listed in the printer's Users Manual, the command is not supported.