Converting PCL to PDF


I am looking to create (as a proof-of-concept) an OCaml (preferably) program that converts PCL code to PDF format. I am not sure where to start. Is there a standardized algorithm for doing so? Is there any other advice available for accomplishing this task?


Best Solution

Conversion of PCL to PDF can be incredibly complex (assuming you need it to be generic and not just for simple PCL). We've investaged this many times and in the end always revert to using other tools. We keep investigating as we are a development shop who uses and understands all elements of PCL to great detail. If you are not really familure with PCL it will be daunting task. One of the major issues is that overtime, printers have become, for the most part, tollerent of malformed PCL and as such, creating something that follows the rules to the letter of the law is not always sufficient. If; however, you have control over the PCL, you may be able to work it out with some amount of success.

I don't mean to turn you off of this and I realize that you've come here looking for a programming answer but I have to say, this is a far from simple task and there are no 'standarized algorithms' for this (that I'm aware of).

If this is designed to be a tool to work alongside of somehting else you are building I'd highly recommend looking at these guys:


This is by far the most complete set of tools (Windows) for handling this. There are a few others but, based on our extensive use of PCL and conversion tools over the years, this is the only one that work all the time.

EDIT: Most recently we've been working with LincPDF ( This is also an excellent product with has one big benefit, deployment is simple. Some of the other tools have complex software installations. This solution is very easy for us to deploy as a feature in an application. It's also faster then any tools we've tested to date (at least with the PCL that we generate from our apps which is quite complex as they include specialized fonts and macros).

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