Zebra (programming language)

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Zebra Programming Language
Zebra Programming Language.png
Zebra logo
Developer Zebra Technologies
OS independent
Influenced by

Zebra Programming Language (ZPL and ZPL II) is a page description language from Zebra Technologies. It is used primarily for labeling applications. The original ZPL was advanced to ZPL II, but a full compatibility with the older version is not given. Meanwhile, ZPL II is emulated by many label printers of various producers.

Later, the Zebra Basic Interpreter (ZBI) was integrated into printer software, which is seen as an advancement to ZPL II by the producer and is ANSI BASIC oriented. Primarily, it is intended to avoid a refactoring of code when changing the printer, if the old printer software was written by a label printer of a competitor. With ZBI, it should be possible that the Zebra printer gets an "alien" data format and converts it to the requested ZPL II format automatically. [1]

Some printers also support the older Eltron Programming Language (EPL) for printers.


The language commands always start with a caret sign ('^'). Currently, more than 170 commands exist in ZPL II. Each format has to start with the command ^XA and end with ^XZ.[2] For instance, the font size is sent to the printer with the ^ADN,n,m command, where n and m are integers; ^ADN,18,10 is the smallest size and ^ADN,180,100 the largest.


Wikipedia "label" as described in ZPL

A simple output displaying the text "Wikipedia" can be made using code like below.



  1. ^ "Zebra Basic Interpreter 2.0". Zebra.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  2. ^ "ZPL II Programming Guide (vol. I)" (PDF). http://www.ptshome.com/: Portable Technology Solutions. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 

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