The EX has a command that allows you to define and print
characters of your own design. You can design an entirely new alphabet
or typeface, create mathematical or scientific symbols, or create graphic
patterns to serve as building blocks for larger designs. These
user-defined characters work only in draft mode.
Also, you can buy commercial software programs that assist you in
creating characters or supply you with sets of characters already created.
In addition, some popular application packages make use of the user-
defined character function to enhance printouts. (These characters are
called download characters in some programs.)
The printout below shows a few user-defined characters to give you
an idea of what can be done, but remember that you can create what
you need or want.
When you define a character of your own, the definition is stored in
temporary memory (RAM). The original character with the same code
remains in the printer’s permanent memory (ROM) and you can print
either of them when needed.
The process of defining a character is much like printing dot graphics
because you send the printer precise instructions on where you want
each dot printed. In fact, planning a user-defined character is like
planning a small dot graphics pattern.
To design a character you use a grid that has nine rows and eleven
columns. Figure 6-5 on the next page shows three of these grids. Most
characters do not use the two rows below the heavy line. Those rows
are only for characters with descenders, like y and g. Also, even though
you can use up to 11 columns, it is best to leave the last two blank for
the space between characters.
The grid in the middle of Figure 6-5 shows a plan for a character.
Although there are nine pins in the EX print head, you can use only
Graphics and User-defined Characters