What is page description language (PDL)? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

page description language (PDL)

Part of the Multimedia and graphics glossary:

A page description language (PDL) specifies the arrangement of a printed page through commands from a computer that the printer carries out. Hewlett Packard's Printer Control Language ( PCL ) and Adobe's PostScript are the two most commonly used PDLs.

Modern PDLs describe page elements as geometrical objects, such as lines, arcs, and so on. PDLs define page elements independently of printer technology, so that a page's appearance should be consistent regardless of the specific printer used. The printer itself (rather than the user's computer) processes much of the graphical information. For example, the printer carries out a command to draw a square or a character directly rather than downloading the actual bit s that make up the image of the square or the character from the computer.

Page description languages can be contrasted with content description languages, such as the Extensible Markup Language ( XML ), which describe the content rather than the arrangement of information.

This was last updated in March 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • lossless and lossy compression

    - Lossless and lossy compression are terms that describe whether or not, in the compression of a file, all original data can be recovered when the file is uncompressed. (WhatIs.com)

  • image metadata

    - Image metadata is information about an image that is associated with the image file either automatically or deliberately added. (WhatIs.com)

  • compression

    - Compression reduces the size of data to save storage space or speed transmission. Learn how files are compressed and read about compression examples. (SearchStorage.com)

Glossaries

  • Multimedia and graphics

    - Terms related to multimedia, including graphics, animation and video definitions and words and phrases about images and sound.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About page description language (PDL)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.