General printer requirements

General printer requirements

  • Color laser printer (600/1200/2400 dpi).
  • Postscript support is preferred.
  • 128 Mb RAM (minimum).


Creating digital paper is computationally intensive. Nearly 700 000 impressions of the Anoto dot pattern are laid out on a letter or A4 page. This, with the small size of individual dots, means that your printer needs to be capable of high-density printing, typically 600 dots per inch (DPI) or greater. It also means the printer will need more memory to process the large temporary files used for the dot pattern background and the content you wish to print in the foreground. What’s more, since the pen reads the infrared signature of carbon in black ink, only printers with black, carbon-based Ink can be used for printing Anoto pattern. Laser toner typically has the characteristics, but not all Inkjets used carbon-based inks; therefore printing on inkjets depends on a) the ink provided with your printer and b) the DPI density of your printer.


To handle this also other printer characteristics are important:

  • Printer memory/RAM.
    - 128Mb RAM min, 256Mb or more preferred.
  • Fast printer CPU. 
    - Dictates how quickly the pages are processed and therefore printed.
  • Ability to disable image colour enhancements. 
    - The CMY to K conversion is especially critical.This conversion is quite common, but will corrupt the pens ability to read the printed dots correctly (since K in the layout will be mixed with the pattern).
  • Printer language. 
    - Ask your chosen pen solution platform provider which printer language their solution support. Where possible use a Postscript/PCL printer. Some solutions, for example LivePDF, will work fine with just PCL.

In other words, just because the general printer requirements are fulfilled, it doesn’t mean that the printer is capable of printing the pattern in a satisfying way. Consider both speed and quality, so select a printer with care.

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