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Can I use my printer with DOS-based programs?


  • Printer emulation language options
  • Epson Stylus, Mono Laser, AcuLaser, Dot Matrix, and Stylus Pro printers
  • MS-DOS, DOS-based programs


In order to print in MS-DOS or a DOS-based program, the printer must be capable of ESC/P2 emulation. This is the language that the printer and computer use to communicate with each other. As DOS is an outmoded operating system, the demand for ESC/P2 emulation is much less than it once was, and the majority of the EPSON range now use ESC/P Raster emulation, which is more controllable in the Windows environment.

Additionally, the printer needs to be connected via Parallel, as USB requires a Windows driver to operate. Host-based printers cannot be used in DOS/DOS-based programs.

Many Epson AcuLaser printers, both colour and mono, feature ESC/P2 amongst the supported printer control language emulations. All Dot Matrix printers and RTD printers support ESC/P2 and can therefore be operated via DOS.

The following models, current at the time of writing, do not feature ESC/P2 support.

  • The AcuLaser C1100/C1100N, CX11 series, and CX21 series do not have support.
  • The 'L' version of Epson mono lasers do not have support e.g. the EPL-6200 supports ESC/P2, whereas the EPL-6200L does not.

All new Epson Stylus printers use ESC/P Raster emulation, therefore they cannot be used to print from a DOS-based program. Only some previous Epson Stylus models are capable of ESC/P2 emulation, the last Stylus model to offer support is the Stylus C80.

To check whether your printer is capable of ESC/P2 emulation, look at the Specifications section in your Online User Guide.

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