The HP universal printing PCL 6 is an intelligent print driver that supports a wide range of HP LaserJet printers and MFPs. HP universal printing was developed by Hewlett-Packard.
This printer combines a general-purpose driver (UNIDRV or PSCRIPT) and HP’s proprietary extensions.
HP UPD simplifies driver deployment and management. This advanced print driver has the ability to find printing devices automatically and configure the device capabilities with its capabilities.
hp Universal Printing PCL 6 is a Microsoft Windows solution that provides two operating modes, traditional and dynamic.
In traditional mode, the HP UPD behaves similarly to a traditional print driver. In dynamic mode, it provides discovery, auto-configuration, and management features that are especially suitable for mobile computer users.
In traditional mode, the HP UPD is bound to the print queue and behaves like a normal printer driver with the addition of two-way communication for device requests and real-time print job status.
This mode can be selected during driver installation or in the dynamic mode universal printing dialog box. Traditional mode bypasses the universal printing dialog box and goes straight to the regular print settings dialog box.
Automatic configuration does not occur in traditional mode; however, users may opt for manual updates to ensure device capabilities are properly represented.
HP Universal Print Driver
HP offers three variations of the UPD: for HP PCL 5, PCL 6, or PostScript printers. I chose the PCL 6 version.
Universal printing PCL 6 lets you choose between what HP calls Traditional and Dynamic modes. In the first, you choose one printer to map to and it becomes the permanent default printer.
Since that defeats my purpose of using the driver, I opted for Dynamic mode, which lets you change the destination of your printer with your location.
The advantages of hp universal printing PCL 6
Provides a consistent user interface for all HP branded printers. Can find networked and directly connected printers that are set up as shared printers. Supports more features on HP printers than Mobile Express.
Disadvantages of universal printing PCL 6
Only supports HP printers. Works only with network printers with valid IP addresses. Offers basic printing only.
When you print using universal printing PCL 6 for the first time, a dialog box appears.
Click on the hotlink “settings” and a third dialog box appears with a radio button telling the driver to always prompt you for the printer (default), to prompt you only the first time the application prints, or to prompt you only when the last known printer is not available.
Since I’m primarily printing to one printer at each location, I opted for the latter to get one-click printing as close as possible.
HP universal print driver PCL 6
One of the advantages of using the universal HP driver is that it offers more settings for the HP printers it manages, including diagnostic codes and warnings than Mobile Express. Features available through the UPD include scaling, economical printing modes that save ink, and a wider range of finish options.
Read Also: HP Officejet 3830 Full Review Printer 2022
During testing, HP universal warned me that the 4000 black cartridges were running low something Mobile Express couldn’t tell me.
As with Mobile Express, Universal couldn’t find the printer in the Framingham office when I connected from my home office via VPN to the Framingham location.
However, it detects online status and prints to the previously discovered device while I was in that office, I had no trouble printing to that printer via VPN.
While the printer base installed in most offices includes the HP brand, the reality is that most offices have multiple brands. In such an environment, tools that are limited to managing only one printer brand do not solve the larger problem for administrators or end-users.
For my purposes, neither tool has a clear advantage over the other. The discovery tools on Universal and Mobile Express are fine so far but based on my experience
What is a universal print driver?
Universal Print Driver is an integrated set of drivers compatible with all HP LaserJet and HP Color LaserJet Printers. universal print allows you to find and print to supported HP devices with a unique and automatic print driver.