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Dot Matrix Printer

Dot Matrix Printer

The dot matrix printers are a type of printer that develops characters and illustrate it by striking pins against an ink ribbon in order to print closely spaced dots in the appropriate shape. Dot matrix printers can print to multi-page forms. Dot matrix printers are having two important characteristics that include speed which is given in characters per second (cps). The speed might get varied from about 50 to over 500 cps. Depending on the quality of print desire, most of the dot matrix printers offer different speeds. Another characteristic is the quality of print. The quality is determined by the number of pins. It might get varied from 9 to 24. The best dot matrix printers that are of 24 pins might produce near letter-quality type. A dot matrix printer might use plain paper, NCR paper or thermal paper, and also several copies of a document that can be made at the same time. Most dot matrix printers print bidirectional.

The following points explain the features and working of dot matrix printers:

  • Ribbons
  • Pins
  • Working


The dot matrix printers use a ribbon that is covered with ink. The pins strike the ribbon in order to transfer the ink onto the paper in response to the computer's commands when the paper feeder moves the paper into position. Color ink ribbons consist of three bands corresponding to the three primary colors. Color images need to be printed with several pin strikes so that you can create the proper tone.


The pins on a dot matrix are where all the action is being performed. The number of pins has a direct impact on the speed and resolution of the output in a dot matrix printer. The dot matrix printers produce low resolution printouts when it starts from 9 pin. When consumer dot matrix printers reached 24 pins it has got maximum resolution. The dot matrix printers are having denser dot patterns that mean it has higher resolution and better print quality.


Dot matrix printers are also referred as impact printers. These dot matrix printers are capable of printing text and simple graphics. The printer at a time draws one character from a dot matrix and most often it consist of either 9 or 24 pins. After that it strikes a number of metal pins against an inked ribbon, and it transfers the image to a sheet of tractor feed paper. Dot matrix printers have the capability to print at high speed for many hours at a time with little to no human intervention.

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