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 Procedure documentation Defining a New Device Type  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure

A device type is the SAP R/3 spool system’s container for storing information about a particular type of output device such as a PostScript printer. Basically, the device type stores the same type of information as a printer driver in a Microsoft Windows PC: the information needed to generate a device-specific, output-ready data stream.

You can modify any part of a device type as required. For example, you may want to add support for a SAPscript printer font that is not part of the SAP R/3 standard font set. This change would require adding new print controls to the device type to enable it to switch to the font.


Only make changes to an SAP R/3 standard device type using your own copy of the device type. Otherwise your changes may be overwritten when you upgrade your SAP R/3 System.

In this section, we review how to define a device type from start to finish. If you want to extend an existing device type, see the relevant step in the procedure for more information.


       1.      Copy the device type.

If you are modifying an SAP R/3 standard device type, only work on a copy of the device type. Otherwise, your changes may be lost when you upgrade your system.

If you are creating a new device type, working from a copy of a similar device type is easier than starting from scratch. The print controls and device type formatting actions required are, for example, already present.

Procedure: See Copying Device Types.

       2.      Edit the device type.

Use: The device type identifies a particular printer model.

Changes are required if:  You are defining a completely new device type.

Make your changes in: a copy of a SAP R/3 standard device type.

Content: You can specify:

   The SAP R/3 character set that should be used for formatting device output. The character set specifies the character codes to send to the device for printing specific characters.

   The driver to use for formatting SAPscript documents

Procedure: Editing Device Types.

       3.      Add a new character set or enhance an existing character set, if required.

Use: An SAP R/3 character set is used to convert output from the internal SAP R/3 representation into the codes required by the output device to print the output correctly.

Changes are required if: You are defining a new device type and none of the standard SAP R/3 character sets are suitable for the device. You can then add a new character set or enhance a copy of an existing character set by adding characters to it.

Make your changes in: a copy of a SAP R/3 standard device type. The number for a new character set must begin with "9"; to places the character set in the customer namespace.

Content: A character set contains the set of SAP R/3 characters that can be output at a device that uses that character set. SAP R/3 characters specify the code to send to a device in order to produce the corresponding character.

For more information: Maintaining Character Sets

       4.      Add page formats.

Use: A page format specifies the physical size and orientation of an output page. From SAP R/3 4.5A, both SAPscript and list printing use page formats. The physical page dimensions determine and specify the printable area on a page. This information, in turn, determines how the page is filled with text.

Changes are required if: You need to add new page formats for paper sizes or output layouts not included in the standard SAP System.

Page formats are used together with formats and device formats to determine how text should be printed on a particular paper size or in a particular layout format. To define a new paper size, you need to add all three of these objects.

Make your changes in: A new page format The name must begin with Y or Z. Do not alter existing page formats otherwise SAP R/3’s SAPscript forms or ABAP lists may not print correctly.

Content: Dimensions and orientation of physical paper (SAPscript and lists) or lines and columns in page layout (lists text).

Procedure: Creating Page Formats.

       5.      Add formats.

Use: Formats specify the paper sizes or output formats that can be used with SAP R/3 device types. Example: Standard SAP R/3 device types support formats such s DINA4, LETTER, and X_65_80.

Changes are required if: You need to add new formats for paper sizes or output layouts not included in the standard SAP System. Do not alter or delete existing formats otherwise R/3 documents may not print correctly.

Formats are used together with page formats and device formats to determine how text should be printed on a particular paper size or in a particular layout format. To define a new paper size, you need to add all three of these objects.

Make your changes in: A new format The name must begin with Y or Z. Do not alter existing formats, as otherwise SAP R/3’s SAPscript forms may not print correctly.

Content: Name of corresponding page format (same as format name for SAPscript formats, page format ANY for list text formats).

Procedure: Creating Formats.

       6.      Define or edit device formats.

Use: A device format implements a format for a particular device type. That is, it associates sets of device–specific commands, called actions, with a format. The SAP R/3 spool system uses device type formatting actions to output printer commands during printing. These actions specify printer operations. Examples of actions: configure printer for the incoming output request, or specify line end, page end and printer reset after the output request has completed. Printer initialization is especially important, as this sets critical format information, such as lines per page.


The device format for the X_65_80 format (ABAP list and editor output) for the HPLJ4 device type (Hewlett-Packard LaserJet 4 printer) contains the following actions:
printer initialization, reset at end, end of page, end of line. Each action contains the appropriate printer commands for carrying out the indicated operation. Printer initialization, for example, sets the line spacing to 65 lines specified by the format. The End of line action issues carriage return and line feed commands to the printer.

Device type formats are device–specific. They are copied with a device type.

Changes required: In the following situations:

   You need to add a device type format for a new format (a new type of paper or layout).

   You need to customize a copy of an SAP R/3 standard device format. Normally, you should only customize the cover sheet for output requests in the Title page action. Other changes may have adverse effects on list and SAPscript printing. For information about customizing the title page, see Maintaining Title Pages for Output Requests.

Make changes in: A copy of the SAP R/3 device type.

Content: Printer commands for the standard SAP R/3 actions -- Printer initialization, Title page (optional), Reset, device–specific combination of Start of line, Start of page, End of line, End of page (see similar standard SAP R/3 device type).

Procedure: Editing Device Type Formats.

       7.      Define or edit print controls.

Use: The SAP R/3 System provides a set of standard formatting tags known as "print controls." Print controls are used in all types of SAP R/3 documents (SAPscript forms, ABAP list output). Print controls are used mostly for character formatting, but also overlap in function with device type format actions in some cases (SLAND, SPORT, SLINE, and SPAGE print controls). Print controls are usually inserted in documents under program control (by one of the SAPscript printer drivers or by an ABAP program or report), though users can also enter them in SAPscript documents directly.

When an output request is generated, print controls are converted into printer–specific escape sequences to control how text output. For example, print controls change fonts, print bar codes, and perform other character formatting operations.

Changes are required if: You are defining a new device type or extending or customizing the formatting capabilities of an existing device type.

Make your changes in: A copy of a SAP R/3 device type. Print controls are specific to a device type and are copied with the device type. You can therefore change standard SAP R/3 print controls under their original names in a copied device type. New print controls should have names that start with Y or Z (customer namespace).

Content: The printer or required for the operation as specified by the print control.

Procedure: Editing Print Controls

       8.      Implement OCR or bar code printing, if required.

If you want to print OCR characters or bar codes with the printer, you must first enable these printing functions. For more information, see Bar Code Printing.

       9.      Activate your device type changes in the SAP R/3 System.



Procedure for activating your changes

New/copied device type

Enter as a device type under device definitions in the SAP R/3 spool system. Required for changes to formats (page formats, formats, device formats), character sets, and print controls.

New character set

Enter in a copied device type. Automatically takes effect when the new device type is used.

Must be in accordance with character set specification, if any, in the Device format Printer initialization (list printing) and with the character sets that may implicitly be selected at the printer using SAPscript SF<xxx> font print controls. For help with testing, see Testing Output Devices.

New page format

Enter in the SAPscript forms that should use the new format (SAPscript Form Painter).

New format

For SAPscript: Activated with new device type, if new page format is activated.

For list printing: Add to affected reports with NEW-PAGE PRINT ON LAYOUT/ SUBMIT... TO SAP-SPOOL LAYOUT (print at list generation). For printing from list display, adjust REPORT width specification to force selection of the format and move format to SAP R/3 namespace (name "X....").

New device type format

Automatically activated when the device type, page format, and format are activated.

Print Controls

List printing: List print controls edited under their standard SAP R/3 names are automatically activated when the new device type is activated.

New Print Control name: Enter in affected reports with PRINT-CONTROL FUNCTION. Effective only if a list is printed as it is generated.

SAPscript printing: The print controls SF (font) and SBP/SBS (bar code) print controls require:

         New SAPscript fonts for the fonts/bar codes (SAPscript Font Maintenance)

         Use of the new fonts in affected SAPscript forms (SAPscript Form Painter).

To implement other print controls, you need to add  the appropriate SAPscript instruction /: PRINT-CONTROL to the relevant SAPscript texts.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text SAP Printing Guide Start Page



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