The general characteristics of a printer are essentially the same for all types of printer. The following sections describe each of the major characteristics used to define the capabilities of a printer.

Type Quality

The type standard to which printers are compared is that of the typewriter and daisy wheel printer. These devices print whole characters by striking a solid raised form through a ribbon to impact the paper. Type quality is primarily used to describe the type capabilities of dot matrix printers, but can be applied to other printers as well. The type qualities most commonly used to describe a printer's print are:

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Draft quality: Draft quality is a low-quality print in which the dots or print elements used to form the characters are individually visible on the page. illustrates a draft-quality character in comparison to other type qualities. Low-end inkjet and dot matrix printers produce draft-quality type prints.

Near letter quality (NLQ): This type quality is considered better than draft quality, but the dots or elements used to form the characters are partially visible, so it cannot be