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PDL Test Tools and Services

Page Description Language Software: The Brains Behind the Device

Whether you’re developing a PDF application, PCL printer, or mobile application that edits Office-compatible formats, implementing robust and world-class PDL software is critical. Trust your testing to the industry-standard test suites used by major printer companies, application vendors and core technology providers around the globe.

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Page Description Language (PDL) software is the brains behind devices that print, view or exchange files. PDF, PostScript, PCL, OpenXPS, and PPML are popular Page Description Languages that describe the content and layout of a document, typically to an imaging device or a mobile application. Since the PDL is responsible for what goes on the page, it’s critical for your PDL implementation to be accurate, robust and conform to the PDL specification.

There are endless combinations of PDL operators and attributes your product needs to correctly render. In addition, hundreds of different applications and apps produce documents. Each may exercise a different mix of PDL features to describe the original content. To be sure your implementation is successful, you must test these capabilities in depth and in a systematic manner.

That’s where we come in. QualityLogic has been developing PDL test tools for over three decades. We know PDL specifications and testing issues from the inside out. The test tools we’ve developed are industry standards used by leading printer, application, and technology vendors globally. We can also use our full suite of tools to test your printer or MFP for you.

Page Description Language Test Tools to Cover All the Bases

QualityLogic approaches PDL testing by basing test cases entirely on the capabilities of the PDL standard itself – not just what popular applications or drivers are generating currently. Typical documents use much less than what the PDL standard supports.

Functional Test Suites (FTSs)

FTSs test the basic functionality of each command or operator in a PDL, quickly assessing baseline conformance to the language specification. They are a cost-effective and efficient way to assure the basic functionality of your PDL and are designed to the following criteria:

  • Must run unattended in 24 hours or less – ideal for  regression test runs
  • Multiple test cases per page to minimize paper consumption
  • Cover the breadth of the PDL standard by exercising each key PDL operator
  • All test cases are developed to control the PDL operators within each test file
  • Each test case has clearly documented test intent and can be debugged quickly

Comprehensive Evaluation Tests (CETs)

CETs go beyond the FTS. They include a deeper level of tests covering all commands and combinations allowed in the PDL standard, as well as illegal sequences. CETs provide the most challenging test scenarios that your implementation will encounter. CETs include the following types of tests for all major PDLs:

  • Standard Tests to cover common objectives for a wide variety of commands or operators using various combinations and data types
  • Influence Tests for the interactive influence of commands or operators (graphics states, opacity, transform, etc.)
  • Special Tests covering definitive statements in the language specification outside the scope of Standard or Influence Tests
  • Error Tests of conditions found when consuming a file, including out-of-range parameters and illegal command sequences

Application Test Suites (ATSs)

Use ATSs to test your printer, MFP, or software product for compatibility with leading applications, drivers, and content creators. They are comprehensive collections of test pages developed using all of the most popular applications. We designed ATS test files to help you ensure compatibility in the real world with the applications your customers use with your product. ATSs help you:

  • Improve Time-To-Market – ATS files are provided in captured binary format, so you don’t have to purchase dozens of applications and develop test pages.
  • Cover a Wide Range of Applications – The ATS library covers applications ranging from word processing and page layout to spreadsheets, graphics arts, design, engineering, and Small/Home Office programs.
  • Optimize Test Page Design – ATSs offer three types of test pages: progressive complexity, real-world and mechanical, to create a complete and diverse testing environment and fully exercise the printable features of each application.
  • Automate Your Testing – The TestJob Sender automation tool, included with each ATS, manages the flow of test files to your target platform. It automates key tasks, such as performance measurement, cycling the power on hardware, test scheduling, and reporting.


PDF 2.0 and Office Open XML InteropAnalyzers validate your device’s ability to handle these formats as they are currently used today. We also include files we’ve developed to use the full capabilities of the latest releases of popular applications.

InteropAnalyzers include thousands of test files and a SQL database with the test files’ key characteristics so you can search for specific features and attributes. The InteropAnalyzer’s Query Builder application lets you create custom test suites and add your own files.

PDL Test Services

QualityLogic can provide full PDL testing services using all of these tools. We work with you as an extension of your engineering or QA group, or we can provide complete QA outsourcing at our facility or yours.

You’ll get a full report of where and why your PDL implementation falls short of compliance or fails to work with software applications. We also include our recommendations for fixes.

Choose QualityLogic testing services and you get access to world-class tools and capabilities. Our business is testing, and we bring our leading-edge skills and best practices to any testing problem. We will help you achieve the quality, cost, and schedule goals of your products.

Which PDL Do You Need to Test?

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Safeguard Your Brand with Smart PDL QA & Testing

Want to learn more about how our PDL test tools and services can safeguard your brand? Contact us to find out how we can improve your QA ROI.

Get the Latest for PDF 2.0

Find out more about our test suites for PDF 2.0: