separator page

Definition of separator page in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Separator Page?

A page that is printed between print jobs. In the old days, separator pages indicated when one print job finished and the next one began. In Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000, separator pages can have two functions:

  • Separating printed output in a multiuser environment so that users can more easily retrieve their print jobs
  • Switching a print device between different print modes (if the device has this capability) - for example, switching between Printer Control Language (PCL) mode and Postscript mode

Windows NT and Windows 2000 include three separator pages, which are located in the \Winnt\System32 directory:

  • Pcl.sep:
    Switches the printing mode to PCL printing, typically for printers made by Hewlett-Packard. A separator page is also printed.


  • Pscript.sep:
    Switches the printing mode to Postscript for supported printers. No separator page is printed.


  • Sysprint.sep:
    Functions like pscript.sep but also prints a separator page.


Windows 2000 includes a fourth separator page, sysprtj.sep, which is similar to sysprint.sep.

You can use Notepad to edit any default separator page file to create a custom separator file. You can add new lines by using printer escape codes such as those shown in the following table.

Escape Codes for Custom Separator Pages

Code Function
Prints the date that the job was submitted. (Use Regional Settings in Control Panel to specify the format.)
Ejects the page. (Use at the end of a separator page.)
Prints the contents of the file specified by “pathname” without performing any processing of the file.
Sends escape code nn to the printer (device-specific functionality).
Prints the job number.
Prints the following characters as is until the next escape code is encountered.
Prints the name of the user who submitted the job.
Prints the time that the job was submitted.
Skips n lines.
Skips to the next line.


If a printer can auto-switch between printing modes (by identifying the type of the rendered file sent to it), you do not need to specify a separator page.