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In todays global environment is often necessary to print characters of multiple languages to printers from SAP systems. There may be characters from multiple languages in the same document. Here I discuss some solutions for these issues in SAP.


Although the SAP system is Unicode enables, very often the print itself is not. The internal character sets and fonts of printers usually do not support characters of all languages. For Unicode characters to be supported, the characters set of the SAP device type and the internal character set and fonts of the printer itself must also support the characters. This can be addressed by installing Unicode font modules in the printers. There is also a generic cascading fonts solution from SAP which does not require any additional hardware to be installed in the printers.

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Cascading Fonts Solution

There is a general solution to print via windows and a Unicode cascading fonts device type like SWINCF. See SAP Note 812821 for more details. Here the SAP font used in is mapped to a suitable windows font that supports the Unicode range for the character. For example if you use the SAP font COURIER for a Thai character in SAP, the windows font Angsana New would be selected for the printing of the Thai character. There is a default mapping applied when the code corrections of SAP Note 812821 are applied and the cascading fonts device types contained in the attachments of the note are uploaded to the system. Similarly the default mapping is applied and the device types created when the latest support pack of the note is applied. It is almost never needed to change this default mapping and often changing it can cause problems. You can view the font mapping by running the report RSCPSETCASCADINGFONTS in the SAP system. This solution allows for Unicode printing from SAP without installing any additional fonts on the printers.

It is necessary to connect to the printer from SAP via a windows system. It is not necessary that the SAP system runs on windows. With your printer connected to a Windows system, you can use the device type SWINCF with Access Method S or G which will utilize the Windows printer driver. You can use Access Method S if the printer is connected to a Windows print server running SAPSprint. ( SAP Note 894444 ) You use Access Method G if the printer is defined in the Windows Print manager of the Frontend user's PC.

Printer Vendor Solutions

There are a number of printer manufacturers that have developed device types under the printer vendor program ( see SAP Note 1130927 ) and they also provide Unicode font modules with some printer models. When you print via printer specific device type from SAP, the SAP system just sends command sequences to the printer to switch internally to a suitable font and character set. These commands are contained in the print controls of the device types. Under the SAP printer vendor program the device types are developed by the printer vendors. See KBA 1657241 which references some printer vendors and their solutions. The print vendors provide Unicode font modules for the printers and device types that support the printing of Unicode fonts. Generally ANDALE fonts should be used in the form within SAP.

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