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Difference between Plotter and Printer

Last Updated : 18 Aug, 2020
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1. Plotter :
A plotter is the category of printer that takes commands from the computer and then makes drawings on the paper with the help of various pens. It is used for producing hard copies of large graphs and designs on paper like construction maps, engineering drawings, architectural plans and business charts.

It is either a peripheral component that you add to your computer system or a standalone device with its own internal processor. It produces the data in hardcopy at a relatively slower rate when compared to a printer. It can easily draw continuous lines from point-to-point at same time. It is mainly used in specialized fields such as drawing, architecture and engineering.

2. Printer :
A printer is an external hardware output device whose work is to acquire the text and graphics output from the computer and generate a hard copy of it. So, basically it processes the soft copy and produces its hard copy.

There is a wide variety of printers based on their speed, cost, size, quality of the hard copy produced and complex construction. It produces the data in hardcopy format at a faster speed. It can only print a single line at a time. It is mainly used to produce graphics and text on a physical medium such as paper.

Difference between Plotter and Printer :

1 It can read files in the DWG, CDR, Al and other vector formats. It can read BMP, PDF and JPG TIFF formats.
2 It is a device that draws pictures on the page with the help of commands given through a computer. It is a device that brings images and texts on the page with the help of commands given through a network.
3 It is expensive . It is less costly as compared to plotters.
4 It can draw continuous lines. It cannot draw continuous lines.
5 It work on slow speeds. It work on fast speeds.
6 Its software includes Adobe Illustrator, Corel, Flexi and CAD.

Its software includes Photoshop and any other image-editing program.

7 It gives the output in a format that is similar to a vector graphic. It gives the output file data in a format such as bitmap or pixels.
8 Examples are Drum plotters, Flatbed plotters, Pen plotters, Electrostatic plotters, Inkjet plotters. Examples are Laser Printers, Solid Ink Printers, LED Printers., Business Inkjet Printers, Home Inkjet, Printers, 3D Printers.

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