Inserting Hex Characters in ZPL Code – Zebra Instructions


This Instruction Article explains how to insert hex characters into ZPL code for Zebra printers. Often this is used to get the printer to embed special non-ASCII codes into barcodes. Meeting GS1 standards, sometimes, requires the use of special characters (e.g. FN1, etc.) for example.


  1. Create ZPL code instructions for the printer
  2. Insert the Field Hex Indicator command (i.e. ^FH) with the indicator value immediately before the corresponding ^FD command. If a blackslash, for example, is to indicate that the next two characters are hex, then the Field Hex Indicator command syntax would be ^FH\.
  3. If a hex value is to be inserted into the data for that line, after the corresponding ^FD command, use the designated Field Hex Indicator value (e.g. \) and then insert the two hex values immediately after them (e.g. ^FH\^FDTilde \7e Inserted as Hex^FS will result in the text “Tilde ~ Inserted as Hex” printed on the label since 7e is the hex value for the tilde character).

Note: If no Field Hex Indicator value is set, an underscore (“_”) is the default value.

Outside Sources and Helpful Links

See p.165 of the Zebra ZPL Programming Guide: Zebra ZPL Programming Guide #P1012728-011

Additional Comments

The full syntax of the Field Hex Indicator command in ZPL is: ^FHa.

  • ^FN is the ZPL command
  • a is the symbol that tells the printer (after the ^FD and before the ^FS commands) that the next two character need to be read as hex (not ASCII)

Example: The ^FH\^FDTilde \7e Inserted as Hex^FS command will result in the text “Tilde ~ Inserted as Hex


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