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matrix printer

matrix printer A printer that forms the character or shape to be printed from an array of dots. The dots can be formed on paper by a stylus impacting an inked ribbon, by separate drops of ink ejected from a nozzle, or by one of the other nonimpact technologies in which dots are formed by changing the color of the media by heating (thermal printer) or by ink adhering to an electric charge or magnetic pole pattern (electrographic and magnetographic printers).

A significant advantage of matrix printers over solid-font printers is the ability to accommodate a very large repertoire of character shapes and styles and also to print the ideograms of oriental languages and script characters of Arabic. Diagrams and pictures can also be reproduced. When the term is used in reference to a single type of printer it generally means an impact printer or dot matrix printer.

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