Skip to main content

serial printer

serial printer A printer that prints one character at a time in the sequence in which they appear in the line of text. The sequence may be taken from left to right, or it may be in alternate directions for alternate lines thus avoiding an unproductive carriage-return movement. All serial printers have an arrangement in which a print head moves parallel to the paper and along the line to be printed. The print may be formed by impacting an inked ribbon against the paper, as in the case of dot matrix printers, or by one of the nonimpact marking technologies such as inkjet or thermal printers. In some designs the productivity is increased when printing other than complete lines by arranging for the head to move at high speed when passing blank areas. The direction in which the line is to be printed is also optimized. Note that the term serial printer refers to the method of printing and not to the connection, which may be serial or parallel.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"serial printer." A Dictionary of Computing. . 25 Mar. 2019 <>.

"serial printer." A Dictionary of Computing. . (March 25, 2019).

"serial printer." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved March 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.