Need help setting up Zebra thermal printer

I finally upgraded the ancient computer that we’ve been using for years; everything has gone fine except for the print quality of the labels on the Zebra printer. The bar-codes are squiggly, and even the text is difficult to read. Same result for labels from Amazon and ebay.

I used the Seagull Scientific driver for my model (LP2844) as I remember that was part of the solution when I had problems when I first got the printer, but I can’t figure out what extra step I need to do to get the labels looking clean and crisp. Windows 11 machine, USB connection.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


I’ll page some folks who might be able to help: @SawleMill @Old-Timer @Pepper_Thine_Angus.


I had to use an older zebra drivers version to get mine working right. There was also an annoying amount of fine tuning that went into getting my zebra up and running the way I wanted, but that may have been because I was swapping over from a dymo and nothing is compatible.


Try installing it using the Official Windows 10/11 driver from Zebra.

LP 2844 Desktop Printer Support & Downloads | Zebra



Or this.

Zebra’s are sometimes a pain to get set up the first time, but once you do, they are bullet proof

Also, once the official Zebra driver is installed, make sure you go into the settings, turn dithering OFF.

One note on win 10/11, I have found printing from PDF within the browser (ff, chrome, edge) is NOWHERE NEAR as high quality as printing from Adobe to my Zebra. All the same settings, so no idea why


If all else fails, just install the printer using the Generic Text Driver bundled with Windows. Then download the labels in ZPL. Open the .zpl file in MS Notepad and print.

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Yeah, I’m thinking part of the problem is printing from Chrome; I downloaded and installed Acrobat Reader, including the plug-in for Chrome, but it’s still opening up natively in Chrome (yes, I changed the defaults in Windows; NOT an improvement in Win11 IMO). I haven’t figured out yet how to get it to open where I want it.
And when I change the settings in the driver, they seem to not stick; so I’m not sure if they’re even holding long enough to print the label (again, possibly tied to printing from the browser).

I’ve had enough frustration for today (more than the printer; new computers always have a few little things that need tweaking), so will attempt tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ll just go back to the laser printer and packing tape. There are enough changes going to Win11 from Win7 that it’s taking me a while just to figure out the basics.


Win 11
Settings > Apps > Default apps > Chrome

Scroll to find .pdf … see if it has Adobe as default … if not, click the square box with arrow pointing to upper left that is on the right hand side of the .pdf box. When it opens, select Adobe and save.

Chrome (setting is buried deep in the latest Chrome)
Settings > Privacy and security > Site Settings > (expand Additional Permissions) > scroll to PDF documents > Select Download PDFs

PDFs should now download and then can be open in Adobe by clicking the download link on lower left of Chrome.

Note: When you use Firefox, the PDF still downloads but will automatically open up in Adobe when you set it up in Firefox (much easier).


I hate setting up zebra 2844’s. I went to a bankruptcy auction about 15-20 years ago and purchased 3 of them for 5 bucks. I am still using the first one I set up…lol I have a dedicated XP machine for shipping and I am dreading the day it dies on me. I vaguely remember something about using Seagull? drivers to get it to work with amazon.


They are not required THANKFULLY, Those were VERY PAINFUL days


I had same issue… same driver and like others said make sure you turn off “dithering” and just in case you are like me don’t forget to click apply. I’m using Firefox and Windows 10 but have also used chrome and 10 with same driver and ZP450


I only have access to mobile at the moment but I can guess what the issue is.

  1. The box labels generally pop up in a browser
  2. The pdf then should be saved
  3. The pdf should then be opened by a pdf reader like Adobe or Sumatra or Fox etc.
  4. Then you print.
  5. If you try printing from the browser page it will cause issues like you mentioned.
  6. I noticed this on my laser printer and using the above fixed the issue - the resolution varies on browser and pdf and isn’t so noticeable on laser but is hugely noticeable on thermal.

Hope this is it…


Ha! just saw this after my post. My post still counts :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Worked fine for me with a little effort.


There is also the “printer preferences” IN THE WEB BROWSER.

Depending on the browser, they can be “reset” to “default”, or overtly set to higher resolution, like 1200dpi.


Great point. I’ll have to look at my notes, but I had our ship station soooo customized in FF print preferences wise, I was messing with code in FF. This was Win 7 and it did work great

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Finally got it working! (after a couple of days of not trying).
I tried the driver from Zebra as suggested; that was even worse.

Went back to Seagull, and this time, rather than changing settings as I was printing, I went in to the driver and created a new profile with the correct settings (4x6, no dithering), and unlike previous attempts, the settings stuck! I’m pretty sure that in the old version, I was able to change when printing; might be a Windows11 thing, or who knows. Anyway, it’s working, and hopefully anyone else with the same problem can get if fixed faster than I did (printing with the laser printer and taping to the package works, but sure is a pain).


How do I go to the driver and create a new profile? I’ve created the presets I want but it always goes to the default which is not what I want, I have to manually change preset.

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How do I go to the driver and create a new profile

For Win 11:

Start button → In top search box, type “printers”

Select “Printers and Scanners” from the list that appears below

Click on the Zebra Printer in the list of printers

Click on “Printing Preferences”

THIS is where you can customize and save actual settings

Here is my driver info