Printing a .PRN file - Comments Page 1

Category: Windows

(Read the article: Printing a .PRN file)

All Comments on: "Printing a .PRN file"

Comment Page: 1 |  2  |  3  |  4 

Posted by:

20 Jul 2005

Bob: As a long-time TOURBUS rider, I'm surprised that you didn't mention a great freeware solution to this problem: The Primo PDF printer. The software installs just like a printer driver, so there is no "external" program to run. Instead of printing to a "regular" printer, you select the PRIMO PDF printer in the Printer Dialog box. Click the radio button for "For Print" in the Output Setting box, and then click the BROWSE button to tell PRIMO where you want your file saved. Name the file in the dialog box that pops up, and click OK. Click OK again on the PRIMO interface, and the next thing you know, you have a .pdf! It works great, and it is always one of the first programs that I install on my laptop.

The other little quick and dirty printer trick that I use is an oldie, but a goodie that is a "leftover" from Win9x. It will only generate text files, but sometimes that's all you need. First you need to install the "Generic (text only)" printer driver. Navigate to Control Panel, and open Printers. Select "add a printer", and if Windows tries to find the (non-existent) hardware, just wait it out. Then, you want to create a Local Printer, and you want to selet FILE: (print to file) for the port. In the Manufacturers column, select GENERIC, and then on the PRINTERS side (the right side column) pick "Generic/Text only". Finish up by naming the printer something snappy, and easy to remember, like "Generic/Text only" and then give it a try.

Hope these are helpful to someone!

Sarah :)

Posted by:

Paul Hansknecht
18 Aug 2005

Bob, there is a MUCH easier way! Before you leave the office (or anytime before you actually start printing) simply take the printer offline. You can then print to your heart's content and the print jobs will simply accumulate in the printer's queue. When you get back to the office and have the printer connected and ready, put the printer back online and your jobs will start printing!

In Win XP, right click on the printer object and select "Use Printer Offline" and "Use Printer Online" to accomplish this.


Posted by:

Bob Rankin
18 Aug 2005

Thanks, Paul. That's a much better solution if you're simply away from home or office for a short while. But if you need to send that PRN file to someone else for printing, you'll have to use the (unfortunately) more tedious method I outlined.

Posted by:

Patrick T
26 Oct 2005

Thanks, for your tech notes on printing a PRN file! Yours were the only notes I found that covered all aspects including the technique of copying to a shared printer and how to name it. Again, thanks!

Posted by:

28 Oct 2005

Thats great but what i want to do is

Take an existing word doc and route it to the print to file printer and have it print to a given location without the user being asked, currently their shown the common diaog box to choose the location and name of file to print out.

Are there any printer commands to do this and also strip out any leading spaces, Word seems to leave in leading spaces no matter what i do?

Posted by:

10 Nov 2005

If you have a frequent need for sending print files to a printer another solution is FRP from Frogmore Computer Services -
The program costs $25 (free 30 day trial) and works great. It allows copying files to both local and network printers.

Posted by:

11 Nov 2005

i have a prn file and need to convert it to a doc WORD file - can this be done ??


Posted by:

23 Nov 2005

I want to print PRN to networked printers. How does this work? I have an IP for the printers but???

Posted by:

24 Nov 2005

I had the same problem and tried Bob's "COPY /B TMP.PRN \\Zippity\Doodah" command. It worked fine, the only problem is that you have to "unshare" your network printer after the job.

Posted by:

P. J.
08 May 2006

Thanks for this great information! I looked in my computer Win XP help files, in my printer help files and everywhere on the Internet. Yours was the only solution I found that actually works! I'm a happyhappygirl.

Posted by:

01 Jun 2006

i've found a tool that can do this task with a gui, where you select the .prn/.ps file and select a printer. I downloaded that tool on it is called "rawprint.exe" ... looks a bit old fashioned but worked for me. only to make it run I needed the "mfc30.dll" which I downloaded from and copied the extracted file into the folder where I installed rawprint (defaults to "c:/WCAD/RAWPRINT") I hope that helps and have fun printing

Posted by:

06 Aug 2006

Well, this seemed to get me pretty close, and I hope I'm just missing something obvious. Our printer died recently, so between then and getting our new one, we ended up with several .prn files waiting to be printed. The new printer is connected by USB, and when I follow your USB instructions, I get a response from the printer, as if it's processing data, but then nothing. The printer queue shows it as "Printing" until the "size" field shows the file was transferred completely, and then it disappears as if the job is completed.

Any ideas on what's going on? I'd think maybe the file was corrupt, but this is happening on every .prn file I try so far.

Posted by:

08 Aug 2006

prn files are in postscript format and you can view them in ghostscript which you can download for free and printing using this is a much easier method....also to print to a network printer it is best to use the lpr command in DOS command prompt-> lpr -S IPADDRESS -P default filename.prn

Posted by:

Brian Parsons
05 Sep 2006

Bob, thank you for this tip which solved my problem when I completely forgot how to do it.

Posted by:

13 Sep 2006

Mike, PRN files are raw data files designed for specific printers. The PRN file for one printer will NOT work on a different printer, unless they both happen to be using some universal standard format (think PostScript)

Posted by:

28 Sep 2006

i've a prn that need to be printed on a dot matrix printer. Your ideas on this was great but the problem is, i can't get the format right to be exactly the same as the prn file that i'm trying to print. Any solution?

Posted by:

17 Oct 2006

I have a plotter with usb port and i want to send a prn file to plotter in window xp how to ?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Typically plotters have their own set of codes that instruct them what to do, distinct from the language that printers understand. So I doubt if this will work. But you could try... follow the instructions in the article for sending the PRN file to a USB printer.

Posted by:

18 Oct 2006

I can confirm that "COPY /B TMP.PRN \\computer_name\printer_share_name" also works for a network printer... I needed to bring a PRN file from home (my printer is not working) and print it at work.

If your network printer name has spaces in it, just leave them out and it works

Posted by:

06 Nov 2006

Thanks a million.

Posted by:

17 Nov 2006

Okay, I did an order over the internet at school. Since they charge you like .10c a sheet and you have to have an account to print, I just saved it to my thumb drive as an .prn file Now that I am at home I have run the and it starts printing, and printing, and printing... When I pick up the sheaf of papers they are all blank except for a single hieroglyphic character on each sheet. What now?

EDITOR'S NOTE: The correct format of the command is "COPY /B TMP.PRN LPT1:" -- note the position of the /B there is important. And I'm pretty sure that you must print to the same type of printer that created the PRN file.

Comment Page: 1 |  2  |  3  |  4 

Read the article that everyone's commenting on.

To post a comment on "Printing a .PRN file"
please return to that article.

Send this article to a friend. Jump to the Comments section. Buy Bob a Snickers. Or check out other articles in this category:

Need More Help? Try the AskBobRankin Updates Newsletter. It's Free!

Prev Article:
Vista ReadyBoost
Send this article to a friend
The Top Twenty
Next Article:
Online Health Records

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML