Printing a .PRN file - Comments Page 2

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Posted by:

13 Dec 2006

There is an easier and graphical way of doing this if you have Office installed on your machine. Go to Programs -> Microsoft Office -> Microsoft Office Tools -> Microsoft Office Document Imaging.

Open that tool up and select Open. Navigate to the directory where your files are and in the File Name field type *.* so the .prn file(s) show up. Select your file and press Open. Now print.

If you're printing off the network it saves you the trouble of figuring out the correct file path you need to type. Course if the printer is hooked up directly to your computer the command prompt is by far the fastest way. But nice to have a graphical way as well.

Posted by:

02 Feb 2007

I had an instance where I produced a 760 page document of patient demographics with their date last seen by the doctor. I could not control this report to only give me those patients seen in 2006. It gave me all patients seen since we started with the software in 1988, 760 pages. I wanted to import the file into Excel, so I could sort the data and get what I wanted, but I could not find instructions or guidelines to do so anywhere on the net. Nor could I find any other instructions, except printing the whole report, on how to get the .prn file into Excel. Can anyone help?

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't think Excel can import a PRN file, since they are not in any kind of standard format. You'll need to use the program you have to filter the data before producing the report, or see if the data can be exported to (or used by) another database program.

Posted by:

bob smith
08 Feb 2007

It's stupid that their isn't an obvious GUI answer to this, but "copy" isn't the right answer either. A simple search on "print to file" in XP help brings up the "lpr" command. That's the real one you want.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The COPY command works every time. LPR is only for network print jobs, not local printers.

Posted by:

bob smith
09 Feb 2007

Sorry.. the copy command doesn't work for sending to the printer at my work. Try as I might, "copy /b \\machineIP\printer file" doesn't work, while "lpr -S machineIP -P printer file" does.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I see... it depends on how your printer queue was added in Windows. When there is a dedicated printserver on a network, you can (must?) tell the Windows "Add Printer" dialog that you're printing to a Local (not a Network) printer, then specify it as a TCP/IP Port. In such cases, the LPR command is required.

Posted by:

14 Feb 2007

Just an FYI. I have a utility that I wrote using WinBatch just for printing .prn files. Thanks to you, I was recently able to update it so that it will also print via an usb port. I can send you, or anyone, a compiled version, along with the source code, if interested. No charge, no warranties or guarantees. It was written for Windows XP. It allows the user to select the file or drag and drop it. It then brings up a list of your printers for selection. Only stipulation is that the printer name cannot contain spaces. Then it prints the file by writing a binary stream to the printer. Thanks again for the usb tip.

Posted by:

05 Mar 2007

Bob: Your solution worked for me when I copied something from the internet into a file, and the file turned out to be a PRN type. Thanks so much.

Posted by:

06 Mar 2007

This works well from a DOS prompt, but I'm trying to do this from within a VB program. I've tried using the Shell command, and also using the File System Objects FileCopy, but I keep getting "File Not Found" referring to the printer (eg \\Zippity\Doodah) Any ideas?

Posted by:

20 Mar 2007

Actually the easiest way to converting these files is rename it to a JPG, and open it with windows jpg and fax viewer. Then click the save button to save it as a real jpg file. and there you have it, a jpg version of your prn file.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Doesn't work for me. No image is displayed in the viewer, and there is no Save button either.

Posted by:

22 Mar 2007

Thanks this worked great!, some info on the net was wrong i.e B in the wrong place etc., but I mangaged to print this on a shared printer on the network.

Posted by:

28 Mar 2007

I had managed to get a printer without a network Queue captured to a port using the share name on my local computer and then printed my file using copy : BUT I was interested in trying the MSOffice Imaging File method.Posted by: Mark on December 13 It would not open my PRN files or PS files which I had created. Maybe my Office suite is too old (2002) but it was not able to read them at all.

On another Note all print PRN files are definitely not postscript PS files as Posted by: dave on August 8. Only if they are sent to a printer using PostScript Drivers which may not even be the default when installing.

I also found when using lpr that I had to use the IP address of the printer not that of the computer at the -S option and that the -P option had to be there but the value could be the share name the printer name or anything I wanted to insert or nothing.

Posted by:

01 Apr 2007

This is a simple solution I found on another website that worked using a local printer: Set up PRN as a new file type under Folder Options | File Types | New, then after highlighting "PRN PRN File" in File Types list, click on "Change" button, then on "Browse" button and select "c:\windows\system32\print.exe". After this was set up I clicked on the "prn" file and it was sent directly to the default printer. OS is Windows XP. I assume this may also work on a network printer but have not tried it

EDITOR'S NOTE: That will work, but only if the default printer is the same as the one that created the PRN file.

Posted by:

prn & .MDI files
16 Apr 2007

On my old laptop I could open a document (lesson) created with a program that puts a big yellow ? (question mark icon) on the text icon (I don't know what application it is) and print to file. I would get an icon that looked like a unique text file with a picture of a scanner on it. That icon said it was an .MDI file which opened with MS Office Imaging application. Now with a new laptop when I save the same file it is called a .prn file and can't open. If I change the extension to .MDI it changes the icon as a .MDI file but won't open. Although I am able to open the old .MDI files I saved from the older laptop. What am I doing wrong or what do I need on this new laptop?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Perhaps at the point of saving the file, you can specify a different file type.

Posted by:

08 May 2007

I wanted to thank you so much for helping me! A good old Google search and here is Bob Rankin to the rescue! Thanks again!

Posted by:

16 May 2007

Regarding the reading of .PRN files. I go into "Explorer" in Windows. I single-click the "filename.prn" to rename it. I place the cursor at the end and backspace three spaces and enter "txt" (without the quotes) and press enter. You can now view it in WordPad or NotePad.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Then it wasn't really a PRN file to begin with. PRN files are not human readable. How was this file created?

Posted by:

09 Jun 2007

Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing relatively simple directions to deal with - yet again - some incredible stupidity by the Evil Empire. I am continually amazed at things like this inside of MS products. As an FYI - these steps ALSO work on Vista.

Posted by:

22 Jun 2007

Thank you so much - your method worked after looking all over the place and finding nothing else. And "print to file" sounds so appealingly straightforward!

Posted by:

02 Jul 2007

Hi, This Article helped me to print my .prn files to network printer. Thanks Bob. :-)

Posted by:

Barry Burns
20 Jul 2007

To anyone looking to print to network printers (JetDirect only: this is any printer listening on tcp/9100): Netcat (The TCP/IP Swiss Army Knife, nc.exe; some virus scanners, notably Norton, will say this is a hacking tool; for this usage, it's harmless, though) can accomplish this. At a command line, after getting netcat: nc printerIpOrHostName 9100 < file.prn

Posted by:

25 Jul 2007

Thanks Bob, I knew there was an option to print to a file, but if someone was to ask me what I could do with a .prn file after words I could not help them. It feels so good to type in commands and have a computer and printer do what you tell it to do. God bless.

Posted by:

10 Aug 2007

Bob, I followed the format for a USB printer and DOS returned the message "The network path was not found. 0 file(s) copied."

pathname>copy /B filename.prn \\computername\printersharename.

Am I missing something subtle? On the Printer Properties tab for ports it shows the printer attached to USB002. I followed the instructions for computer name and printer share name.

EDITOR'S NOTE: There should be no period at the end of the command. Was that a typo?

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