How To forum

Question

How can I view a prn file?

by Go Sox / September 30, 2011 11:19 PM PDT

Some articles online are not easy to save to disk, but they are printable. Go figure. Once I have "printed" an article to a prn file, how do I look at it again? I really don't want to print it. Is there something like Adobe reader that will let me simply VIEW a prn file?

Thank you for any assistance!

And, yes, it was a rough RedSox season; and, no, it is not a good thing to lose Francona. Just sayin'....

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How can I view a prn file?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How can I view a prn file?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Answer
What I do
by volvogirl / October 1, 2011 4:00 AM PDT

is select/highlight what I want and then copy it (right click or ctrl+C)and paste it in a Word document or notepad, etc.

Collapse -
Answer
Re: prn file.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 1, 2011 7:20 AM PDT

Prn files date back to the days of MS-DOS 1.0, and they might have had some use then. It's the byte stream sent to a printer, but then redirected a diskfile. So the exact contents is totally dependent of make, model and 'language' of the printer. I know no printer that comes with software that emulates the firmware in the printer (that makes nice printed pages of that byte stream) to make equally nice screens on a PC.

I think that 99% of the current computer users don't know what to do with such a file (you're certainly not the only one). It's quite simple: you type the ms-dos command copy xxx.prn lpt1: and the file is sent to the printer and printer prints the contents.
I don't know if this works in the command processor of Windows 7 to copy that same file to a USB-printer, a networked printer or a wireless printer, but I'm afraid that won't work. But the printer is connected to a parallel port this should be the way to get the contents on paper.

The two main uses of such a file used to be:
1. You could easily print multiple copies of a file by repeatedly issuing the copy command.
2. You only needed the right printer driver on a PC to print to a file, then copied the file to diskette and could print it on another PC that had that printer, but not the software you used to print the original file.

Nowadays things are totally different. We print to a pdf-printer, which makes a pdf-file which we can view and print in any pdf-reader. All we need to be able to do that is to install such a pdf-printer. A common and good and free one is cutepdf from http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp
If you install it it will make a new (virtual) printer on your PC and if you choose that printer (in stead of your standard printer) it will ask for a filename for the pdf it makes. That's very easy to use.
Carefully read the instructions about installing both cutepdf itself and the (open source) ghostscript.

Kees

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 47,885 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,322 discussions
icon
iPhones, iPods, & iPads 3,188 discussions
icon
Security 30,333 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,177 discussions
icon
HDTV Picture Setting 1,932 discussions
icon
Phones 15,713 discussions
icon
Windows 7 6,210 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,510 discussions

Big stars on small screens

Smosh tells CNET what it took to make it big online

Internet sensations Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla discuss how YouTube has changed and why among all their goals, "real TV" isn't an ambition.