PRN files are raw print files which are created as the result of choosing the print to file option as opposed to printing directly to a printer. By using a PRN file you can choose to print the document at a later time. PRN files are convenient when you are working on a PC which is not connected to a printer. By changing the document over to a PRN file you can also copy the file to another PC and then print the file from there.
The content in a PRN file contains the exact same information which was used to create the original document in addition to descriptions of the page setup, spacing to be used and number of pages to be printed. The descriptions serve as instructions for the printer as to how it should print the document from the PRN file.
How to Open PRN Files
PRN files can be opened using a text editor such as Notepad or WordPad. If you want to open and view the contents in Windows, you can right click on the PRN file you want to view and then choose Open With from the drop-down menu. Choose the text editor from the list or if it is not in the list, click on Browse to locate it.
When viewing PRN files, keep in mind that in addition to viewing the text contents of the PRN file you will also see the code that serves as instructions for the printer. The reason this is significant is the codes which are displayed in the PRN file contents are specific codes which pertain to the printer selected in the dialog box when the PRN file was created.
If you are opening the PRN file for printing, the printer which was selected during the file creation must be the same printer that is used to print the document. Additionally, the printer, which you are printing to, should also be set as a default one in the printing configuration. It is also necessary for the printer to be connected directly to a port on your PC as opposed to a USB port.
There are two main file formats for PRN files which include PostScript and PCL. PostScript is typically used for high volume printing devices and typesetting in addition to a variety of medium-sized printing equipment. PostScript is a programming language which is used to add flexibility to the printing process associated with PRN files that contain the PostScript format.
PCL stands for Printer Command Language which was established for use with laser printers. PCL is a straightforward format when compared to PostScript, plus it offers improved function and better performance. PRN files which contain the PCL format are supported on almost all laser printers as long as the printers are designated in the dialog box during the creation of PRN files.