.PRN File Extension

Page Layout File

Data File
The PRN file format is used for storing printer instructions and printing documents without using any additional applications. Controls contained in PRN files include paper size, document content, page layout, paper tray number, etc. PRN files are created and read by the printer driver. Actually, this is the main purpose of the driver, to transform the generic output from applications such as WordPad or Excel into commands that the printer can understand and use.

Although printing is usually done through the application used to create the document, using PRN files directly can sometimes be extremely useful. The printer driver is able to interpret all the data contained in a PRN file without the help of another application. This enables users to print any type of document without having to install an application that can open the document first.

Creating a PRN file is a simple process. Almost all applications feature a "Print to file" option when opening the normal print dialog. To print to a PRN file, this option needs to be selected.

How to open PRN files

Because PRN files are meant to be read directly by the printer, viewing their content can sometimes be difficult. All PRN files can be opened using a simple text editor like Notepad or TextEdit but only some will display readable content.

If the PRN file was created using a PostScript printer driver then it can be opened with a PostScript viewer like GSView.

PRN files can also be opened using WYSIWYP (what you see is what you print) applications such as FormView and SwiftView.

Other .PRN file extensions
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