Chapter 12 - How to print a PRN file, a PDF, PCL or PostScript file

Today, everybody knows what's a PDF file: the Portable Document Format invented by Adobe to make the document independent by the destination printer.

For PRN file instead, we mean a file created by the Print to file option of a Windows program, or, at the time of DOS PRN was usually a file created with specific instructions for a specific printer model.

Even the Windows functionality creates a file containing a graphical print job, specifically designed to be printed with the same printer originally selected when creating the file itself.

There are only a few exceptions to this rule, if the printer driver originally selected was for a printer supporting a standard graphical language like HP-PCL or PostScript.

For example, if you did select a HP-PCL printer driver when creating the PRN file, then that file can be printed to any HP-PCL capable printer, even if the printer is not exactly the same model selected when creating the file.

The same applies if you created the file by selecting a PostScript printer driver, but normally a PRN file containing PostScript data cannot be printed with an PCL capable printer, and a PRN file containing PCL data cannot be printed with a PostScript capable printer.

If instead you selected a GDI (also known as Windows-Only) printer when creating the PRN file, then that file can be correctly printed only by that very same physical printer later on.

Printing a PRN file with Printfil is very easy. You just have to drag and drop the PRN file over the Printfil's icon on the desktop, then you'll choose the destination printer and Printfil will send the file there. That's all.

Video: Easily print PCL, PS, PDF & PRN files

If Printfil detects HP-PCL printer control codes in the PRN file, it asks if you want to send it directly to a PCL capable printer or to another kind of printer. In the last case, Printfil uses the PCL graphics printing engine to convert the PCL file and send it to any Windows printer, even if it doesn't support the PCL language (this feature requires GhostPCL installed on the PC).

Even if PostScript commands are detected in the PRN file, it can be sent to any Windows printer, as above, via the PS graphics printing engine (and GhostScript).

"Drag and drop" is possible even with PDF files. Even in this case, you can use any printer installed in the Windows Control Panel, even if it doesn't support Direct PDF Printing natively. It's sufficient having GhostScript installed on the PC.

If you did choose to "associate PRN files with Printfil" when requested during the Printfil installation, then a simple double-click on the PRN file is sufficient to print it.

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