Opening PRN files

Have a problem opening a .PRN file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what PRN files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .PRN file type?

The primary association of the .prn extension belongs to the Microsoft (MS) Windows Print File (PRN) file type. PRN is directly related to the print-to-file feature natively supported in all MS Windows OS'es. PRN is not associated with any single file format, as PRN files are device- and driver-specific.

A .prn file is created by the printer driver if the "Print to file" option is selected in the print dialog window or print settings. Such a PRN file contains a complete set of low-level instructions to the printer that, if followed, would result in a document, image etc. actually being printed. PRN files can be directly sent to compatible printer devices for immediate printing either locally or over a network.

PRN files come in a variety of different formats, both binary and text-based. PostScript (Levels 1, 2, 3), XPS (zipped XML) and HP's PCL in several versions are among the most common PRN formats.

PRN files can be opened/imported by major desktop publishing and graphics design applications, as well as converted to PDF files.

The .prn extension is also conventionally used in association with the Lotus 1-2-3 Text File (PRN) file type. Long discontinued, Lotus 1-2-3 was the first spreadsheet application for the PC platform (DOS). It made use of formatted text files (.prn) that could be directly printed without any additional formatting.

Software to open or convert PRN files

It looks like we do not have any suggestions for programs that can open PRN files. We receive hundreds of suggestions from our users every day, so suggestions for .PRN may become available quite soon.

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