Solved How to view PRN files (Print files) - Answer

June 23, 2011 at 08:37:34
Specs: Windows XP
If like me you've spent the whole morning trying to figure out how to convert your .prn files to another format that is easily viewable and unlike me you've had no success, I'd like to point you to post:

Unfortunately too many people have answered/replied and it's not easy to find the right solution for you. (I also tried to reply to that post, but the website re-directed me to open a new one)

Answer #23 is the best in there.

Although I wouldn't download the fax demo version that puts DEMO on every page.

Steps to diagnose:
1. Go to, click on the "download trial software" link and enter some details on the form which will take you to the download links.
2. Download the first option PCL to PDF converter
3. Install it and run it.
4. Click Open and select one of your .prn files.
5. The application will attempt to automatically convert to .pdf.
If all went well, there is a .pdf file in the same directory as your .prn file with the same name as the file you selected.

If not, maybe the file format is not PCL, maybe it is postscript.

6. Try opening the file and when you get a list of programs, select Acrobat Reader, but make sure you untick the "Always use this program" checkbox.
7. If it opens, job done!
8. You can keep using Acrobat to open those files or save as .pdf

If not:

9. Go to the ghostscript website
10. Download and install GhostScript and GSView (in that order)
11. Make a copy of a .prn file and change the extension to .ps
12. Use GSView to open the file.
13. If it opens, job done! Again you can print or save as .pdf.

By this point I'd expect you've opened and converted your file, actually for most people steps 1 to 5 should work.

If you just want to print the damn thing and are not bothered about converting it to another format so you can view it on your screen, try PrnPrint by Russell Wright:

Good luck everyone!

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June 23, 2011 at 13:29:44
I would have installed a printer.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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June 23, 2011 at 16:34:21
✔ Best Answer
The reason the website suggested a new post is because that one was dated 1999 and has long since been locked for further responses.

Please do not post then vanish - let us know the outcome

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June 24, 2011 at 07:22:22
Jefro, that does nothing at all! You obviously already have a printer installed, which is how you generated the .prn file in the first place! If you want to open the file and view the contents, you can install thousands of printers and it's still not going to help you!

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September 6, 2011 at 13:46:18
Thank you SO much for not only doing the legwork, but taking the time to share it with us other poor schmucks. Thanks to you, I only blew about 30 minutes, not the whole morning. :-)

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