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Word gives you complete control over how it prints your document. You can either print to a printer or to a file. To print to a file, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Print dialog box.
Once the output has been sent to a file, you (or someone else) can later copy the file to the destination printer from the Windows command line by using the copy command. For instance, let's assume that you created an output file called Report.prn. You could later send this file to the printer connected to your parallel port by using the following command at the command prompt:
copy report.prn lpt1:
This command-line syntax will work fine if your printer driver creates ASCII output. (For instance, if you use a PostScript printer driver.) If you use a different printer driver, the output file may actually contain non-ASCII characters. In this instance, you must issue the command line prompt as follows:
copy report.prn lpt1: /b
The addition of the /b switch causes the file to be sent to the printer in binary format, which is required for some types of output files.
As a side note, if you want to produce a print file that you can later load into a text editor (such as Notepad), then you should make sure you are printing using the generic, text-only printer driver.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (462) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
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