Printing to a File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 11, 2018)

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:

  1. Choose Print from the File menu. You will see the Print dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

  3. Make sure you select to print using the same printer on which your file will eventually be printed.
  4. In the Range box, specify what you want to print.
  5. Click on the Print to File check box. A check in the box means the output will be sent to a file.
  6. Click on OK. You will be asked to provide a filename for the output.
  7. Enter a filename, including a path if desired.
  8. Click on OK.

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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Making Common Functions Available to Others

When you use macros to create functions, you might want to share those functions with others, particularly if they ...

Discover More

Limiting which File Types You See in Drive

Overwhelmed with the number of files displayed on your screen when using Drive? Here's a handy way you can limit what is ...

Discover More

Moving Text without Affecting the Clipboard

Want a quick and easy way to move text (or other document elements) from one place to another in your document? Check out ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Printing Reversed Images

Ever need to print the mirror image of your document? This tip explains how to reverse your image so it can be used for ...

Discover More

Upside-Down Text with PostScript

Got a printer that understands PostScript? You can use some simple PostScript coding to turn text completely upside down ...

Discover More

Printing Show/Hide Characters

Non-printing characters are very handy to view when editing a document. But what if you want those characters to no ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.