Printing to a File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 27, 2014)

2

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

Deleting a Hyperlink

Hyperlinks can be helpful in some worksheets but bothersome in others. Here's how to get rid of any hyperlinks you don't ...

Discover More

Setting the Return Address Used in Word

When you create envelopes with Word, it normally displays a return address by default. If you can't get Word to retain ...

Discover More

Counting Lists

Word makes it easy to add both numbered lists and bulleted lists to your document. If you are working with longer ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Selecting Printing of Color Pictures

Do you want to control whether color pictures in your document are printed or not? It's not quite as easy as it may ...

Discover More

Previewing Before You Print

Print Preview is a feature built into Word that allows you to see what your printed output will look like before you ...

Discover More

Printing Close to the Edge

Word allows you to specify all sorts of paper sizes and margins for your documents. If your margins result in trying to ...

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 eight more than 8?

2017-06-16 12:48:55

Kelly Adams

Now I get it! I couldn't really understand what prn files actually are. I read about them here: http://www.coreldraw.com/en/pages/prn-file/ a bit but I couldn't understand how a file that gives orders to printer actually works, and now I finally do! Even doe your article had nothing to do with what prn files are, it actually helped me understand a lot!


2015-09-26 12:50:10

Paul

Thanks a lot. Congratulations!


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.