MS Word Doc to PRN Conversion

Part of my work as a sysadmin is to rotate in on “primary” support for our helpdesk. Which means a lot of end-user windows questions.

I’m not really that good with windows. A pretty good user, but I am a pretty good researcher too (which really makes me wonder how I survived as a sysadmin before search engines!!)

Anyway, got this request in:

Do you have by any chance Word 2000 version? We need it to create *.prn files.

I have to chuckle a bit at first because…come on…

when you see the letters “prn” what do you think of?

hehhheh heh hehehhe heheheh heh he heh

I am reminded of this

Take a look at this paragraph. Can you read what it says? All the letters have been jumbled (mixed). Only the first and last letter of ecah word is in the right place:

I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.

Using the incredible power of the human mind, according to research at Cambridge University, it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place. The rest can be total mess and you can still read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole. Amazing, huh? Yeah and I always thought spelling was important! See if your friends can read this too.

Anyhow, back to the question at hand about converting doc to prn files (giggle)

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Turns out in modern day MS Office (Word 2003-2007) you can do this, it’s just a bit tricky, especially if you don’t know what a .prn file is

File -> Print -> check the “Print To File” box

It doesn’t matter which printer you actually pick, because clicking on “Okay” to the next screen will open the dialog box and ask you for filename and location to save your .prn file.

doc to prn conversion part 1

doc to prn conversion part 2



2 thoughts on “MS Word Doc to PRN Conversion

  1. Is there a way to convert from .doc to .prn and maintain the formatting, i.e. header, mine is the page number and line numbers? It works in Word 2002 but not in the newer versions, and Word 2002 will not run on Windows 7 as far as I know. Thanks

    • Hey TGspring – sorry, I actually don’t know how to open up the .prn file. (The user didn’t ask that, only to create one!). I’ll see if I can play around with word and see how I can open up my .prn file to check what formatting is lost.

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