How to Use Print to File

By Louise Balle

When you don't have a printer, or you need to print files to be converted to PDF (or another) format, you need to use the Print to File feature. This feature is available in any program that has a printing option. Instead of selecting your standard printer options, you will either select what is called a Postscript printer from your list or check to see if there is a "Print to File" option on your standard printer.

Using a Postscript Printer

Step 1

Install a postscript printer to your computer. You can download the drivers at Adobe.com. (This step is optional if your current printer has a "Print to File" option---see Section 2.)

Step 2

Go to your document and select the option to "Print." Find the printer that you just downloaded on your drop-down list (should be named "General Postscript," "Adobe Distiller" or similar).

Step 3

Go to "Properties" to change the orientation of the file. Then choose "Advanced" to modify your printing options further. You can change the size and output format here. Close out of "Properties" when you're finished.

Step 4

Click "Print" to print the document to a postscript file. You will be asked to name the file and save it to your hard drive.

Using a Standard Printer

Step 1

Go to your "Print" option and ensure that your standard printer is selected in the drop-down list.

Step 2

Look for a check box toward the right of the print dialog box that says "Print to File." Place a check mark in the box.

Step 3

Go to "Properties" to make alterations to how the printed file will look on screen. You can make it so that it is grayscale instead of full color, landscape versus portrait orientation, and even change the look of the on screen file (high quality versus draft or economy quality). Press okay to save your settings.

Step 4

Click "Print" to print the document to file. Save the file in a location that you will remember.

Tips & Warnings

  • Each file that you print in this manner will be saved as either a PS or PRN file.After printing to file you can use the PS or PRN file to convert into a PDF file. Send your Frint to File document through email as an alternative to sending the original document because it is usually a smaller size. The recipient can then convert it to PDF format.

References & Resources