PRN to PDF Conversion

A PRN (printer) file is a file that is generated by a PostScript printer by default. When you create a document and "print to file," you are asked to save the file as a PRN. The PRN stores your document data. It is easy to convert a PRN file into a PDF file—there are just a few basic steps to execute.

dun cat - printer
You can convert a PRN file to a PDF.
credit: dun cat - printer image by Maria Brzostowska from <a href=''></a>

Print the File

Once you have finished creating your document in your word processing, spreadsheet or other program, print the file to your PostScript printer. This will create the PRN file. Be sure to go to "Properties" on the printer menu to assure that the settings meet your needs. For instance, if you want the printer file to print as a landscape document instead of portrait, this option will be located under "Properties."

Windows Explorer

There isn't much you can do with a PRN file, so it needs to be changed to another format before you attempt to convert it to a PDF. There is an easy way to do this without the need for additional software. After you print the document to a PRN file, open Windows Explorer. Navigate to where you saved the file. The file should be listed with both the name and PRN extension. Right-click the file and select "Rename." Delete the PRN extension name and replace it with ".ps" (stands for PostScript file). Then, click outside the file to save it with the new extension.


Now that you have a PS PostScript file, you have many different options for turning it into a PDF. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you can simply select "Create PDF" and find your PS file to change it to PDF format. You can also go online to Adobe's website and convert the file to PDF for free for the initial conversion. If you have the older Adobe Distiller standalone program on your computer, which specifically accepts PS files, you can convert the PS file to PDF format. Just click "File" then "Open," find the PS file where you saved it and then choose a new name for it to be changed to PDF format.