I'm using a VBA script to compare a bunch of files (two versions of a large XML document with multiple data modules). I'm dumping the contents into Word files and using tracked changes. Since there are a lot of documents, and some of the changes are minor, I also want to generate a file with the summary of changes. I'm using the following VBA code to print out each file:

docCombined.PrintOut OutputFileName:=TodaysPath & "\" & IETMDMC & "_change_summary.docx", PrintToFile:=True, Item:=wdPrintComments

I initially used .docx, and got an unreadable file. No luck with .doc, .pdf, or .xps either, and the description of the method on Microsoft's Dev Center (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/ff840681.aspx) has no info.

So, what file extension should I be using here?

  • When printout is used, the output file is probably in PostScript format. Nov 7, 2016 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


If you don't specify a file name (omit OutputFileName), Office will present a popup asking you for the name you which to save it as. The suggested extension is .prn ("Printer Files").

Now, the actual format of that PRN file varies, depending on the format being used by the driver of printer currently set as "Default" in Windows.

So if you're using a PCL driver, it'll be in PCL format, if you're using a PostScript driver, it will be in PostScript format, if you use a Generic Text driver, it will be in plain-text, etc.

You can use file utility in Linux, or an on-line tool to identify the actual format being created.

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