I got a PRN file but I would to convert to PDF so that it will be easier for other people to access. How do I do that?


7 Answers 7


Typically, .prn is the suggested file extension on Windows when you use the "print to file" option in any program that can print its content. Which printer driver is used to generate the .prn file depends on the printer you selected when printing (or on your default printer).

Typically, the real content behind that .prn extension may therefore vary as wildly as there are printer driver types available: PostScript (Levels 1, 2, 3), PCL (half a dozen types), ESC/P, ESC/P2, HP/GL, Prescribe, RPCS,.... you name it.

If your *.prn really is a PostScript, you can easily convert it with Ghostscript (or Acrobat Distiller) to PDF.

If your *.prn really is a PCL, you can also convert it, using another program from out of the Ghostscript stable, named GhostPCL.

Here are two example commandlines:

gswin32c.exe ^
    -dBATCH ^
    -dNOPAUSE ^
    -sDEVICE=pdfwrite ^
    -sOutputFile=output.pdf ^
    [...more Ghostscript CLI options as needed...] ^

pspcl6.exe ^
    -dBATCH ^
    -dNOPAUSE ^
    -sDEVICE=pdfwrite ^
    -sOutputFile=output.pdf ^
    [...more Ghostscript CLI options as needed...] ^

For downloading GhostPCL, see here: https://www.ghostscript.com/download/gpcldnld.html.

  • And if the prn is ESC/P ?
    – Sandburg
    Oct 30, 2019 at 16:13
  • @Sandburg: Then I do not know any solution... Oct 30, 2019 at 17:35

If you can print the file on Windows, you can install PDF printer driver such as CutePDF, which generates a PDF for you.


A PRN file, which is short for printer, is being generated by a postscript printer. now, in order to convert it to pdf, you need to install first a postscript printer (has PS in its name so you would know). Print the doc by selecting 'print to file'. After that, you'll need a pdf conversion utility. Adobe Acrobat will do by simply selecting "Create PDF" and locate your .ps file to change it to PDF format.

If you have other issues with this file, you may check this article on file extension prn for further guidance.


Typically PRN files are PostScript, but that is not always the case.

Two links for PostScript reference,


(1) Use GhostScript and its helpers, see http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/. Or (2) rename the .prn to .ps and use CreatePDF.adobe.com to convert to PDF for free (up to three tries).


In dialogue box which appears when we choose to print, choose "save as pdf" in Destination menu. In simple steps: 1.In the dialogue box,Click on Destination. this is the dialogue that appears when we choose to print 2.choose save as pdf in the box that appears and exit this box. this is the box that appears when we click on destination 3.click save in dialogue box

  • Welcome to Super User! Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question.
    – DavidPostill
    May 21, 2016 at 10:28

Actually .PRN file may be of different type depending on what printer it's generated for (one may use file command to see the details in Linux environment). To ensure that it's a postscript file, select 'Metafile to EPS converter' or something like as a printer when you 'Print' your .PRN file from a Windows application. Then, use ps2pdf to produce a .PDF.

#check the type
file infile.prn
  infile.prn: PostScript document text conforming DSC level 3.0, Level 1

ps2pdf infile.prn outfile.pdf

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