Open PRN File

This article will cover information to open PRN File on Windows, Mac, and Android. Finding a PRN file on your device can throw you off a little bit if you don’t know how it got there nor how to access its contents.

This type of file is unique and one can convert to different file formats and open with applications you probably already have on your device.

At the end of this article, you will have no problem opening PRN files on any kind of device you have, you will understand how it is created and you will be able to convert the file as suits you.


What is PRN File Extension

PRN file extension is attached to files that are automatically created when a printing prompt is given on a device. This file contains the data to be printed as well as all the precepts and settings for the printing action.

Because the file creation for PRN extension is automatic rather than manual, it is not uncommon to find people that do not know how the file came about and how to open it.

How to Open PRN File
There are several actions you can take on a .prn file. They include editing the file and printing it. Since it contains saved printing settings as codes that are not easily understood, most people only like to preview the contents and edit the data to be printed.

Open PRN File

One of the upsides of this file type is that you do not have to look for another device with a different operating system before you can open your file. You can open PRN files on your android, windows or your Mac devices by following below steps.

How to Open PRN File on Windows and Mac

Your PRN file will not open on your windows device by simply double-clicking on it, you will need to use particular applications and methods to open your file.

Method 1 – Use a Supporting App

You can open a PRN file with applications that support this kind of file. Some of these are; Coreldraw, Microsoft office document imaging, Adobe reader, Microsoft Notepad, etc. If you have any of these installed then this is what you need to do

  • Locate the File – Search through your file explorer to locate the PRN file.
  • Right-click on the file and choose the option to ‘Open With’.
  • You will get a pop-up of the different applications you have on your device. Select any application that supports this file type and click ‘Open’ which is located at the bottom right of the pop-up window.

Method 2: Convert it to an XPS file

An XPS file is supported by a wide range of applications on your device. Therefore, if you have problems opening your file with the above method, consider converting the file to an XPS file that can then be opened with several programs.

Right-click on the File – Locate the file in your device and right-click on the icon.

Change the Extension name – From the available options, select the option to rename your file. This will highlight the file name and extension, ready to be edited. Only change .PRN to .XPS. (You can change the file name as well but that is inconsequential to your opening the file).

Save – After editing the name, clicking on anywhere outside the dialogue box saves automatically. You can also save by clicking the ‘Enter’ button, and Mac book users can click on ‘Return’ which is located at the bottom right of the dialogue box.

Open – Now your file is an XPS file that can be easily opened by supporting apps.

Note that in most cases, you can open PRN files with a generic text-reader, so method 1 should be sufficient. If you are unsure of the contents or you suspect that the file might contain images, you can also use the other supporting programs listed in Method 1.

How to Open PRN Files on Android

With a file viewer app (Like File Viewer For Android), you should be able to open a PRN file on your Android device.

Please Note: Be careful about editing PRN files as they contain printing settings as codes. Altering these settings can result in a printing error when you later decide to get it printed.

How to Convert PRN File

Converting a PRN file involves changing the extension name to the one you want. Which could be an XPS file for example. However, if you want to convert your file to a PDF file, you will need to take it a step further than just altering the file extension. The steps listed below will help you successfully convert your PRN file to a PDF file.

Locate the file from your File Explorer – You should already know where your PRN file is located but if you are just creating your PRN file, make sure to save it in a location you would remember.

You can always search for your file from your ‘Search’ tab in file explorer or by searching through your start bar. All you need is to know the name of the file or search with the ‘. PRN’ extension.

Rename File Name – Haven found the PRN file; you need to choose the option to rename the file. To do this, right-click on the file’s icon in its location and select the option ‘Rename’ from the pop-up.

This will make the current name of the file highlighted blue, from here you need to change the name of the extension. If you are converting to a pdf file format, change the .PRN extension to ‘.ps’. afterward, you can save the file.

At this point, you can decide to convert your file to other formats. The .ps extension is only necessary when you are trying to make it a pdf.

Open Adobe Acrobat and Create PDF – Adobe Acrobat is a popular app to convert files to PDF formats. Search your search tab and open it by double-clicking on the app icon.

Create PDF – With Adobe Acrobat open, go to the File tab at the upper left of the user interface. Click on the File tab to reveal a drop-down menu from which you should select ‘create PDF’. You will see a prompt asking create PDF, select ‘from file’ which will open a file explore window.

Browse for your File – Now, you need to locate the .ps file you had saved earlier. By default, your documents will be opened here, so if your file is not saved there, you need to go to the location and select the file. Click on ‘open’ which will be a tab at the lower right corner of the windows’file explorer window.

Save PDF file – By opening the file in the step above, your .ps file automatically becomes a pdf file, so all that is left is to save your new file. Click on the ‘Save As’ tab located at the menu bar and name it and save it.

Using an Online File Converter

There is always the option of using an online file converter to convert your PRN files. Online converters are usually self-explanatory, easy to use and accessible by anyone with an internet connection.

However, take note of the kind of data contained in the PRN file to know what kind of format you should be converting your file to. The process for using online converters usually goes this way:

Step 1 – You need to go to the webpage of the file converter in your browser. There are many file converters available, you just need to ensure that you are using one that you trust ( is such one).

Step 2 – Choose the File to Upload – There will be a tab with the label ‘Choose file’, ‘Browse file’, or something similar. Click on it to open a file explorer window from which you can select the PRN file you want to convert. After selecting the file, you need to wait while the file uploads to the page.

Step 3 – Choose Destination File type – There will be a tab to select the file type, this is where you choose what format you want your new file to be in.

Step 4 – Convert – Click on ‘Convert’ and wait while it loads. This shouldn’t take long (it depends on the size of your file and your network strength).

Step 5 – Save the newly converted file.


1. How do I print a PRN file?

To print with a default printer, go to your command prompt and enter the code below. Assuming you want to print a file named ‘canvas’ located in your C drive, enter this command – ‘COPY C:CANVAS.PRN /B PRN’.

2. How do I open a PRN file with CorelDraw?

If you are opening a text file on CorelDraw, you can go through the long process of using ‘open with’. However, if you suspect that it is an image file and you are interested in the positioning of the image data. You can open a new canvas on CorelDraw and drag and drop your file on the canvas

3. Can I preview a PRN file with Notepad before Printing?

Even though you should be able to open your file with Notepad, you will not get an accurate preview of your file on this program because of the printer codes which will appear as jargon.


Handling a PRN is not difficult, and in most cases, there are hardly any changes that you will want to make to this file. Detailed steps above will direct you on how to open your file. After that, you can edit the data or reset the printing details. Ensure that if you are only editing, you do not tamper with the print settings which will appear as codes

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