What is a PRN File?
PRN is a file intended for interpretation by the printer. This file is sent to a particular printer to give it several instructions that include the items to print, which part of the page these items are to be printed, and which paper tray to get the paper for printing. Through this file, a printer will know what paper size to use and how the layout of the items should look like when finally printed.
PRN files are generated by a particular printer driver. In fact, it is the printer driver’s job to translate any input from a particular program and send it to the printer for it to interpret and understand. Like for example when a user decides to print a document from Microsoft Word or an image from Adobe Photoshop, the specific program will create an output file that will be processed by the printer driver. The printer driver will then translate the output file from the particular software or application that initiated the printing process. The translated instruction will now become the PRN file and only through this file will a particular printer be able to print what is intended. If a particular computer has an installed printing device but with no printer driver included, printing may not be allowed. Or if any printing occurs, it might not come out the way it was specified and intended to. This is because most computers try to find other alternative printer drivers when confronted with a printing task. If the alternative printer driver is compatible with the installed printer, then the resulting printout may be of good quality. Otherwise, printing may be unsuccessful.
PRN files have two main formats. One such format is called PostScript and this is developed by Adobe as a page description type of language. The other format is PCL or Printer Command Language and this one is developed by HP.