Instead of printing a document directly to a printer, you can print it to a printer file and then send that file to a printer. This can be useful if you are working with a service provider who doesn't have the same fonts, or if you are working on a computer that is not connected to a printer.
Both PostScript and non-PostScript printer drivers let you specify whether a document will print to a printer or to a file. Many printer drivers save printer files with a PRN filename extension. Note that you can only download a file saved with a PostScript printer driver to a PostScript printer. Likewise, only a non-PostScript printer will recognize a printer file saved with a non-PostScript printer driver.
The commands you use to send a printer file to a local printer or a network printer are the same. However, to send a printer file to a network printer, you must first capture the port.
Sending a Printer File to a Local Printer
To send a PostScript file or a non-PostScript printer file to a local printer (e.g., LPT1:):
1. Choose Start > Programs > MS-DOS Prompt (Windows 95 or Windows 98) or Start > Programs > Command Prompt (Windows NT or Windows 2000).
2. At the prompt, enter one of the following commands:
- To send a PostScript file:
COPY PATH\FILENAME.PS PORT:
For example, if you want to print Myfile.ps, stored in the C:\Windows\Programs folder, enter
COPY C:\Windows\Programs\Myfile.ps LPT1
- To send a PCL printer file:
COPY /b PATH\FILENAME.PRN PORT:
For example, if you want to print Myfile.prn, stored in the C:\Windows\Programs folder, enter
COPY /b C:\Windows\Programs\Myfile.prn LPT1
Sending a Printer File to a Network Printer (Windows 95 and Windows 98 only)
To send a PostScript file or a non-PostScript printer file to a network printer, capture the network printer as a port device, and then copy the file to that port as a local printer. In some network configurations, capturing a network printer makes the printer unavailable to other users. Contact your network administrator before performing these steps.
1. Choose Start > Settings > Printers.
2. Select the network printer and choose File > Properties.
3. Click on the Capture Settings tab of the network printer's Properties dialog box.
4. Click Capture Printer Port to specify a port (device) for the printer.
Note: If the printer isn't listed in the Paths pop-up menu, reinstall the network printer, specifying Print from DOS Applications during the installation. You cannot capture a port for a printer that was not installed for DOS applications.
5. Click OK to close each dialog box.
6. Follow the instructions above to send the file to your printer as if it were a local printer, specifying the port you captured.