To save time, I printed canceled check images (from BofA online) “to file”.
However, I have been unable to open and print the images from these files
*.prn. None of the listed programs (Menu of to Open With list) to open these
files work. Word show a bunch of pages of “text gibberish”. What program will
open these files? I am running Windows Vista 64 Home and Office 2007. My
printer is a Canon iP 1600.
Don’t use print to file.
I’ll be honest and say that saving as .prn was probably a bad idea. I’ll
explain why in a moment.
If you have the same printer as you did when you printed to .prn there’s a
possibility you can print them. I’ll show you what to try.
Then I’ll also show you what I strongly suggest you do instead.
Print to file considered harmful†
Print to file doesn’t do what you think it does. I think.
Print to file writes to a file the instructions that would be used on your current printer to print the file.
Put another way, a .prn file can used to print the file only on a printer that is (extremely) compatible with the printer that was selected as the default printer at the time the document was printed to file.
There’s no .prn viewer.
If you ever change printers or move to a computer that has a different printer chances are you will not be able to print the file.
A straw to grasp at
Open your Printers folder, or drag and drop an icon for your printer to your desktop.
Now locate your “.prn” file in Windows Explorer.
Click-and-hold on that file, drag it on top of the printer icon and release it.
The printer will attempt to print the document. If it’s compatible it should work.
But in all honesty – I’m not very hopeful at all. There are simply too many things that can go wrong.
A better, more compatible approach
What you’re attempting to do makes a lot of sense. I do it myself, a lot.
I just do it differently.
I print to PDF.
PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format, is, as its name implies, a portable format. PDF documents can be viewed just about anywhere, and more importantly to your situation they can be printed just about anywhere.
And they’re easy to create.
Go grab a copy of CutePDF and install it. That’ll add a new virtual printer to your system.
Print to that printer: not “print to file”, just regular print, as if it were a real printer.
CutePDF will then prompt you for where to save the PDF file it will create that contains your print out.
And as I said, that PDF can be viewed on just about any device and printed on any computer with a printer.
† Some will catch this nod to a Dutch programming pioneer.