Printing .PRN files through VBA

Is there anyway of printing .PRN files without having to invoke dos or notepad...

I am wanting something like filecopy but I cant get anything to work. Our printers are stored on a network on an IP port.

Also, what is the application that allows you to view PRN files, Ive seen it in windows before but can't seem to find it anywhere, I assumed it is pre-loaded with MS word?


Who is Participating?
rockiroadsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
alas, is it because its a network printer?

Have u tried specifying the full path?

/b is binary copy (dos)

I got it to successfully work in vba

copy "myfile.prn", "\\mynetworkfoldername\myprinters_sharename"  /b

but I cant get this to work using FileCopy

Hello generali,

Normally, you should be able to copy a file to the printer with the VB FileCopy command. As destiation, use "LPT1", either as "device" ("LPT1:") or as filename ("lpt1.ext"). This implies that you have created a "DOS" device for the printer, naturally. For example:

    FileCopy "C:\temp\output.prn", "lpt1"

I don't know of an application that can view just any PRN files, although I remember one for HP printers from many years back, and there are several for postscript files, such as ghostview. I would think this is highly printer specific.

generaliAuthor Commented:

My DOS has been disabled by IT so I cannot go through this route, I was assuming I would simply be able to use the server name and name of the printer but this is proving harder than I first thought...

Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Possible work around is for u to go to your printers, right click and select sharing, then just go thru the wizard.

now try the copy

copy yourfile.prn \\yourcomputername\sharename /b

A viewer for PRN files, well there is something called GSView ( that may help you, but that is for Ghostscript. Your PRN could be a windows file print of some other file or something,  so its hard to say, GSView probably wont help you if file type is not always the same.

Regarding the code, I gave u the DOS way and since u cant use DOS, I guess FileCopy instead of Copy is what u need to do.

generaliAuthor Commented:
Hi Rocki,

The printer is set to share, I have tried what you have asked and it says "Path not found", what is the " /b" part at the end, what does this do?

With DOS not available, does that mean, u cant create dos batch scripts on the fly (via vba) then execute them?
ok, one other method, now Im not sure if this will work with binary files, it works fine with txt files, is to code your own file copy. I know for sure that a file copy works fine when printing prn files manually

but FileCopy itself does not work as it seems to expect a valid filename


Public Sub PrintNF()

    Dim sLine
    Dim iRead As Integer
    Dim iRite As Integer
    iRead = FreeFile
    Open "c:\myprnfile.prn" For Input As #iRead
    iRite = FreeFile
    Open "\\mynetworkname\myprintername" For Output As #iRite

    Do While EOF(iRead) = False
        Line Input #iRead, sLine
        Print #iRite, sLine
    Close iRead
    Close iRite
End Sub

Now u can specify opening files as binary, certainly the open call to the printer has worked fine as it stands now
eg of opening binary files

    Open "c:\myprnfile.prn" For Binary Access Read As #iRead

I guess u can now parameterise this

apologies for my spelling of write!

generaliAuthor Commented:
Thanks Rocki,

I created a batch file and it worked perfect, thanks! I'm going to try your file copy code too, as this may be quicker and Im intrigued as to how it works, Ill let you know the outcome..

Thanks again,

If the batch file works then that means u have access to dos, surely
generaliAuthor Commented:
I created a new bat file with and it worked, but it doesn't when selected from the cmd... obviously a loophole

its like with a certain financial institution

it does not allow certain file types via email, even if u zipped it

however, if u zip it with a password, then u zip that zip file (no password)
that gets thru their system
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.