retrieve information from spool file - Critical

I have a dat file that i think was created for a ledger type printer that has information i really need on it.  the printer is no longer here.
i would imagine the print driver is something that is very standard like an hp 4 or 5 driver.
does anyone know a tool that can retrieve information from a spool file that no longer has the printer in service
jamesmetcalf74Asked:
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
.DAT files are not the file spooled to the printer; normally they are .SPL.  But; if it is a PCL printer (both 4 and 5 are), you should be able to open the file with notepad or wordpad and easily read the text.  There will be ESCape sequences for fonts and formatting; however, the text contents will still be plain text.

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DansDadUKCommented:
I thought that spool files (those held in the %Windir\System32\spool\PRINTERS folder) usually had .shd or .spl extensions (although I can't remember, off-hand, the distinction between these).

I think that .dat is used as a file extension in lots of different circumstances, so what one file could hold is almost impossible to predict without further information.

Have you looked at your file with a hexadecimal editor (or even with NotePad), to see if there is any recognisable text?

I assume that you can't post the file here as an attachment because of privacy concerns regarding what may (but may not) be held in the file.
Perhaps you could post a display of the first couple of hundred bytes (in hexadecimal format) - this may yield clues as to the file format.
DansDadUKCommented:
@DavisMcCarn - our posts crossed.

>> ... the text contents will still be plain text ...

Not always - if downloaded soft fonts are used, the text could be 'obfuscated'.
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