When you print to file, you save spacing and other layout information so a printer can reproduce the on-screen version of a file without access to the program or computer used to create it. You can print to file, for example, when you want to send a document or photo to a commercial printer to be printed in larger quantities or at a higher resolution than you usually print at home.

In most programs, a "print to file" option is available from the Print dialog box for the program that you're using. To see steps for printing an item to a file, check the information that came with the program you are using.

Tips for printing to a file

  • Depending on the program you're using, you might be asked to choose where to save the file or to create a file name. Otherwise, the portable print file will typically be saved in your Documents folder.

  • Before you print the new file or send it to be printed, make sure that the fonts used in the file are installed on the computer connected to the printer you want to use. If the same fonts are not installed, the printer will replace your fonts with different (but usually similar) fonts.

  • Check if the printer you intend to use is compatible with the format of your file. In Windows, the default format when you print to file is .prn. If the printer you want to use requires a different file format, you can install tools that will allow you to save your file in the appropriate format.