4 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2014 9:54 AM by Michael Jul Hansen RSS

    Why can't I open certain PRN files?

    PokeFan88 _

      I have a potential customer that I'm wanting to analyze some of his reports.  Unfortunately his reports can only be printed while online and only to the physical printer.  So....I asked him to print the file to a PRN file (by using the checkmark in windows print dialog box).  I've tried several files and all of them have essentially junk output.  Am I doing something wrong or are there some reports that I will not be able to use?  I can email a sample report if necessary. 

       

      Thank-you in advance.

      -Shae

        • Why can't I open certain PRN files?
          Grant Perkins

          If the 'normal' output printer has some special formatting - like Postscript for example - you are probably getting the amended output file that can be directed at the printer later (.prn) rather than the 'text' file you would be best working with. Same sort of problem as trying to work directly with a Word file for example.

           

          Is the host a windows based system? If so would there be any chance that your customer could set up a Generic/Text 'printer' and print to that device instead? That would give you a usable file with no special formatting.

           

          I can't be sure this is your problem but it is similar to issues I have come across from time to time. Hope the idea suggest something to you.

           

          Grant

           

          Originally posted by PokeFan88:

          I have a potential customer that I'm wanting to analyze some of his reports.  Unfortunately his reports can only be printed while online and only to the physical printer.  So....I asked him to print the file to a PRN file (by using the checkmark in windows print dialog box).  I've tried several files and all of them have essentially junk output.  Am I doing something wrong or are there some reports that I will not be able to use?  I can email a sample report if necessary. 

           

          Thank-you in advance.

          -Shae /b[/quote]

          • Why can't I open certain PRN files?
            Nick Osdale-Popa

            Depending on the application/format you may be out of luck.

             

            I had heard of Monarch when I was on as a consultant with my current employer.  I wanted to introduce my last employer to this wonderful application, but I needed results of what it could do.

             

            We were using an in-house application built on an Oracle database.  No matter what I tried Generic/Text printer, etc, you name it, I could not get any decent output from the application.  I came to find out that the report output was essentially graphic representations of the reports and not true text.  Alas, that employer never knew what a great reporting tool Monarch could have been to them.    (I essentially had to print out the reports and do all my analysis by rekeying into Excel / Access).

            • Why can't I open certain PRN files?
              Grant Perkins

              A good observation Nick and truly frustrating if that's the problem.

               

              The data conversion job I mentioned in a reason post had a similar problem in that the only access to the data (outsource partner's own system) was a 'terminal emulation' and on screen display.

               

              The guy who needed the data had already written a screen-scraper script to get some data back for his own needs. He extended that to automatically grab all the pages for a 'reference number' (variable qty of pages).

               

              That gave me a text file to play with ...

               

              Could possibly be a similar solution for the reports by running them to screen and scraping them from there?

               

              However it may be a bit painful on a regular basis!

               

              Grant

               

              Originally posted by Nick Osdale-Popa:

              Depending on the application/format you may be out of luck.

               

              I had heard of Monarch when I was on as a consultant with my current employer.  I wanted to introduce my last employer to this wonderful application, but I needed results of what it could do.

               

              We were using an in-house application built on an Oracle database.  No matter what I tried Generic/Text printer, etc, you name it, I could not get any decent output from the application.  I came to find out that the report output was essentially graphic representations of the reports and not true text.  Alas, that employer never knew what a great reporting tool Monarch could have been to them.      (I essentially had to print out the reports and do all my analysis by rekeying into Excel / Access). /b[/quote]

              • Why can't I open certain PRN files?
                Michael Jul Hansen

                I work for a company that does most of their IT 'stuff on mainframe computers so i may be able to help you - need to know whether your customer uses a mainframe or a pc based system - if the latter, ask them to use 'print to file' option, but select 'generic text only' printer - any hp (or compatible) will produce 'crap' - if mainframe - let me know what kind of emulation they use (likely ibm3270) and I can help there aswell