General Question

Joe_Freeman's avatar

When I do a “Print to file” on my Canon printer, where does the resulting file go and how do I later print it?

Asked by Joe_Freeman (504points) November 1st, 2010

I have a Canon PIXMA MP640 printer connected to my Windows XP computer via USB. I’d like to occasionally do a “Print to file” so I could save all the print setup details (mainly the Web page magnification) for later printing. The print driver prompts me for a file name but I don’t know what directory that file goes to nor its file extension. Finally, once I find the print file, how can I print it to my printer? The resulting file is not a PDF file.

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4 Answers

squirbel's avatar

Print to File is an obscure Windows “feature” that has NEVER EVER worked for me, and I haven’t a clue as to how to use it properly. It’s not the same as on a Mac, where Save to File actually creates a PDF.

This feature actually creates a .x** file [sorry i can’t remember the extension] that is wholly un-useful… and can’t be opened by any windows programs [go figure].

I said all this to say “your printer and printer type is not at fault.”

End result? Download Bullzip if your goal is to create PDFs, or just print physically if your goal is to have paper in your hands. Your printer isn’t your foe in this instance.

camertron's avatar

@squirbel the file extension you’re thinking of is .xps and it’s Microsoft’s XML document format. You can open the files using Microsoft’s XPS Document Viewer available on their website.

All that’s really annoying and useless though because as far as I know, nobody else uses the .xps format – you really want a PDF. My favorite PDF printer is called CutePDF and it’s freely available here. After you’ve installed it, go into any program that can print, choose File -> Print, and choose CutePDF from the printer dropdown. When you click “Print,” CutePDF will ask you where you’d like to save the printed PDF file. Really nice and easy!

Joe_Freeman's avatar

Thanks, @camertron, I did succeed in using CutePDF — one of my favorite tools — to make a PDF that contains all the required printing specifications, so I thankfully don’t have to do a print to file after all, because that system really seems half-baked. PDF does the job.

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