PCL File Extension

The PCL file extension is associated with the Printer Command Language, a page description language that allows printers to understand text and graphics. The PCL file format was developed by Hewlett-Packard and is still used by many HP printers.

PCL files can be opened with a variety of software programs, including Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word. They are often used to create print-ready documents from original source files, such as PDFs or Microsoft Word documents.

If you need to create a print-ready document from a source file, it is usually best to save the source file as a PCL file. This will ensure that the document prints correctly when printed from an HP printer. However, if you do not have an HP printer, you may need to convert the PCL file to a different format before printing.

These Software programs are available for devices running Linux, macOS, Windows support PCL documents. PCL Reader is a program that can handle PCL files and is one of the most frequently used tools for this purpose. 

PCL file - image from pixabay by Firmbee
PCL file – image from pixabay by Firmbee

Programs That Support PCL File Extension

PCL documents are used by many businesses and organizations today because of their versatility and compatibility with different printing devices. If you need to print a document but are not sure if your software program supports PCL file extension documents, don’t worry – there are many programs available that do support this format. In addition, most printers manufactured in the past few years have included support for PCL commands.

There are a number of software programs available for devices running Linux, macOS, and Windows that support PCL documents. Some of the most popular include:

  • Windows: PCL Viewer, LaserJet PCL 6 Driver and HP Universal Print Driver.
  • MacOS is limited to Preview and Adobe Acrobat
  • Linux users can use Okular, Evince or Xpdf.

Each of these programs has its own set of features and benefits, so it’s worth taking the time to explore them all and find the one that best meets your needs. You may also want to consider using a third-party program such as PrimoPDF which can create PDF files from any document type. This can be especially useful if you need to share or archive.

How To Open File With PCL Extension

There are several ways to open PCL files depending on what operating system you are using.  If you are using Linux, macOS, or Windows, there are software programs available that support PCL documents.

If you are using a different operating system, or if you do not have access to a software program that supports PCL documents, you may be able to view the contents of the file using a text editor. However, you will not be able to print the document unless you have access to a printer that supports PCL commands.

Install PCL Reader Software

Go to the HP website and download the free version of PCL Reader. Once the HP PCL Reader software is installed, it will be listed in the Programs and Features window in the Control Panel on a Windows computer. To open a PCL file, simply double-click on it. If the file is not associated with any specific software program, the HP PCL Reader program will launch and open the file.

On Windows

You can select the first-choice application by clicking on it.

  • Open the PCL file with a third-party converter and then save it by right-clicking on the file.
  • To choose another program, click More applications.
  • Select More apps from the drop-down menu.
  • After that, select “Look for another app on this PC” from the drop-down menu.
  • Then browse to the directory where PCL Reader is installed
  • Select Always use this app to open PCL files.
  • Click OK when you’re done selecting options

On Mac

  • Now, if you’re using the latest version of the PCL-to-PCL Converter (which is 0.8), simply
  • Click this link and download the program to a temporary location on your computer.
  • Copy it from there or move it to a folder where you can access it later if need be. After installation, open the program and follow these steps: To find what type of files are saved in which PCL format.
  • Open File Explorer -> If you’re using an older version of PCL-to-PCL Converter (that’s 0.7 or earlier).
  • Change the file’s name by right-clicking its title and selecting Rename from the menu that appears.
  • Then choose Information from the file menu and continue as
PCL file - image from pixabay by StockSnap
PCL file – image from pixabay by StockSnap

Check PCL For Errors

If you’re having difficulty printing a document, it’s worth checking the PCL for errors. The PCL file may be corrupted or contain incorrect information that’s preventing the printer from properly interpreting the document. If you find any errors, try correcting them and then reprinting the document.

If you don’t have access to the original source file, you may be able to recreate it using a PCL printer driver. This can help you troubleshoot any formatting issues that may be preventing the document from printing. 

  • Check for viruses or malware in the PCL file. If the PCL is infected, it’s probable that the malware is preventing it from opening. Scan your computer and the PCL file for infections or viruses. Is there any malware on my PC? Use the instructions provided by your antivirus software to solve the problem.
  • Verify that the file with the PCL extension is complete and correct. If the file was supplied to you by someone else, request that they send it to you again. File errors might occur during the copying process, resulting in a damaged or incomplete file. This may be where your problems originate. When downloading a file with a PCL extension from the internet, there’s a possibility of an error occurring, leaving you without a complete file. Consider trying again if this happens.
  • Check to see whether your system can handle the PCL Reader program. It’s possible that your system won’t be able to run the program you use to open files with the PCL extension under heavy load. In this case, close all other applications.
  • Verify that your operating system and drivers are up-to-date. Up-to-date computer software and hardware not only make your PC more secure but may also mitigate issues with the Printer Command Language Document file. An out-of-date driver or program might be responsible for a peripheral device being unable to manipulate PCL files.