What Is the File Extension Shd?

Written by jerry benson
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What Is the File Extension Shd?
Windows uses an SHD file every time you print a document. (dun cat - printer image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

Files with the extension SHD are associated with Microsoft's Print Spooler. These aren't files that users typically encounter, as they run in the background, holding information the system needs to execute printing tasks.

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The .SHD extension represents the Microsoft Windows Shadow format. Every time you print something, whether it be a document or webpage, your Print Spooler receives a message containing the details for the print job through these .SHD files.


While the printer is printing, the .SHD files are located in the C:\Winnt\System32\Spool\Printers directory. Once the print job is completed, these files are automatically deleted, as they are no longer needed.


If your printer is connected to a computer running any version of Windows, it uses .SHD and .SPL files, no matter what the make and model of the printer is. On Macintosh-based systems, different file extensions carry out similar tasks when printing.

.SHD and .SPL

.SHD and .SPL files are very closely linked. When you print a document, Windows creates an .SPL, or "Print Spool" file. The .SHD files direct the .SPL files, telling them which printer to go to and from whom the file came.

.SPL Functions

If the printer has a queue of items to print, the .SHD file contains the order of print jobs in that queue. SPL files also contain details for the print job such as the number of copies, page orientation, quality and colour scales to use.

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