UPDATE 2: This post is over three years old. You no longer need to print your IRCTC ticket – the SMS you received after booking the ticket will be enough! Save paper and go digital! 🙂 (make sure you take your ID proof along with the SMS)
UPDATE: If you use Chrome, you can print to PDF directly from its Print window. Both Mac OS X and Linux also support PDF printing out of the box. If you are a non-Chrome Windows user, install DoPDF as recommended in this post.
Booking train tickets through IRCTC is a rage these days, with everyone and their dads being aware of the relatively simply procedure. The e-ticket format is obviously the preferred choice, as you can print the ticket yourself without having to wait for IRCTC to deliver it to you.
However, a lot of places don’t have printers. My hostel, for one, doesn’t. This is where all the mouth-clasping abilities of my not-so-tech-savvy friends kick in. The obvious problem is how to save the damn page, and carry it in a USB stick to the student store. Some will simply Ctrl + S it as a .htm file, which is quite convenient but looks extraordinarily disgusting. Others tend to follow their own routes, most of which can be best described by this:
I take the more normal (for us!) route and print the page directly to a beautiful little PDF file that shows the ticket exactly as it should be seen.
It is almost painful to watch my friends struggle innovate while trying to pin down a stupid webpage to their USB drives, and hence this post.
Guys, all you’ve to do is install this free utility called doPDF, and print those web tickets as PDF files in future. doPDF adds a virtual printer to your system, which works like any regular printer, but prints to PDF instead. Once installed, you can click on that ‘Print ERS (English / Hindi)’ button on your e-ticket, and select the doPDF printer in the Print dialog box (actually, make it the default printer during installation so you won’t be bothered again!), and…voila! your ticket is now a freakin’ PDF! Carry it in your pen drives to the student store, print your proper looking tickets, and get your sticks all filled with crazy malware because the store guy won’t bother scanning his damn computer. Yo mama!