Monday, June 7, 2010

Printing and Acrobat Reader

Have you ever had problems with printing a PDF document with the Adobe Acrobat Reader? Have you seen a non-informative message:"The document could not be printed"?
I have... and it was surprising, frustrating and... well you know how it is.... especially when the printout is due yesterday...
I stumbled upon this issue when I was to print some stuff in a print shop. I made a PDF went to the shop and ordered a color laser printout (70 pages). I was quite surprised when the guy behind the counter, told me that there is no way to print this document, since Adobe Acrobat displayed that wierd message. Surprisingly nobody at the shop knew what the message ment. I went back to my computer (yes, yes, yes, a desktop...) took a look, and everything was fine I could see it and print it... mind that I use mainly Evince or xpdf for PDFs. Desperatelly I converted the document into Postscript and back to PDF (glorious pdftops and ps2pdf) and took it back to the print shop. Surprisingly they could print it now - without any complains from the Acrobat.

I made some reasearch to make sure that such an event won't take place again. And it turns out that guys at Adobe don't know what they are doing (and they don't care for their customers either) and guys at the print shop have no idea how to handle the Acrobat. There is a web forum I stumbled upon, which deals with this issue, especially one message. It turns out that the printing problem appears for some PDF files - however it's hard to tell what exactly causes it.

Anyway, if you ecaountered this issue take a look at the top, right corner of the print dialog window. If you see an option like below (Comments and Forms: Document and Markups) the Acrobat presumably won't print your file.
Just change it to Document, and you should be allowed to print your stuff (see below)!
Bottom line. Adobe is worse and worse. The Acrobat is bloated. Users dont't know how to use it. Solution? Don't use it! There is plenty of other PDF browsers avaliable: evince, xpdf... Long live the free software!!!