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How do I print PDF Documents?


The PDF document format has become more and more popular but has some features that often play havoc with our postscript printers. Imbedded objects, scanned images, and so on can make a seemingly simple document into a nightmare for our printers and support staff. These PDF documents must be converted to the postscript format for our postscript printers to accept correctly.

REMEMBER, sending a PDF file directly to our postscript printers will result in a big pile of paper with nothing but gibberish printed on it.

Luckily, most PDF applications do a decent job of converting the PDF document to postscript. Nevertheless, here are some tips which may help you print your PDF file successfully and avoid some printer problems which can be inconvenient to the other users.


  • (RECOMMENDED) Select "Print as Image" option from your PDF Viewer.
  • In Adobe Reader, this is an option in the print dialog box.
  • You may need to click the Advanced button, and then check the Print as image option.


Setting PostScript print options in Adobe Reader (acroread)

All of the PostScript options in the Print dialog box are available to PostScript printers only (Our printers are postscript printers).

To set PostScript options in the Print dialog box:
  1. Do any of the following.
    • (RECOMMENDED) Postscript Level 3 . Specify the level of PostScript appropriate for your printer. Most of our printers are compatible with Postscript Level 3.
    • Select Shrink Oversized Pages To Paper Size to automatically shrink the document's pages to the paper size. Pages may be rotated for best fit.
    • Select Expand Small Pages To Paper Size to automatically expand the document's pages to the paper size. Pages may be rotated for best fit.
    • Select Optimize For Speed to configure the print job for faster printing.
    • Select Download Asian Fonts to print documents with Asian fonts that are not installed on the printer or embedded in the Adobe PDF document. The Asian fonts must be present on the system in use. (See About downloading language-specific fonts.)
    • (RECOMMENDED) Select Save Printer Memory to download all the fonts for a given page to the printer before the page is printed. If this option is unselected, print jobs may be smaller but require more printer memory .
  2. Click OK.

Other PDF Print Options

  1. Break large print jobs into smaller chunks
  2. Select the "Print to File" option to generate a postscript (.ps) file which can be sent to a printer via the lpr command.
  3. Try another PDS Viewer
    • xpdf
    • gpdf
    • kpdf
    • gv
    • ggv
  4. Use the pdf2ps command to convert the pdf file to a postscript (.ps) file which can then be sent to a printer via the lpr command.

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Topic revision: r5 - 09 Nov 2006, CurtisJastremsky
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