While PDFs are extremely common because they're widely compatible to view on different devices, they can be difficult to print. Every PDF we print needs to be translated into a language the printer can understand, process, and print. Also, since more and more curricular resources are being provided as PDFs, the file sizes of said PDFs are increasing; whereas a 2-3MB PDF was the norm just a few years ago, some PDFs now are well over 100MB. All of these factors contribute to the errors we see.
If you run into the issue
If the printer shows an error code (usually along the line of 49.C06, 49.C02, etc), first notify your MRC Director and/or HelpDesk Tech as they will need to remove the job from the print queue (otherwise the job will simply continue to error and clog up the queue). Next, check the Dock on your machine to make sure no printer icons appear. If they do, click on them and then click the "x" next to the print job you were trying to print. This prevents your machine from re-sending the job and repeating the whole process.
Avoiding future issues
PDF printing issues tend to occur on smaller printers that don't have as much processing power and memory to effectively print PDFs. With that in mind, there are some general guidelines to help avoid issues when printing PDFs
- Copiers and color printers have more processing power and are more reliable for PDF printing (be sure to check the color setting before printing a large PDF in color)
- Some PDFs are simply too big to print. If you right-click the file you wish to print, then select "Get Info" and it's over 10MB, you'll have better success by printing the PDF in smaller sections. For example, a 300 page PDF that's 25MB large will likely fail, but if I break the job up into three 100-page jobs by switching the print range, the chances it will print successfully are much higher
- Printers can generally be tricked into printing the content of a PDF if you first convert the PDF to an image. Instructions are provided below for the two most common PDF viewers:
1. With the PDF open, navigate to File-->Export
2. Under format, switch from PDF to one of the available image formats (JPEG, PNG, or TIFF are all acceptable)
1. With the PDF open, navigate to File-->Print
2. Click "Advanced" in the print menu
3. Check the "Print As Image" box, then "OK" to confirm