Changing Adobe Acrobat Reader's Default Printer Settings

Posted on 2004-04-30
Last Modified: 2008-02-26
We're in the process of implementing an Enterprisewide forms solution that will generate electronic forms, populate them with data, and then convert them to pDF's and deliver them to a website for our users.  The problem is, the PDF's are multiple page sizes (letter and legal) and need to be duplexed.  In order for them to print correctly, our users have to make six or seven different changes EVERY stinking time they open Acrobat reader to look at these forms.  We are currently looking for a way to maintain these settings for the users, so that they do not have to make these changes repeatedly.

This is a tough one, and to score the points the solution must survive the PC being rebooted and still maintain the settings.  The settings are listed below.  We'll accept a solution that eliminates all but one of the settings (since our current environment requires the users to make one settings change everytime they print.)  Additionally, we're looking for a solution that requires zero user interaction to make it work.  We should be able to remote load this on the workstations and be done with any setting that the solution encompasses.

Here is the current process the user's have to go through to make this work - simplification is the key.

      a. Open the print dialogue
      b. make sure the following checkboxes are UNchecked:
            i. Shrink oversize pages
            ii. Expand small pages
            iii. Auto-rotate
      c. click on properties - select Layout tab.
      d. check "Flip on long edge"
      e. still on the layout tab, click on the "advanced" button
      f. set paper size to legal
      g. close properties dialogue
      h. from print dialogue (still open) click on "advanced" button
      i. check "Choose output by PDF page size"

Ideally, we'd like to be able to set these in the registry, but we will look at any valid solution.


Greg K. Hazzard
Question by:Jzaltheral
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 11003945
The lack of feedback is an indication that this is not possible (at least not with documented and official methods - and I don't know anything about other methods).
What you want to do was not meant to be customized. Adobe does publish the Acrobat SDK that documents everything that you can do with Acrobat (or Reader) using the official APIs. Modifying printer default settings is not part of that.
Also, you would be mixing two different areas: The Acrobat printer settings and the printer driver's own settings. Even if you would know how to change the Acrobat side, you still would not be able to modify anything that's in the actual printer driver.

Author Comment

ID: 11009216
I was sort of afraid that was going to be the case.  We've been round and round about this, and so far we really haven't found anything that seems to do what we're trying to accomplish.

We'll widen this up a bit - if we can find a way to set the access stuff by default, that would probably at least get us closer to where we want to be.

LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 11019062
Greg, what do you mean by "access stuff"?
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Author Comment

ID: 11031064
You know....i have no a clue what I meant when I wrote this.  I think what I meant was Adobe, not access.  If we can find a way to set the Adobe settings...

Friday was a hell of a day.

LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Karl Heinz Kremer earned 500 total points
ID: 11062077
I am not aware of any mechanism that would allow you to do this. You might be able to make the registry setting for your selected printer read-only after you set all the options (the relevant key is in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Printers\DevModePerUser or DevModes2). This will not modify any settings on the Acrobat print dialog.

Author Comment

ID: 11068709

We're still butting our heads against this wall - as it turns out we have about 4 different Adobe Reader versions in the field and this is causing us loads of consternation.  At any rate, I am beginning to think that your original suggestion of impossibility may be correct.  I am going to go ahead and close this question, and award you the points, simply for your dogged determination to keep coming back here and suggesting things.


LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 11069800
Here is another idea (which unfortunately only works if you have Adobe Reader 6): You could add a print button to the document and execute a JavaScript program when this button is clicked. Acrobat 6 (and Reader 6) comes with a new JavaScript print routine that takes a printParams object as parameter. This printParams object would allow you to specify the settings on Acrobat's print dialog (the printer specific settings like duplex are still not accessible).
I understand that this will not work in your current environment, but the Reader is free, and you may want to strongly suggest that your users upgrade.

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