Distiller returns repeated "Postscript error": will not convert to PDF or close

Posted on 2004-10-19
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
I have a problem that has come up all of sudden, and I can't figure out why this has happened or how to solve it.  I've certainly never seen this happen when distilling before, and since this is a time-sensitive project, I'm stuck.  

When I try to convert a file to PDF, Distiller stops after the message "Building Font Table" begins and returns a "Postscript error".

This happens when trying to distill via all of the following methods:

1. Exporting directly from Pagemaker
2. Printing to a PS file from Pagemaker, and then opening up Distiller to distill the file
3. Using PDF 995 to convert a Word file

The strange is thing is that once I get the error, it starts an endless loop where it keeps trying to distill the file and then returns the error, over and over.  If I close the Distiller window or even shut down the application via Task Manager, it won't shut down -- it just continues to run this loop.  The only way to get it to Close is to shut down the computer.

I have files I need to convert to PDF asap and I'm stuck.  Can anyone help?
Question by:artella
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Expert Comment

ID: 12352395
check if you have acrotray.exe running

Author Comment

ID: 12352417
Can you give a bit more info - I'm not sure what acrotray.exe is or how to check if it's running.

LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12352515
There are two indications that this is not related to acrotray.exe: It happens also when a file is distilled directly, and it also happens with PDF 995. The last one really puzzles me: If it's a Distiller problem, then PDF 995 should work. Because it also happens when distilling a PostScript file, it's also not a printer problem.

Distiller creates a log file when it runs (which usually gets deleted when the file is successfully converted). Do you see this file in the directory where the PostScript file is?

I suspect a font problem (e.g. a corrupt font).  
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Author Comment

ID: 12352696
I don't see a log file in the directory where the PostScript files are -- I just see the PostScript files.  

I wondered if it was related to a corrupted font in a sepcific document, so I've tried to convert several different files -- several different PM ones, and several different Word ones.  

Is there anything I can do to try to isolate the problem?


Author Comment

ID: 12352769
Some new information -- I was trying to open Distiller from different places on my computer -- in case I somehow had an extraneous version I didn't know about, or something.  I get the  error:

Adobe PostScript Software Version 3011.104
%%[Postscript error]%%

even if I don't try to distill something -- if I just open Distiller.  And again, it just keeps going in the loop unless I manually Restart the computer.

Does that offer any new info?


Author Comment

ID: 12353040
One more piece of info...

When I shut everything down and then use PDF995 to convert a Word doc, I don't get an error from Distiller (it doesn't look like Distiller ever opens), BUT it produces a PDF file with size 0.  When I try to open the resulting PDF, it says "There was an error opening the document.  A read file error has occured."

LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 12353346
PDF995 does not use Distiller, so you shouldn't see Distiller.

Distiller reads it's setup file when it comes up. This is also a PostScript file, so if you have an error in this file, you would see a PostSript error. This file is usually c:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Distillr\Data\

Bug again, this is just for Distiller, and does not effect PDF995.

Which version of Acrobat are you using? Did you try to reinstall Acrobat?

Author Comment

ID: 12353846
Thanks for your help.

It's Acrobat 5.0.  I haven't tried to reinstall because I don't have my original software - but I'm going to see if I can borrow someone's to reinstall.

Would you recommend anything else I would need to do, besides uninstall and install in the normal way?

LVL 44

Accepted Solution

Karl Heinz Kremer earned 500 total points
ID: 12372382
I dont know ...
As I said before, the whole thing does not make a lot of sense. There is not much that Distiller and PDF995 have in common, so if both don't work, it very likely is something that they share. And because the error also occurs when you use Distiller directly (without printing), it's not the print subsystem, which leaves either a DLL problem, or fonts.
Reintstalling Acrobat may help, but I doubt it.

What did you do with this computer right before the problem showed up for the first time? Did you install any software? Did you remove any software?

Author Comment

ID: 12389673
Just wanted to check in and say that I'm still working on this.  I'm going to try to reinstall Acrobat today and see if that helps.

Before this happened, these are the only three things I can think of:

I had problems with Outlook --  A .PST file was corrupted and so I had to back up all email files, delete the email account, and then import all the files.

I did recently install a new printer about a week ago, but I had used Acrobat successfully prior to that, without incident.

The evening before this problem began, I ran PDF995 on a Word file and it was successful.  I have only used PDF995 one other time before that -- a long time ago, but I had not had any problems.   The next morning is when I tried to convert a Pagemaker file (through the regular Convert command) and that is when I started getting the errors.

I'll let you know what happens when I reinstall Acrobat.  If you have any other insights, please post.


Author Comment

ID: 12428243
HI -

Just wanted to report that when I uninstalled and reinstalled Acrobat, everything is now just fine.  So who knows why i had that problem, but everything seems to be in order, now.  Thanks for all your help and for explaining things so well.


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