How to allow user to change Adobe PDF printer page size in Printer Preferences

Posted on 2008-11-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
We have a few users who routinely create large-scale PDF files of varying sizes using Adobe Acrobat Pro 8.  However, when they go into the Adobe PDF Printing Preferences, they are unable to create/add a custom Adobe PDF Page Size.  When I am logged in as the Administrator, I can make all of the changes I want, but my users can 't (they are all Power Users on their machines).  I have tried explicitly allowing them to Manage Printer, but to no avail.

I am looking for a solution that will give them the ability to change/add these page sizes without giving them Administrator privileges to their machines or making them Print Operators in the domain.  They should only be able to do this on their machine alone.  I have considered creating a custom template to allow them the appropriate permissions, but I do not think that is the right solution (and I have no idea where to begin combing through the registry).  There is the possibility that this is also a file permission problem with the Adobe PDF Converter print drive itself, but I do not know where that is stored either.
Question by:mrjeffyoung
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Hutchinson
    This is done through printing preferences.

    There are two printer properties pages basically two levels.

    For example, if you look at your printers outside of Adobe: right clik the printer choosing properties in the printers and faxes window. From here you see the printer properties that cannot be changed.

    On the "General" tab from this view, you should see a button called "Printing Preferences". It's from this button that the user's can save changes. Note: you can also get there from just choosing "Printing Preferences" after right clicking on the printer.

    From Adobe Acrobat, just click on the printer setup before printing to verify that the settings are correct.

    Author Comment

    Perhaps I should be a bit more specific :)

    I know this is done through the printing preferences, what I'm asking is how to allow a Power User the ability to change the settings of the Adobe PDF printer.  I have included a screenshot of the printing preferences window for reference.

    When I click "add" it gives me the option to add a custom paper size, but when I submit that custom paper size, it does not retain those settings, nor do those custom settings appear as an option in the Adobe PDF Page Size menu.  This is all done as a Power User.  When I do the same thing as an administrator, it does retain those custom settings, and they appear in the menu for the power user.  

    Going through to each user's computer and adding the custom paper sizes manually is far too time consuming when there are several users in our environment, and they have a large range of custom paper sizes they use due to the nature of our business.
    LVL 44

    Expert Comment

    by:Karl Heinz Kremer
    Bring up your file manager and browse to Control Panel>Printers and Faxes. When you see your printers displayed in the file portion of the file manager, select the File>Server Properties menu item. The first tab on this dialog will be labeled "Froms" this is where you can create persistent paper definitions.
    Check the "Create a new form" checkbox, then provide a name and the properties, and then click on the "Save Form" button. Now you should be able to see your new form on the printer dialog.

    Author Comment

    Close, but not what I'm looking for.  Again, the problem lies in the fact that Power Users are unable to make this kind of change.  I need to find a way that enables them to make this kind of change on their local machine without giving them Administrator privileges to the machine or Print Operator in the domain.

    This is definitely a permissions issue of some kind, I just can't figure out what I need to change in order to do this.  
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Hutchinson
    There may be a solution out there, but then again, there may not be...It's possible that Adobe Acrobat program settings were designed to be only changed by someone with local Administrator permissions to the computer so you might want to start with Adobe asking them this.

    I was reading about the Power Users group, and this group is only there to provide backward compatability, whatever that means.
    The Power Users group is a built-in local group that primarily provides backward compatibility for running non-certified (or "legacy") programs. However, members of the Power Users group can also change COM object registrations, change file associations, change Start menu shortcuts, and install drivers for hardware devices. For additional information about the default rights and permissions that are granted to members of the Power Users group, visit the following Microsoft Web sites.

    Why are you hesitant to put the users in the local administrator group?
    Do they routinely destroy their local OS?

    If preserving the OS from the users is of high importance since it must be happening so often, why not use a program like Deep Freeze from Faronics( ).

    I have heard of network environments where users are given restricted permissions and for good reason usually, but more headache and time wasted trying to accomplish what you are trying to do by having them in the user group and not in the local administrator group which makes installing programs, making changes to printers a pain.

    I work at a large corporation where security is important, but we always put the users in the local administrator group since not doing it causes most tasks like installing software etc to be a pain.

    All network shares, etc are protected, but who really cares what the user's do to their own computers?
    If the users screw up their computers, it just means downtime for them, and all we have to do is reimage their computer. If they keep screwing up their computer, it most likely will result in their termination as an employee so most user's do not want to mess things up.

    If you are dealing with juveniles hell-bent on destruction of their computers, then I'd suggest that you look into the product from Faronics called Deep Freeze which will let you specify one folder that does not change with everything else on the computer being literally frozen.

    I mean literally, the user can use FDISK, etc, delete all the partitions, delete all the files, printers, change the background, delete all the program groups, do anything you could possibly imagine--and a simple reboot of the computer, puts EVERTHING right back to the way it was the last time the computer booted up...but it leaves your chosen folder the same, for the user's documents, etc.

    Expert Comment

    Has anyone found a solution to this issue?  It seems that all would be needed would be a list of files and registry keys involved so that permissions can be granted to users.

    Also, there is a lot of mal-ware that is not able to install/propagate/run itself if the active user account does not have administrative privileges on the PC.  This is one of a number of reasons that users should not have local administrative privileges in secure environments unless absolutely necessary.  Also, regulations for Federal Government systems (FDCC) require that users do not have these privileges. As we fall into this category, we need to resolve this issue if at all possible.

    Accepted Solution

    We were able to fix this issue today by doing the following 4 things in the registry:

    1.      If it does not exist, create the key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Forms]
    2.      Grant users full access to that key.
    3.      Create the following value: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print]
    4.      Grant users full access to the key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Printers]
    5.     Reboot the system.

    After doing this, users have been able to make/save changes to form sizes for the Adobe PDF printer and all other printers on their system.


    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you for doing the legwork to find the keys I needed to change.  I knew it would be something along these lines, but was not able to figure it out.  Also, thank you for realizing what I was asking and not coming up with a solution that changes the conditions (IE, just upgrading them to local admin).

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