PDF files display fine but print garbage (sometimes).

Posted on 2014-10-24
Last Modified: 2014-10-25
I have a user that is having a problem printing some PDF files.  Many print fine, but some print junk text... sometime the entire document and other times just part of the text.  For example, on a document that prints incorrectly the word "Quotation" displays fine on the screen but prints out like this "œ´±¨ø¨∑±≤".  It prints this way across every printer, including printing it back to a pdf file or to a Microsoft xps document.  When other users on the network print the exact same document to the exact same printers (same driver) it prints out fine.  Here's the steps I have taken so far:

- Completely uninstalled Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Reader and reinstalled both (and each one individually to see if   that made any difference).  One time I actually went though the registry and deleted every reference to Acrobat that I could find.

- Had the user print as an image.

- Verified all the printing and Acrobat settings against a machine that I know is working fine.

- I've replaced as many Windows system fonts that I could.

I've been working on this for weeks and there are probably other things I have tried, but those are the ones I can think of right now.  My next step is to just go onsite to the client, format the hard drive and start from scratch, but I'd really like to avoid doing that.  If anyone could help me out with a solution, I would be forever indebted.  Thanks.
Question by:angeg
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Expert Comment

ID: 40401846
Have you tried updating the printer driver? I have seen that occur on HP printers where a PS driver was installed and when changed to a PCL driver it resolved the problem.

Author Comment

ID: 40402041
I did update the drivers for the printers that the user prints to mostly.  However, they are all network printers that are shared off the server, so the drivers are only installed on the server and everyone else on the network can print the documents in question without problems.

Also, even when I print the document to the pdf printer (and create a duplicate pdf file) it prints the exact same way and that's not utilizing any of the physical printer drivers... same goes when I print the pdf file to the Microsoft xps printer.

I should also say that everyone one is using identical versions of Acrobat:

Acrobat Standard X
Acrobat Reader XI

Expert Comment

ID: 40402051
What OS is the desktop? is the driver a compatible driver for the OS, 32 bit driver on a 64 bit OS vice -versa? Are they HP printers?
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Author Comment

ID: 40402263
The OS on the desktop is Windows 7 (64 bit) and the drivers are 64 bit.  No HP printers, she has the following installed:

Konica/Minolta C364
KIP 7100
Canon iPF755

And like I said, it happens even when shes printing to a non-printer.

Expert Comment

ID: 40402329
Have you had a look at the advanced properties of the printer?
Sometimes the fonts get messed up in there,
Go to printer properties - advanced - printing defaults - advanced - image options - post-script pass through. Here it should say enabled. Change it to disabled. This will stop the printer from interpreting the information in the PDF (and thus stop it from getting confused and just putting a symbol in where it didn't interpret something correctly).

Printer properties - device settings, and check the font substitution table ( should be all set to <don't substitute>, I have seen some of those switched to different values)
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

Dr. Klahn earned 500 total points
ID: 40403587
I've seen this problem a few times in the past, and frequently switching to a different PDF reader solves the problem.

Others you might try:  Foxit, PDF-XChange, Visagesoft Expert PDF Reader.

If the system uses the reader only for reading PDF documents and not for creating them, any of these should be suitable.

Author Comment

ID: 40403874
Thank You, Good Doctor!  I installed the Foxit free PDF reader and it worked like a charm.  It's strange because I had tried a different alternate PDF reader (Sumatra) when this first started happening and it worked for some files, but not others.  Whatever... I'm just glad it's working now.  Thanks again.

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