There is a problem with Chrome 80 and the PostScript passthrough. The bug is confirmed by Google and they are trying to fix it.
The PDF printer version 11.12 contains a fix/workaround for this problem. This means that if you see the following error when printing to PDF then you just upgrade to the newest version.
%%[ ProductName: GPL Ghostscript ]%%
%%[Page: 1]%%%%[Page: 2]%%
%%[ Error: typecheck; OffendingCommand: setlinecap ]%%
If you are interested then you can check this link to see the actual fix that the next version of Chrome will have.
One of our users also reported having seen this problem with the Firefox browser. However, this is not confirmed.
Sometimes you get unexpected results when you use a PDF document as a background.
A PDF used as a background in a merge or superimpose operation is often referred to as the letterhead, watermark, logo, or briefpapier (in German). These documents can have properties that make them unsuited for this purpose. Among the common problems are font, color model, and transparency issues.
The result of using a problematic PDF is often strange colors or strange-looking text.
Normally, you can clean the PDF by printing it to a new PDF. This process can rewrite the structure of the document so that it can be used in the merge or superimpose operation.
A method that often works is to open the PDF in Adobe Reader and print it to a Bullzip PDF Printer installed in XPS mode. The method is not bulletproof but is often a good first try.
Text that looked strange before will most likely be fixed. However, you may not be able to select and copy/paste it as text anymore. Also, colors are now likely to be close to the original but there may still be small differences.
You can play around with this process to see if you can get a better result. Here are some parameters that you can test with different values.
- Try to print it from other PDF readers such as Bullzip PDF Studio or Sumatra PDF.
- DPI and color models.
- Print quality setting on the document tab.
If you cannot fix the PDF yourself, then it may be an option to go back to the designer and have them try to create a PDF without transparency and special font information. It may be that they can change some settings in the PDF export that will fix the problem.
The PDF printer was originally based on converting the output from Postscript drivers to PDF. This way of doing it has served the purpose well for a long time. However, sometimes the output can convert in ways that do not serve the end purpose well.
Especially font issues have been a reason to look for alternatives to the Postscript driver technology. Postscript has built-in fonts and different strategies for embedding subsets of fonts which may not work well with software that tries to read or copy/paste the content of PDF documents.
To fix some of the Postscript related issues we have added the option to use an XPS based driver. The functionality of the XPS based approach supports fewer features but it solves some of the other issues.
You can tell the installer to add a PDF printer based on an XPS driver by adding the /XPS switch to the command line of the setup program.
The following command line is an example that shows how to add an extra PDF printer named “PDF Printer (XPS)” to your system.
Setup_BullzipPDFPrinter_11_10_0_2761_PRO_EXP.exe /XPS /PRINTERNAME="PDF Printer (XPS)"
The new printer will ask the printing application to print using an XPS based driver and convert the output to PDF.
Using a PDF as a background can sometimes cause problems. PDF documents are created in a different way by a variety of applications. It happens that these PDF documents are not compatible for use as a background or watermark PDF. Especially PDF documents created by Adobe products have incompatible color models or other advanced unsupported features.
The problems can result in different types of errors. Sometimes the colors are not correct and other times you will get a blank page followed by a page with cryptic error information.
This is what the error page could look like:
The solution is to print the background PDF to a new PDF using the PDF Printer. You can try to print it using different PDF viewers. They have different ways of printing the PDF and the resulting PDF will have different properties depending on the viewer that printed it. Usually, you can create a working background PDF this way.
I suggest that you try to print it from the following PDF viewers:
Bullzip PDF Studio
Firefox and the Google Chrome browser renders print jobs as graphics instead of text. This means that the PDF Printer does not see the actual text that is printed but only a picture. Therefore, you cannot copy and paste text from a PDF printed from Chrome.
You can use Microsoft Edge to print your web page and get a PDF with searchable and copy/paste capabilities.
Some Excel sheets show a strange behavior when you print them or do a print preview. This can be caused by the wrong DPI setting for the Excel sheet you are looking at.
It is easily fixed if you change the DPI setting to something meaningful.
First, you click the small icon on the Page Layout tab.
Second, you change the print quality to something like 300 dpi.
Now, you should be able to print your document.
Some PDF documents change the colors when they are used as background for another PDF. This is often the case for PDF files created with other tools where the color information is not fully compatible.
Print PDF to a new PDF with Bullzip
You can often get the colors right if you print the existing background PDF to a new PDF using the Bullzip PDF Printer. Simply open the background PDF in Adobe Reader and print it to the Bullzip PDF Printer. Then use the new PDF as the background PDF.
If this doesn’t work, you can try the same procedure with at different PDF viewer. Instead of Adobe you can use Bullzip PDF Studio or Sumatra PDF Reader, which are free readers available for download on the Internet. This has often produced good results.
PDF Compatibility Level
You can also try to change the compatibility level of the PDF that you create. This can also be used when you create the background PDF by printing it from another reader as mentioned above.
PDF Color Model
In the PDF options dialog, there is an option to change the color model used, when creating a PDF. Try to experiment with that as well.
Hopefully, one of the strategies mentioned here will help you solve the color issue when using another PDF as a background. These methods should all preserve the vector based information intact and deliver the best quality possible.
In this article, I will try to explain why some users experience problems when merging multiple documents.
The printer is designed to process print jobs in parallel. This means that it will start processing a job even before the previous job has finished processing. Consequently, you can run into trouble if you expect to merge the current print job with a previous one that has not finished yet. The result is that you get a document with missing pages.
One solution is to wait for the previous job to finish before you start the next one. This requires that you control the creation of the documents in the print queue.
Another solution is to tell the PDF printer to stop processing jobs in parallel mode and do it one by one. You control the processing with a registry setting called GUITimeout. The use of the GUITimeout setting is described in the BioPDF documentation.
Switching to sequential mode will lower the performance when processing multiple jobs. Another side effect is also that on Citrix or Terminal Servers, one user can block the job processing for another user. Other than that, the setting is safe to use.
If you experience random crashes on Windows Server 2008 R2, you may have a problem with the DEP (Data execution protection).
On Windows 2008 R2 there seems to be a problem with DEP. We have seen the crashes stops if users disable it for the gui.exe process or entirely. Often the crashes are logged by the Windows Event Log. According to the log they stem from random DLL files with no association with the PDF printer.
Here is how to disable it:
Open Control Panel, click on System and Security→ System → Advanced system settings. In the Advanced tab, click on the Settings button in the Performance section (the first one). In Performance Options, Data Execution Prevention has its own tab.
The odd thing about this finding is that has only been seen on Windows Server 2008 R2. Earlier or later versions of Windows Server has not shown this problem.
When you want to create PDF documents from the Autodesk/AutoCAD/Revit products there are some parameters, you can use to optimize the PDF creation.
Depending on what you are printing or plotting the size of the resulting PDF may vary a lot. Especially drawings containing rasterized images or scanned images with a lot of noise dots will create huge print jobs and therefore large PDF files. If you are facing a size or performance issues, there are a couple of tricks that you can use.
- Lower the DPI of the printer.
- Change the raster graphics settings in your plotter configuration.
- Reduce the paper size.
The information that goes into a PDF is a product of these settings. If you lower the DPI the 50% of what it was before then your document will typically become 4 times smaller. If you keep the DPI but doubles the paper size then the size of the print job is also approximately twice the size.
Sometimes the operating system and the printer drivers used by the PDF printer will also have an effect on size.
Here is a list of steps you can take to reduce the PDF size produced by AutoCAD.
Open the print dialog
First you open the print dialog and select the Bullzip PDF Printer. Then you click the Properties button to change the printer properties.
In the Plotter Configuration Editor, you can lower the raster image quality to a suitable value for your scenario. Try setting them to half the maximum value as shown here.
Change the DPI setting
After that you can click the Custom Properties and change the DPI. Lowering the DPI will potentially reduce the quality of the output. However, it may not mean much depending on what your PDF should be used for.
Save the plotter configuration
When you have found your preferred combination of settings, you can save the plotter configuration to a file and select that the next time you want to print to PDF. In the dialog shown here, the plotter name is now my PC3 file with all the settings.