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I need your help, please put your thinking caps on.

Help. I’ve got a customer that whenever he prints out any files that he downloads, they come out as you see here. It is NOT a printer issue. He seems to think it is an Adobe Reader issue. The files look perfect on the screen, but print out like this. I have printed out the exact same files he has on multiple computers and multiple printers and they come out perfect. He thinks it is some type of security encryption, but we don’t use any. Anybody have any guesses, or ideas on whats going on. He has tried different computers and printers and always gets the same thing. I’m stumped.

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Reader Comments (14)

Hi Dave,

what about trying alternative pdf handling programs?
I am using i.e the Doro Pdf Writer or versions of the
OpenOffice package. There are hundreds of such
programs out there, many of them free of charge.

May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Wehrhahn
Is it just the first sheet, or all the sheets? I've had problems in the past with various computers where the first sheet came out blurry, or lined, but the following sheets were OK. I never figured it out why, I just put a fake first sheet in front of the file.

Also what are his printer settings? He may have them set for "Draft" or low res printing to save ink.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRonald Thibault
The reason we think it is an Adobe issue is that it doesn't happen with other readers.
It is all sheets and printer settings are typical of what we all use. Anything else prints good including photo files.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave Miecznikowski
Have you tried rebuilding the files, using whatever process you use to go from your drawings to the PDF format? Perhaps an error crept in, due to a computer hiccup, it happens sometimes. Has he perhaps been using computers with a different version of Adobe Reader? There might be some obscure difference between versions.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRonald Thibault
About a year or so back I ran into similar problem. I uninstalled Adobe and the printer. Re-installed Adobe and the printer. Magically the problem went away.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Interesting ... I had the same problem with several printers when I did not tell the printer that it was a high res print job. This is particularly noticeable when it was a laser printer instead of ink jet. My solution has been to make sure that I tell the printer that it will be printing a photograph or, if that is not an option, tell it to print as a "high resolution" image.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJim Gore
In my experience - both personal and as a tech in IT - this problem has always been with the printer.
My assumption is that this is an inkjet? If so, realigning the ink cartridges and/or deep cleaning them should resolve the problem.
As suggested by Jim Gore, print at high quality & check all of the other print settings.
I seriously doubt that this is a problem with the file to be printed.

Hope this helps.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Cox
"He has tried different computers and printers and always gets the same thing."
So, the issue has to be with the (one?) remaining common element. Find that, and you will find the problem.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJT
All I can tell you is what the customer tells me. He says that it happens on more than one computer and more than one printer.
When anyone purchases a download from the Clever site, we get a copy of the same download link as the customer. This is so that I can check that the servers are sending the files ordered. I don't necessarily open every link, but I do archive them so I can see what a customer got, if necessary. As soon as this problem was reported, I opened the link and downloaded the file on two different computers on two different networks. I printed it out on more than one computer and on more than one printer, both ink-jet and laser. No problems. The original file in question is the O scale Dark Wood Fence. If anyone cares to purchase it and test it, I will refund your purchase price, assuming that you report the result, GOOD OR BAD. This file has been on the server for many years and purchased dozens of times with no complaints. That might be customers that just never complain and never come back. I can't say. He also ordered O Scale Distressed Rolled Tarpaper and O Scale Brown Asphalt Shingles. Same offer on these items. I could send them to anyone that asks, but I want to keep my hands off of the downloads so I'm not accidentally affecting anything. As a test, I sent him Smitty's Music Store and asked him to test it. You see the result in the pic. I also suggested to him the different versions of Adobe Reader might be the cause. He says no. Apparently, he can print out OK with other software, but I don't know which yet. At the moment, I AM STUMPED!
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave Miecznikowski
Without knowing what version of Acrobat Reader he is using, or what export settings the PDF was made with, or if he is printing on the Mac or PC, it would be hard to diagnose the trouble. If you made the file using the most current version of Acrobat, and he's using a five year old reader, that might be the problem, there.

We have multiple printers at work, and one one of them, on random files, the printer has problems using files that have transparent objects in them, but if we send the file to the same printer using the Press settings instead of the High Quality Print, it images just fine. So you might try sending him a fresh pdf made at a higher resolution setting.

It might be that his printer PPD file is out of date, too. If I were him, I'd take the file to a Kinkos or Office Depot or someplace that can output the file to a digital laser copier rather than an ink jet printer, and have them output the file. If it prints out the same, then the file he received probably corrupted in transmission. That sometimes happens.

If the file was stuffed or compressed, it might have corrupted when it was uncompressed, also, especially if he unstuffed or unzipped it with a different piece of software or a an older version of the software than it was compressed with.
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterScott Gavin
Have him fiddle with these settings in Acrobat reader:
Edit, Preferences (or Press “Ctrl+K”), Page Display:
Smooth Line Art
Smooth Images,
Enhance thin lines
(They are all checked on my systems)

Could also download and try a different free pdf reader

Could also google "streaks in printed pdf"
May 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Looking at the posts:
1. he tried it on different computers and printers
That means that he probably used different versions of Adobe with different printer settings
2. The files have worked fine for a long time, and for different customers

This leaves only transmission or uncompressing (as has been suggested in another post). He could try another unzipping program, or downloading on another computer. As has been also suggested, check the printer settings used on the different computers, it is remotely possible all of them were set for draft printing to save ink/toner.
If all else fails and the files print OK using another reader program have him use it, I've had to do similar fixes over the 30 years I've worked on computers, sometimes the problem is just not to be discovered.
May 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRonald Thibault
Personally I never use Adobe or any PDF reader as my primary format to print anything. I always use Photoshop in order to add some of my own textures, etc then the image will be saved as a JPEG. Your customer could try something similar to convert the PDF to a JPEG or whatever and try to print that. If he still has the same issues it has to be the printer I would think.
May 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbruce
If the picture you have above is from the customer, his printer nozzles need cleaning as he shouldn't get the lines. His printer may be out of alignment as well. You might do well to send him a disc with just the ice cream store on it and have him print from the disc which is what I do. If could be zip program is corrupt. Does he use win zip and the newest version? Is he using a Mac or a PC?

Jeff Damerst
May 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Damerst

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