Microsoft Print to PDF driver and difficult documents

bcr

Well-known member
We receive a lot of documents to print which cause errors in Fiery and Total Flow Prep and they refuse to print.

Nearly always, reprinting the PDFs using Microsoft Print to PDF gives us a document which we are able to print.

So I'm wondering what is happening here and whether/how I can build a preflight rule in Acrobat which would achieve a similar outcome.

The problem documents are usually scanned legal documents with bad OCR text in foreign languages, with text boxes added into them etc. sometimes elements of the documents overshoot the actual page margins as well.

I have tried numerous things in preflight to tackle this such as:

- embedding fonts
- converting fonts to outlines
- converting page contents to CMYK image

Yet this hasn't worked on the problem documents and I resorted to MS print to pdf instead.

The documents are often hundreds of pages and form part of print runs of thousands of pages combined as PDFs - so doing any kind of preflight analysis on problem documents just gives me thousands of issues which leaves me overwhelmed and unenlightened.

If anyone has any thoughts - I'm all ears.
 
So the process that is working for you is basically refrying the PDF to postscript and remaking the PDF.

If you want to fix this within Preflight the key will be finding out what is causing the issue which is not straightforward.
If converting the whole page to an image doesn't work for you it then it's probably the original PDF creator making a bad PDF in general.
Did you try the optimize save at all in Acrobat or saving from Acrobat as a PDF/X?

If you have a file you can PM me I don't mind taking a look.
 
So the process that is working for you is basically refrying the PDF to postscript and remaking the PDF.

If you want to fix this within Preflight the key will be finding out what is causing the issue which is not straightforward.
If converting the whole page to an image doesn't work for you it then it's probably the original PDF creator making a bad PDF in general.
Did you try the optimize save at all in Acrobat or saving from Acrobat as a PDF/X?

If you have a file you can PM me I don't mind taking a look.

I'd love to send you some files but they're all super confidential evidence so I'm unable to.

Optimise or PDF X don't fix it either.

I was just wondering if there is a belt and braces - nuke it all option where I could layer steps together to get a similar outcome to reprinting the pdf

P.s. - the Adobe acrobat printer driver does not fix the issue - only the MS print to PDF one. Not sure whether that is significant or not
 
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Are these file or multiple made by canva?
These kind off files always show the most breakdowns on small and large format rip's.
 
Are these file or multiple made by canva?
These kind off files always show the most breakdowns on small and large format rip's.

No - they're mostly documents which have been scanned. Paperwork, statements , expert reports, legal authorities, evidence etc.

OCR will have been applied but often contains errors - things like scanned artefacts being incorrectly detected as text..

OCR on scanned foreign languages and paper forms filled in by hand is usually the biggest problem.

They will have had paralegals etc put exhibit headers into them as text boxes etc.
 
I've found printing bad PDFs to a new PDF (with Acrobat PDF printer) fixes a lot of minor errors. It's my first go-to when there's an error on a page. (I'm not dealing with your level of problems) Another thing I've had some success with on problem files, is the Acrobat Sanitise option, under "Protection" It seems to dump a lot of extraneous info not needed to print. Makes file sizes smaller too. Something to try on a couple files.. See if it helps.
 
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We have an insurance client that sends a lot of junk like this as well. I always just save it as a postscript file and then use distiller with "press quality" to fix it.
Took the words right out of my mouth. Troublesome PDFs like this, I usually export as a .ps file and then run it through Distiller using whatever settings I like. Seems to do the trick 99% of the time.
 
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Bit old advice, but still relevant.
layers will disappear as well and of course transparency will be flattened as postscript does not support either.
 

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I'd love to send you some files but they're all super confidential evidence so I'm unable to.

Optimise or PDF X don't fix it either.

I was just wondering if there is a belt and braces - nuke it all option where I could layer steps together to get a similar outcome to reprinting the pdf

P.s. - the Adobe acrobat printer driver does not fix the issue - only the MS print to PDF one. Not sure whether that is significant or not
Hello @bcr, you seem to have challenging content in your PDFs, probably in the 'gray zone' of the ISO32000 specification that are disliked by your version of the Fiery controller. If this is an ongoing issue and since your files are confidential I would be willing to supply you a specialized software (free of charge for a certain time period) that I am the lead developer of. The software is under continuous improvement and I am curious if it will help with your files.
One of the options in the Optimizer is that it can 'refry' PDF Streams with 3 different, independent processing engines - if one fails, you have a fallback. I am curious if it will resolve the challenges in your files.
The software can work on single files or on batches of many files, fairly automated for routine tasks or step by step with manual commands for complex tasks and does pretty much anything with PDFs (smallformat or largeformat) a digital print provider would want to do in a fast paced professional production environment.

The comments from GWG in @abc 's post are very relevant and true as well.

Best Regards
 
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