Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Last Straw

I've had it with Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0. Whenever I encounter a .pdf file that has both graphics and text on it, I can't seem to print it. No matter what I try to do, I just can't print the whole thing.

I recently upgraded to Acrobat Reader 7.0 on all my machines. My wife's computer is a W2K box that has the Brother HL-1440 printer attached to it. My laptop runs XP and I can normally print to the Brother with no problems over the network. My main box is a RH9 box that also prints to the same printer via the network.

I received an invoice from MySQL AB for the training I attended last week. I viewed it fine with Acrobat Reader 7.0 and then clicked "Print". Only the logos and lines on the document came out. So I tried a couple of the different "Comments and Forms" options in the Print dialog. Same thing. I figured my printer drivers might be out of date, so I updated them and tried again. Boxes and graphics only. Then I un-installed and re-installed Reader 7.0 with the most current updates. Same thing.

Next, I brought the document up on my laptop which also has Acrobat Reader 7.0 and tried printing to the network printer. Same deal. Then I tried printing the same file from my Linux box with Reader 7.0 with exactly the same result. Just for kicks, I brought up the file in xpdf and printed it, and voila, it prints fine. That ruled out the printer.

I thought maybe it was just the document I was trying to print. So I created a document with lines, graphics and text in Open Office and saved it as a .pdf. I tried it on all three computers; Reader 7.0 couldn't print, xpdf could.

Maybe it is the printer after all. I brought the same two documents to work and tried to print on an HP 8150. Still only those damn boxes and lines. Then I figured I'll downgrade to Reader 6, but I couldn't find it on Adobe's site.

My next step is seeing if there is a xpdf version for Windows.


yas said...

Here is one more thing i do not understand about Acrobat 7.0. When i open a file i always see 2 Acrobat windows on the taskbar (Windows XP). I have 3 files open now and i am seeing 4 Acrobat windows. Opening a file in the older versions were very slow, i like 7.0 for that but it has a few little annoyances.

Tim... said...

I'm not totally happy about opening PDFs in firefox. I use the PDF Download extension for saving them, but opening them inline sometimes crashes my browser. I don't think I like PDFs :)



Jeff Hunter said...

After this whole experience, I've got a new meaning for PDF: Pretty Darn F*&#$D up.

Noons said...

It is. Adobe has been trying to make Reader be all things to all people. It ended up being none.

I've downgraded back to 6 and in Linux, 5. And it starts up fast, doesn't hang my browser when a link takes a while to download and prints what I want, when I want.

And preety much stuff Adobe and their upgrade trickle.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I currently use Adobe 6.0 to publish a monthly newsletter. Now I am definitely not upgrading to Adobe 7. PDF's suck. I would rather read html, than pdf any day.

Brian, aka Gandolf989.

Joel Garry said...

Jeez, I thought I was the only one in the world who didn't like PDF.

I'm told the colors of the comment fields on these blogger thingies can be changed with some judicious style sheet hacking.

Howard J. Rogers said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Howard J. Rogers said...

I wrote to mention a free PDF reader for Windows, and then referred you to a link for a free replacement for Winzip adn Winrar.

Sorry! I have freebies coming out of my ears. :(

The free PDF viewer for Windows is Foxit PDF Reader. Quite good, totally free, don't know whether it will fix your problem or not:

Worth a look maybe. I still need to produce the occasional PDF, so I am reluctantly forced to install my ancient copy of Acrobat 5. (If I'm paying for PDF *producers*, I might as well have the horse's mouth).

Robert Reese~ said...

It's nearly a year later, so I'm not certain this will help you; perhaps, though, it will help others.

Try GhostView, a free shareware program available from The program will simply ask you to register whenever it opens, other than that there is no decreased functionality or nags. ;c) BTW, it seems also to ignore most (if not all) the "permissions" Adobe abides by.

As for a free pdf creation, check out FreePDF XP for Windows XP and FreePDF 2.11 for earlier Windows versions. It's written by a German student, apparently for kicks. I put it on all my clients' machines whenever they ask for a PDF creator.
Find FreePDF at Don't forget the very important addition of multidoc printing, which oddly is a separate download and install. Get the multidoc addon at

Incidentally, you'll need GhostScript installed first which is available in the same place as GhostView.

Hope this helps you and others,