by lunarg on June 20th 2012, at 13:56

One of the more recurring issues is slow printing of PDF files in Adobe Acrobat. While Acrobat itself works smoothly, printing sometimes comes to a complete halt, taking up to 10 minutes (or even more) per page to print. The more complex the PDF document becomes, the more apparent the problem becomes.


By default, Adobe prints to your printer using PS commands, which then get converted by the printer driver to a language your printer understands (PCL, PS, HPZL, HPGL, ...). More complex PDF documents, i.e. PDF's with lots of objects, a lot of embedded fonts, damaged images, etc., generate more and more complex commands, resulting in spooler files that are a multiple of the original document, larger than the buffer most printers have on-board. Such complex spooler files and limited buffering in the printer cause these slowdowns during printing.


One way to work-around the issue is by printing all PDF documents as image. This significantly simplifies the print commands generated to the print spooler, and this makes it easier for printers to handle the print job.

To set this setting, go to the print dialog (Ctrl+P), click on the Advanced button, then check the Print as image checkbox.

Image: setting in Adobe Acrobat X